Entrepreneurship is the new growth economy, according to a leading figure in Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) as he called for business “unicorns” to come to the country.
Andrew Liveris, special advisor to the governor of the PIF, made the remarks as he discussed how economies need to diversify to embrace the digital age.
Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Liveris insisted the economic “pie will get bigger”, but workers will need to be retrained to carry out the new, less traditional, jobs of the future.
Referring to start-ups that go on to achieve market valuations of over a billion dollars, Liveris said: “Let the unicorns come.”
His comments chime with those made by billionaire businessman Larry Fink at the Middle East Green Initiative Summit on Monday.
The chairman of US asset management giant BlackRock told delegates at the forum in Riyadh it will be firms producing environmentally-friendly goods and systems that will become the next billion dollar companies.
Fink said: "It’s my belief that the next 1,000 unicorns - companies that have a market valuation over a billion dollars - won’t be a search engine or media company. They will be businesses developing green hydrogen, and green agriculture, and green steel and green cement."