Policy continuity the key for G20’s think tank engagement group

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman urged G20 leaders on Thursday to take firm measures and “effective and coordinated” action to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (G20 Saudi Arabia)

JEDDAH (RAHNUMA): Highlighting the importance of continuity in policies, the chair of the a think tank Dr. Fahad Al-Turki said the T20 will assess new challenges and will provide recommendations based on facts.

Al-Turki, who is vice president of research at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KASPARC), said the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is the latest challenge and its effects will be felt in the long term. “This is the most civilizational threat that that we have seen in our lifetime,” he said.

Think20 (T20) is the intellectual backbone behind the success of the G20 presidencies in meeting challenges and responsibilities.

The second day of the T20 Virtual Conference was held on Tuesday to discuss approaches and policy briefs on a number of global issues.

Talking to Arab News, Al-Turki said ensuring continuity to legacy task forces (TF) is key to the success of T20 policy briefs and meeting challenges.

He said that, in addition to working on existing issues within the framework created by previous presidencies, it is necessary to identify new issues facing the world or specific countries.

As far as the pandemic is concerned, he said: “The Kingdom is in a unique position as the number of research papers submitted has surpassed that of (previous G20 hosts) Japan (100+ research papers) and Argentina (75 research papers).”

“Our mandate is to provide fact-based policy recommendations across all task forces. This pandemic has created another dimension for financial architecture; for example, we need to digitalize and create a regulatory budget for it. Social cohesion has also been significantly impacted by social distancing and lockdowns,” Al-Turki added.

More than 500 people from different walks of life attended the first day of the virtual conference. A total of 12 of webinars were held ahead of the event, which included policymakers and chairs of working groups, to understand the implications the pandemic for the priorities of each task force.

The aim of the webinars was to customize policy briefs and to make draft recommendations ahead of the G20 Summit.

“We will only provide recommendations based on concrete, credible and unbiased research, this is our responsibility at T20,” Al-Turki said.

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