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Saudi Arabia’s FII: World leaders to discuss building a strong economy post-pandemic

Published: Updated:

World leaders, former presidents, CEOs and heads of economy will be among those converging for Saudi Arabia’s fourth annual Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference next week. Discussions about the future of global economies in a post-pandemic world are on the agenda.

The event will feature over 140 speakers and will officially be opened on Wednesday by Yassir al-Rumayyan, the governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), and chairman of energy-giant Saudi Aramco, with the theme: “The Neo-Renaissance.”

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The first day of the conference will see Al-Rumayyan discuss how, given the resurgence of COVID-19, the World Bank recently lowered its projections and now expects the global economy to grow by just 4 percent in 2021. It contracted 4.3 percent in 2020, the deepest recession since World War II.

Al-Rumayyan will talk about the economic aftershocks the pandemic will reverberate for the years ahead, and how institutions can anticipate economic scars much deeper than previous financial crises. As CEOs and policymakers continue to engineer new strategies for the post-crisis economic recovery, the global investment community can leverage the economic downturn to build a stronger, more sustainable future for everyone.

Attended by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, day one will also see a panel discussion about a new era of interdependence and how it can reinvigorate international investment.

Speakers including, Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia’ Minister of Investment, Dr Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, and the UAE’s Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, of DP World, will discuss how the global investment community can use the global economic downturn, caused by the coronavirus, to build a more sustainable future.

Local, regional and international experts will also gather to discuss key sessions, including: ’Health of nations: A CEO’s guide to investing in the next decade of global health’; ’The new CEO playbook: How are leaders reinventing work for the post-COVID world’, and ’Leaps and bounds: How immersive technologies amplify human potential.”

Also in attendance will be Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, the Kingdom’s Minister of Energy, who will be joined by Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and CEO of Total, and Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy and group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). They form a panel discussing the future of investment in the energy sector.

Other high-profile names that have already been confirmed include, Lord Gerry Grimstone, the UK’s Minister of State for Trade, and Khaldoon Al Mubarak, CEO and managing director of Mubadala.

Also on topic for day one, will be the future of the sports industry in a post-pandemic world in a discussion led by Saud Arabia’s Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al Faisal al-Saud, and featuring international Olympic medalists, and sporting chiefs from France, the UK, Kenya and Jamaica.

Also on the agenda will be sustainable investment, global digital policy and technological transformation post-COVID-19, new pathways of global growth and regional resilience against COVID-19 - and the importance of forward-looking investments that prioritize economic diversification and resiliency in securing a new era of growth and stability for GCC nations. The day will conclude with a topical discussion addressing the power of partnerships in a post-COVID-19 world.

The second, and final day of the summit will see world leaders, including former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Argentina’s president Alberto Fernandez and the French Minister of Economy, Bruno La Maire, discussing how world leaders can realize the mandates set by the G20.

Day two will also see discussions about investment opportunities presented by the new generation of ’tech for good’ ventures Artificial Intelligence (AI) will lead the resurgence of the global economy, and the importance of innovation in global sustainable development, and the investments needed in infrastructure to enable the next wave of growth are being discussed.

World environmental leaders will also come forward to discuss Climate Change and the action needed under the Paris Agreement.

While international CEOs will discuss how business leaders are building more adaptive companies, and financial experts will debate the future of digital currency.

Debating the future changes in education, entertainment, healthcare and travel and tourism, led by digital transformation, will happen, while experts will also gather to discuss how inspired leadership is the catalyst for forward-thinking institutions, alliances, and frameworks to improve international cooperation and drive progress and prosperity over the next decade and beyond.

Richard Attlas, CEO of the FII Institute, will close the two-day conference with a discussion looking at the road ahead for global nations.

In the lead up to the conference, al-Rumayyan said in a statement: “There has never been a more important time for leaders, investors and policy makers to come together to work towards re-energizing the global economy.”

Saudi Arabia previously postponed the fourth FII conference to January 2021 from October 2020 due to global travel issues related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The 4th edition of FII will see the most innovative technologies to facilitate global conversations and to be inclusive at the benefit of all of humanity,” said Richard Attias, the CEO of the FII Institute said.

“The FII Institute will act as a catalyst and a pioneer to allow interaction and exchange of disruptive ideas. There has never been a more important time to bring the greatest minds together to harness this opportunity to reimagine our world.”

This year the conference will differ from previous editions, as the main program is live streamed from Riyadh, the Kingdom’s capital, without participants in attendance due to coronavirus social distancing measures.

Read more:

Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative conference to host over 140 speakers

Saudi Arabia’s fourth FII conference will focus on ‘reimagining the global economy’

Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative (FII) to be physical, not virtual: Attias