HE Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for financial Affairs, and Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lead the high-level closed session on basic income today, organised by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in cooperation with the IMF on the sidelines of the 6th World Government Summit 2018. Ministers, senior officials and specialists in financial, economic and social affairs from all around the world attended the session.
MoF held the closed session in order to discuss the global basic income system and learn about the experiences of financial and economic leaders from the participating countries. The focus was to get their views on governance towards employment management and compensation, as well as the importance of modifying prevailing social-economic models in response to the current policy and technological changes. In addition, high-level policymakers from different countries discussed the possible way forward and the processes they can take to follow up on various issues, including more careful public wage bill management, rationalization of subsidies and social benefits, or introducing new basic sources of income.
HE Obaid Humaid Al Tayer and Christine Lagarde delivered the keynote speech of the closed session. Following, a panel discussion was held and included HE Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati from Indonesia, HE Dr. Ali Hamsa, Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia, and Dr. Steffen Hertog of the London School of Economics, UK. It also included Dr. David Bravo, former President of Pension Reform Commission of Chile, and Mr. Robert Watt, Secretary General, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Government of Ireland.
The session also included comments from HE Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, Minister of Finance of Kuwait, HE Amr El Garhy, Egyptian Minister of Finance, HE Mohammed Boussaid, Minister of Economy and Finance of the Kingdom of Morocco and HE Michel Pharaoun, State Minister for Planning Affairs from Lebanon. It also included comments from HE Abderrahmane Raouya, Minister of Finance of Algeria, HE Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Humaidi, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Monetary Fund, and HE Dr Bandar bin Mohammed Al-Hajjar, President of the Islamic Development Bank.
The session also included an open discussion on the need to adjust social-economic models to adapt and meet the requirements of the current phase of the digital revolution and demographic changes, globalization and the decline in oil prices.