Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 12 May 2023 - The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group’s 2023 Annual Meetings officially opened on Thursday, 11 May, in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the patronage of The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
The official opening ceremony was graced by the eminence of the presence of HRH Prince Turki Al-Faisal.
The high-profile event saw keynote speeches by H.E. Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; H.E. Hussein Ibrahim Taha, Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); H.E. Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Economy and Finance and Minister of State of the Republic of Benin and Chairman of the Board of Governors of IsDB; and H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, President and Group Chairman of Islamic Development Bank. Also attending the opening official ceremony was African Development Bank Group President, H.E. Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.
In a speech delivered at the high-profile official event, His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser praised the unwavering support provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to IsDB Group for nearly five decades. Dr. Jasser expressed his gratitude and appreciation to The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, for his patronage of these meetings and for the generous support bestowed upon the Bank. He also thanked His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, and the Saudi government for their continuous support of the Islamic Development Bank Group in enabling it to carry out its development mission to the fullest.
Dr. Jasser highlighted the outstanding efforts of the late King Faisal bin Abdulaziz (may Allah have mercy on him) and his visionary approach to developing joint Islamic work, which led to the establishment of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and then the Islamic Development Bank, in addition to other founding leaders of Islamic countries. He noted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been keen to provide all political and diplomatic support to the Bank since its inception, embodying its pioneering role in developing the Islamic economy and enhancing economic cooperation and integration among Islamic countries worldwide.
Under the guidance and support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Islamic Development Bank Group has made significant progress in achieving its development objectives and overcoming various challenges facing member countries, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Dr. Jasser gave an overview of the Bank's achievements in 2022, including the renewal and implementation of seven member country partnership strategies, the approval of over US$3 billion for projects (the highest number since 2017), and the allocation of US$1 billion for climate financing as part of the 2022 work program. He noted that more than 24 million people were expected to benefit from all the projects funded during 2022.
The IsDB Group Chairman, then, concluded his remarks by emphasizing the Bank's commitment to enhancing member countries' ability to withstand difficulties and crises and helping them put their economies on a long-term sustainable growth path. He praised the member countries' continued confidence in the Bank, which enabled it to maintain its excellent credit rating (AAA) for the twentieth consecutive year.
The Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Governor of the Kingdom at the Islamic Development Bank, H.E. Mr. Mohammed Al-Jadaan, also addressed the opening session and expressed his hopes for the elevation of strategic partnership relations to broader horizons and the drive for cooperation among countries towards a higher level of progress that serves common interests. He announced that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will host the celebration of the golden jubilee on the occasion of the 50th establishment anniversary of the Islamic Development Bank, which will be held next year in the city of Riyadh.