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Saudi Arabia’s Desert Davos … Unique Spot to highlight investment challenges & prospects

Saudi Arabia’s Desert Davos ... Unique Spot to highlight investment challenges & prospects

Saudi Arabia has recently held the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference, which has become an annual event in which leaders of political and business thought and innovators gather.

They all come together to promote the business environment’s attractiveness after successive capital inflows in the first edition of this global event.

The conference, which is described as “Davos in the Desert”, was launched by ‏His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. In 2017, the Crown Prince, established a diversified investment base in all fields where foreigners are major players. This is to diversify the country’s economy, which is heavily reliant on oil revenues.

Saudi Arabia is seeking to attract more foreign direct investment based on the boom it has achieved during the past six years. This was due to the changes in legislation and laws and the reform of business regulations, which helped it attract many companies.

Besides addressing what the global economy is suffering through and carbon neutrality, the conference is an ideal platform to discuss what we are living through today. It will allow Riyadh to establish new partnerships and persuade companies to open regional offices in the capital, Riyadh. This will enable it to compete with its neighbors in the region, led by Dubai.

During the opening of the conference, Richard Attias, the CEO of the FII Institute, stressed the importance of collective action to achieve a significant impact on areas of support for humanity, especially in light of the difficult problems the world is facing and a new global order.

The institute, the organizer of the conference, sought to establish an independent identity for the event. This included establishing an investment arm and holding events in various places such as London and New York, in addition to the main event in Riyadh.

During a press conference to introduce the details of the conference, on the eve of the event, Atias stressed that the initiative is not a conference on Saudi Arabia, but rather “an international conference held in Saudi Arabia, which shows that it has certainly become a global center.”

The 2022 edition, in which the heads of the largest global banks, asset management companies, and global investment funds will participate, under the title “Investing in Humanity… Enabling a New World Order”, will include conferences, panel discussions, and four mini-summits over three days.

Analysts confirm that this year’s edition represents a test of investor confidence in Saudi Arabia. This is in light of the emergence of differences in views with the United States on energy.

The conference aims to promote economic growth. It aims to assess the trends of foreign money flows, trade rules, and transparency measures. It focuses on areas such as tourism and the pillars of digital transformation.

The openness policies adopted by Prince Mohammed during the past few years have attracted many companies and entrepreneurs to work in the largest economies in the Middle East and North Africa.

More than 500 speakers and 600 participants from around the world will discuss relevant topics including balancing success with sustainability, geoeconomic rise, equality in an unequal world, and what world leaders face.

This comes as part of their attempt to return the world to what it was before Corona pandemic. Due to the intractable and unexpected challenges facing economies around the world, this is the case.

The Governor of the Public Investment Fund (sovereign fund) Yasser Al-Rumayyan stressed that the initiative is an engine of global cooperation with the importance of commitment to capabilities, most notably investing in humanity in a new world order.

Al-Rumayyan, who chairs the Board of Directors of the Future Investment Initiative Foundation, indicated that various industries, such as telecommunications, health, retail, and other sectors, are among the main factors that contributed to the global movement.

He stressed that the Corona pandemic contributed to the acceleration of this industrial movement, “which led us to exploit the available opportunities.”

Al-Rumayyan explained that the initiative developed a framework for governance and social environment for new markets, with a focus on performance measurement and the impact of environmental and social governance.

Data is an influential factor in the country’s ability to deal with global crises such as climate change. Aramco, for example, was able to develop a cutting-edge system that will be launched next year, which contributes to working to absorb the emission of greenhouse gases.

Al-Rumayyan stressed the need for the world to be open to innovation and the importance of investors being united to achieve long-term ambitions.

To achieve sustainability throughout the world, Saudi Arabia has established partnerships with international companies in full harmony through its policies of economic diversification and legislative development. It seeks to develop the business climate to make it more flexible.

Wall Street bankers issued new warnings amid geopolitical tensions and sharp interest rate increases to counteract decades-long high inflation.

Goldman Sachs President David Solomon said during one of the sessions that economic conditions “will tighten significantly from here,” and that the US Federal Reserve (the central bank) may raise interest rates from 4.5 to 4.75 percent if it does not see real changes in behavior.

He pointed out that if they do not see real changes – the work is still very tight – they are only playing with the demand side by tightening. But if they don’t see real changes in behavior “I think they’ll go further.”

Speaking at the major Saudi investment conference in Riyadh, he said it was difficult to get out of “latent inflation” without an economic slowdown. Solomon added that the process of unwinding 40 years of “nationalized fix.

He stressed that “the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and tensions between the United States and China are more worrying than a possible recession in the United States.”

Asia and Digital Finance… Headlines of the Closing Day of “Davos in the Desert”

In Riyadh, the third and final day of the sixth edition of the Future Investment Initiative forum is taking place under the slogan “Investing in Humanity” Enabling a new world order. There has been a great deal of discussion and debate about digital currencies and whether we will witness a complete transformation towards digitizing money and dealing with virtual currency.

Digital payments

The forum started the first session of the third day to talk about transforming banking and investment businesses for a resilient economy, during which the CEO of the Saudi Export-Import Bank, Eng. Saad Al-Khalb spoke.

During the session, the discussion revolved around the fact that technology continues to affect banking and financial practices as the economy begins to transform in the post-Corona pandemic world, its global economic consequences, and the World Bank’s assertion that two-thirds of adults around the world now make or receive their payments in the manner digital.

At the same time, the rise of small investors has transformed investment fields around the world.

Digitalization in investment touched on the trend of maintaining existing banking services, its impact on private investment and digital banking, and how banks have responded to changing consumer and corporate habits.

The CEO of the Saudi Export-Import Bank also referred to his country’s role in providing logistic services.

According to him, the logistics services initiative allows global trade to be facilitated through the use of capabilities. This is because its location is a strategic center connecting three continents through an integrated system interconnected with Africa.

The last day will witness the holding of mini sessions on the rise of digital currencies “crypto”, and the future of the African continent, with the participation of several speakers from China and Hong Kong to discuss the importance of partnership between China and the Middle East, and another session on the future of environmental and social governance.

China’s back

A decade ago, the Chinese economy had reached an unprecedented level of wealth and development. Its upward trajectory was to continue, but political pressures and the Coronavirus crisis caused it to slow down.

At the forum, Mina Al-Arabi, editor-in-chief of the Emirati newspaper “The National”, discussed several Chinese and international business leaders in a session entitled “China is Back”.

It discusses how the Middle East can cooperate with China and strengthen its position as an intercontinental bridge linking EaWest. IWest. Discusses what China’s position is in the upcoming era of globalization.

With the world currently suffering through non-stop crises, the forum discusses in a session entitled “How do investments behave during a market correction?”, Is there anything investors can do to prepare during such times, and what can investors do to build resilience in all markets?

Future of trade

The forum discusses one of the most critical topics: who will lead trade in the future. And the role of owners of small and medium-sized enterprises, which provide 70 percent of all jobs in OECD countries, and 50 percent of GDP in rich countries.

Forum attendees also discussed the most significant updates during the Corona period, during which 70 percent of small and medium-sized companies in 32 countries profited between 30 and 50 percent.

During the past two days, the forum sessions were crowded with the attendance of six thousand participants from countries around the world and 500 speakers from different sectors.

On the sidelines of the sixth edition of the Future Investment Initiative, the National Center for Industrial Development signed a memorandum of understanding with Essar. The agreement aims to study the development of the integrated complex of iron flats in Ras Al-Khair Industrial City, which is the first industrial project to produce green iron in Saudi Arabia.

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