His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al-Thani, the Governor of Qatar Central Bank, addressed the inaugural annual conference of the Qatar Centre for Global Banking and Finance at King’s Business School today. He highlighted the extent to which the Covid-19 crisis has intensified the challenges facing central banks, which must now not only address sharp economic downturns but also take on board the emergence of new technologies and changing societal expectations.
In his opening remarks His Excellency said:
One year into the pandemic, global growth prospects once again appear to be uncertain after showing some signs of recovery in the beginning of the year. The recent projections by the IMF indicate that growth will rebound to six per cent in 2021, after taking into account the concerted efforts on vaccination and support measures.– His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al-Thani, Governor of Qatar Central Bank
The actions and voices of each one of us – be it regulators, policymakers and academics - can have significant impact towards developing a stable and more resilient financial system.– His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al-Thani, Governor of Qatar Central Bank
His Excellency concluded by stating:
The ideas and discussions over the next couple of days will provide useful practical insights that will enable central banks to improve their decision making to ensure safe, sound and more resilient economies in the years ahead.– His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al-Thani, Governor of Qatar Central Bank
Held over two days, the inaugural conference brings together more than 30 researchers and policy-makers from influential central banks, think tanks and leading universities as speakers and panellists to discuss the challenges facing central banks in the 2020s. The final session of the conference will be a prize-giving event to announce the winner of the Centre’s Young Economist Prize.
Lord Geidt, Chairman of the King’s College London Council, who welcomed His Excellency to the conference on behalf of the university, added:
The founding ethos of King’s is simply to make the world a better place. This mission has never been more significant. The college was built on an ambition to serve society, and during the past year we have achieved this through our leading contributions to fighting Covid-19. The Qatar Centre for Global Banking and Finance is playing its role in supporting King’s mission too. On behalf of King’s College London, I want to extend my gratitude to Qatar Central Bank and its employees for the advice, guidance and support that it has provided to the Centre.– Lord Geidt, Chairman of King's College London Council
Professor David Aikman, Director of the Centre outlined some of the conference’s major themes:
Even before the pandemic, central banks were facing a host of profound challenges. They have been expanding their mandates for quite some time, while their traditional tools seem to be reaching the limits of their effectiveness. At the same time, central banks have been trying to keep pace with the rapid transformation we are seeing in our societies, particularly with regard to digitalisation and innovation. In the past year, these challenges have intensified enormously.
While vaccines may be providing a light at the end of the tunnel for high income countries, we have seen sharp and deep recessions around the world. The massive support packages governments have put in place will affect public finances for decades to come, raising significantly the policy challenges facing central banks.
Against this backdrop, it is also now clear that the financial system has a vital role to play in supporting the recovery and central banks will be an important player in this endeavour. In this context, events such as this are a great occasion for cross-fertilising ideas and spurring new research collaborations that will have positive real impact.
– Professor David Aikman, Director of the Qatar Centre for Global Banking and Finance
The Qatar Centre for Global Banking and Finance is a research centre dedicated to the study of central banks and the challenges they face in the global environment. It aims to develop cutting-edge research in all areas of central bank policymaking, ranging from monetary policy to financial stability and regulation. The Centre was established in 2019 by King's Business School with funding from Qatar Central Bank.