RIYADH: Terrorism is discouraging foreign investment in the Middle East region, Jared Kushner, senior adviser to the US president has told the Future Investment Initiative 2019 (FII 2019) in Riyadh, adding that the region’s leaders needed to look to the future opportunities.
Speaking to a packed main hall, Kushner also spoke of the Palestinian conflict, and said Israel could not be blamed for all the problems in the region.
And he added: “What holds back investors is terrorist issues.”
In June 2019, Kushner hosted the Bahrain conference, aimed at bringing peace to Palestine in part of what was tagged the “deal of the century,” in which companies were encouraged to invest millions in the region. He said they eventually raised $25 billion of pledged investment.
Kushner said the aim had been to achieve “focus,” which he said he believed was achieved.
But he said terrorism continued to be a recurring problem in the Middle East.
Referring to the FII 2019, he said: “I think this forum is great progress. We talk about the problems here, but we never mention what potential the region has.”
He said there was a need to invest in the future of the Middle East and create more jobs and opportunities.
Kushner said the region’s leaders were “trying to make better lives for people.”
There is a need to invest in the future of the Middle East and create more jobs and opportunities.
Jared Kushner, Senior adviser to the US president
Asked about America’s domestic issues and the upcoming presidential election, he said the economy was “doing very well,” although he did not mention the recent slow down in manufacturing in the US. “Enthusiasm for the president is more so now than ever before.”
He said the Trump election campaign would be “very strong” in the second election, explaining that he was “new to politics” when he first contested the polls.
“The country really likes the policies the president has followed. But there is a lot more to do and I hope the people give the president a chance to do that.”
He said he believed the president’s popularity was growing because he “speaks directly to the American people.”
He said there were 200-250,000 more jobs since Trump came into office. And he said that the US and China had come to an understanding.
“Our biggest problem in the country is that we don’t have enough workers,” he said, adding: “It’s been a transformational period.”