Third day of Future Investment Initiative opens

Updated 31 October 2019

Third day of Future Investment Initiative opens

  • The Future Investment Initiative is held at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh
  • The annual summit is attended by global leaders, policy makers, investors, and businessmen

The last day of the annual Future Investment Summit in Riyadh opened Thursday morning, with appearances from Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan and Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi.
Al-Jadaan outlined the collective effort of Gulf countries in ensuring their economies are working together, while singling out Saudi Arabia’s achievements in the last years.
“I think Saudi Arabia has gone through significant reform that is designed to respond to local and international challenges we face in our economy,” he said.
He added: “We are looking at significant structural reform that has taken place in the last two years, which resulted in us advancing in international indices.”
Saudi Arabia was recently lauded by the World Bank for being the most improved country in its Doing Business Report released last week.
“Saudi Arabia has also advanced in other indices such as competitiveness, responsiveness of the government to changes, technologies and the private sector,” the Saudi finance minister said.
Meanwhile, Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi joined a panel discussion about the future of Asia, highlighting the Middle East’s role as a “global connector between regions.”

Watch it here:

 


Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

Updated 13 August 2020

Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

  • Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months

JEDDAH: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s popularity is plunging in lockstep with Turkey’s collapsing economy and the country is on the verge of a potentially devastating recession, financial experts have told Arab News.
The value of the Turkish lira has fallen to 7.30 against the US dollar and the central bank has spent $65 billion to prop up the currency, according to the US investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months as the government moved to help families during the coronavirus pandemic, but the result has been a surge in inflation to 12 percent.
With the falling lira and increased price of imported goods, the living standards of many Turks who earn in lira but have dollar debts have fallen sharply.
The economy is expected to shrink by about 4 percent this year. The official unemployment rate remains at 12.8 percent because layoffs are banned, although many experts say the real figures are far higher.
To complete the perfect storm, tourism revenues and exports have been decimated by the pandemic, and foreign capital has fled amid fears over economic trends and the independence of the central bank.
Wolfango Piccoli, of Teneo Intelligence in London, said logic dictated an increase in interest rates but “this is unlikely to happen.”
Piccoli said central bank officials would strive to avoid an outright rate hike at their monetary policy meeting on Aug. 20. “A mix of controlled devaluation and backdoor policies, such as limiting Turkish lira’s liquidity, remains their preferred approach,” he said.
There is speculation of snap elections, and Erdogan’s view is that higher interest rates cause inflation, despite considerable economic evidence to the contrary.