Saudi to launch Future Investment Initiative event

Riyadh where the two-day event will be taking place (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 October 2017

Saudi to launch Future Investment Initiative event

DUBAI: The Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (PIF) announced Monday the launch of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) under the patronage of King Salman.
Hosted and organized by PIF, the Kingdom’s main investment arm and one of the world’s leading sovereign wealth funds, the FII will take place from Oct. 24 to 26, 2017, in Riyadh.
The event has been billed as a game-changing platform exploring the new trends, opportunities, challenges and emerging industries that will shape the world economy and investment environment over the coming decades.

This inaugural FII will be held under the leadership Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is also the chairman of the PIF.

The invitation-only event will bring together internationally-renowned business and investment leaders. There will also be a number of high profile speakers, covering major investors, global financial institutions and established and emerging businesses, including: Larry Fink, BlackRock chairman and CEO; Stuart Gulliver, HSBC group chief executive; Joe Kaeser, Siemens president and CEO; Tong Li, Bank of China CEO; Masayoshi Son, SoftBank Group chairman and CEO; George Whitesides, Virgin Galatic CEO.

Yasir bin Othman Al-Rumayyan, managing director of the PIF said: “The Future Investment Initiative will provide an unprecedented opportunity for many leaders and influencers around the world to better understand the future of the global investment landscape.
“It will also act as a platform to showcase the PIF’s redefined investment mandate and strategy, as it progresses toward becoming the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.”
Through a highly collaborative and interactive program, over 2,000 attendees will discuss long-term investment and global trends across a broad range of topics. The event is designed around three key pillars: Shifting centers of power; the new investment paradigm and innovation for a better world.

The FII is being organized in the context of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, a blueprint that is already charting the path for the Kingdom to harness its strategic location and strong investment capabilities.
The core principles of the event are aligned with the strategic objectives and targets of the Kingdom’s National Transformation Plan, which is key to achieving the targets set for Vision 2030.


Virus pressure tests Saudi Arabia reforms as Aramco has Forbes debut

Updated 28 May 2020

Virus pressure tests Saudi Arabia reforms as Aramco has Forbes debut

  • ‘In terms of profits, the Saudi companies have done well. We will see more companies rising in the next few years

RIYADH: Saudi companies such as oil giant Aramco are displaying resilience in the face of the coronavirus pandemic because of reforms introduced before its arrival, say analysts.

The world’s largest oil company has become emblematic of wider corporate reforms triggered by the Saudi Vision 2030 blueprint for social and economic change.

Saudi Aramco this month appeared in the top five of the Forbes Global 2000 list, which ranks the world’s 2000 largest companies.

It comes as the world’s most profitable company reported profits on $88.2 billion last year.

This year’s rankings arrive amid a global pandemic which has devastated the earnings of some companies, improved the position of others and tested the resilience of all.

It has also shone a spotlight on the ability of the the Kingdom’s top companies to withstand the twin shock of the COVID-19 lockdown and the collapse of oil prices.

Saudi Aramco debuted on the prestigious Forbes list after completing the world’s largest initial public offering last year.

The rankings are based on a combination of sales, profits, market capitalization and assets. Three of the top five companies on the list are from China, including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in the top spot for the eighth straight year with more than $4.3 trillion in assets.

Forbes noted that many of the companies on its list have come through a particularly difficult first quarter as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, or what it describes as “The Great Cessation.”

“Many companies and organizations have faced difficulties in managing and mitigating the impact of COVID-19 crisis. However, there are some companies that have prepared well and put in action plans to avoid this crisis with the least damage,” said Fahad Alfaifi, a Saudi-based strategy and business planning consultant.

The pandemic has come at a time of historic change in the Kingdom’s corporate landscape driven by economic reforms which form a major part of the Vision 2030 agenda. This aims to reduce the country’s reliance on oil revenues and stimulate investment in sectors of the economy that create new jobs for a youthful population.

This backdrop has meant many companies in the Kingdom were already changing the way they did business before the arrival of the pandemic and the collapse of oil prices created new challenges.

Last year’s annual Global Competitiveness Report, issued by the World Economic Forum, placed the Kingdom third among G20 counties and 11th globally

in terms of IT governance which rates a country’s ability to adapt digital technologies such as e-commerce and financial technology.

Such technology skills are becoming increasingly important for economies as they to re-calibrate and adapt to the post-pandemic world.

Nasser Al-Qarawee, the director of the Saudi Study and Research Center, attributed the success of some Saudi companies to the great achievements made by the private sector lately and predicted that more Saudi companies would eventually join Aramco on the Forbes list.

“The national economy has seen enormous improvements and development in terms of laws and legislation that have helped reduce restrictions and bureaucracy, while the government has worked at the same time on reducing dependency on oil. Vision 2030 will further cement the Kingdom’s strong presence globally and make it have a larger influence on global decisions, not only economically but also politically.”

Tawfiq Al-Swailem, CEO of the Gulf Bureau for Research and Economic Consultations, said that many Saudi companies would emerge from the pandemic in a strong position.

“In terms of profits, the Saudi companies have done well, although the entire world is living through a state of ferocious economic war,” he said. “We will see more Saudi companies rising in the next few years.”