JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Managing Director of International Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde deferred her visit to Middle East region followed the political tension in the areas. Beside Lagarde, a slew of business leaders also announced not attend the Second Futures Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia. The three-day conference, scheduled to start on Oct. 23.
“The Managing Director’s previously scheduled trip to the Middle East region is being deferred,” said the spokesperson on Wednesday (17/10).
The disappearance of United States journalist Jamal Khashoggi has led threatens to derail Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s international effort to rebrand his kingdom. Geopolitical tension related to allegations that Saudi Arabia had murdered a well-known journalist were the underlying market sentiment during this week.
The Washington Post’s journalist, a critic of the government who last year left Saudi Arabia, vanished on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. This created a major diplomatic crisis for the kingdom, with mounting evidence that the the country were involved fueling a growing outcry from foreign governments, U.S. lawmakers and the President Donald Trump administration. Riyadh has strenuously denied these reports.
Lagarde has met Prince Salman last year, discussed on Saudi Arabia’s economic outlook and current policy developments. At the meeting, she stated that Saudi Arabia had made good progress in initiating its ambitious reform agenda and fiscal consolidation efforts are beginning to bear fruit.
She continued, progress with reforms to improve the business environment are gaining momentum, and a framework to increase the transparency and accountability of government is in place.
“Fiscal adjustment is continuing, with the government containing expenditures and raising additional revenues. A large, sustained, and well-paced fiscal adjustment is needed in the coming years to continue to respond to the effects of lower oil prices on the budget. However, given the strong fiscal buffers, the availability of financing, and the current cyclical position of the economy, fiscal adjustment should be gradual,” Lagarde said in the last meeting with Prince Salman.
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