Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Sunday started its year-long presidency of the Group of 20 (G20) culminating in a high-profile summit next November in Riyadh.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman pledged that his country would build on efforts of Japan, the outgoing president of the group, to consolidate global cooperation.

“We will do our best in cooperation with our partners in the group to achieve tangible accomplishments and seize opportunities to tackle challenges of the future,” he added.

Citing the kingdom’s geographical position at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, Prince Mohammad said that Saudi hosting of the G20 will help highlight views of the Middle East and North Africa.

“We believe this is a unique opportunity to formulate a world concurrence on global issues,” he added.

G20 leaders are due to meet in Riyadh on November 21-22 next year for their summit, the first of its kind in the Arab region.

Last week, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud said the kingdom’s G20 presidency will focus on tackling the 21st century challenges facing the global economy as well as enhancing international cooperation.

In the run-up to the Riyadh summit, Saudi Arabia will host over 100 multi-level meetings, according to the minister. “These meetings will be diverse in their topics and support the fulfilment of the G20 objectives,” he added.

They will include ministerial and liaison representative meetings pertaining to the business community, intellectuals, women and civil society, according to Saudi newspaper Asharq Al Awsat.

G20 countries make up about two-thirds of the global population, 85 per cent of its gross domestic product and over 75 per cent of trade.

The G20 grouping also includes the US and UK, four of the leading economies in the EU, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey.