COVID-19 crisis ‘requires fundamental rethink’ in how world functions: PIF Governor

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The coronavirus pandemic has caused such drastic changes for the world that a “fundamental rethink” of how economies and societies function is necessary, said Yassir al-Rumayyan, governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and FII Institute Chairman.

Al-Rumayyan was speaking during his opening remarks at the fourth edition of the Future Investment Initiative summit. The event has brought together 8,000 participants from 94 countries under the theme of the “The Neo-Renaissance.”

“The speed and the depth of this change brings huge economic and social challenges as well as opportunities. But this requires a fundamental rethink in the ways in which economies and societies function,” al-Rumayyan said.

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Al-Rumayyan went on to call for global unity among countries, peoples, and businesses in a “global endeavor” to bring fresh thinking and reimagine a better global economy.

“Everyone of us has an important role to play to contributing this new world and impacting humanity sustainability … to reimagine our global economy and reshape the future of humanity,” he added.

The FII summit has brought over 150 speakers together, some which will be attending from hubs in Paris, Mumbai, Beijing, and New York, while others attend in person in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The event had previously been postponed from December last year due to the pandemic and has adopted a hybrid in-person-virtual format.

“This is not a normal event we are not living in normal times; the world is moving at an unprecedented pace with digital and technological advances changing every sector of industry … changing the way we live work provide services. This pandemic has not discriminated, it has not respected geographic borders,” al-Rumayyan said in his opening remarks.

Change has already stated appearing, al-Rumayyan added, as sustainable investment initiatives have gained more traction than previously.

“We are seeing acceleration in many sectors and industries including in sustainable investment. Resilient businesses and models are becoming more important, more ESG financial products are becoming available, there has never been greater opportunities,” he said.

FII takes place from January 27-28 and will be attended by tech pioneers, investors, executives, and policymakers to maximize the potential of this impact-oriented conference.

The speakers, of whom 60 will be attending in-person and 90 virtually, will discuss how the new rebirth of the global economy could be shaped despite the barriers imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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