Riyadh will be the location of a major global conference on Feb. 25 when the Asia House Middle East Trade Dialogue convenes in the city.
Taking place in the year that Saudi Arabia hosts the G20, the dialogue will look ahead to the Kingdom’s key priorities for 2020, with sustainability, renewable energies and the role of women in the economy on the agenda. Wider developments and key trends in world trade will also be explored by leading business and policy figures.
Lubna Olayan, chair, Saudi British Bank (SABB), will give the keynote speech at the forum, organized by Asia House — a London-based center of expertise on trade and investment in Asia.
Other speakers include Simon Penney, Middle East trade commissioner for the UK government; David Dew, managing director, SABB; Alain Bejjani, chief executive, Majid Al-Futtaim Holding; Sylvain Cote, senior economist, Saudi Aramco; Frank Kane, senior business columnist, Arab News; and Victor Gao, vice president, Center for China and Globalization.
Lord Green, chairman of Asia House and former UK trade minister, said: “The Middle East remains an extremely important region for global trade, especially as the Gulf broadens its relationships with Asian markets. Just last year, more than 1,000 international companies set up new operations in Saudi Arabia, highlighting business interest in the Kingdom.
“With Saudi Arabia hosting the G20 this year, we believe it is an important time to bring our trade dialogue to Riyadh to explore the economic shifts taking place in the region and beyond. We are particularly honored to be welcoming Lubna Olayan to share her unique insights with our audience of senior business and investment figures.”
SABB will be sponsoring the event, as well taking the stage to debate opportunities between Asia and the Kingdom.
Olayan said: “Trade has historically always been important to the development of the Kingdom, and that is equally true today as the Far East and the Middle East are once again becoming increasingly connected and we begin a year in which Saudi Arabia leads the G20, with deliberations around trade and investment being a major focus of the B20.”
She added: “It is truly an exciting time, so we are pleased to be jointly hosting this important event to explore opportunities for enhancing and facilitating growing trade links between the Far East and the Middle East.”
The conference is held with the support of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and is convened as part of the Asia House Middle East Program. Arab News is the Strategic Media Partner for the dialogue.