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Third Future Investment Initiative Kicks off in Riyadh

Third Future Investment Initiative Kicks off in Riyadh

Tuesday, 29 October, 2019 - 07:15
Participants look at a sign of the Future Investment Initiative during the investment conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 23, 2018. (Reuters)

The third edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) opened in Riyadh on Tuesday under the patronage of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and chairmanship of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.

Organized by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), heads of states and senior officials of countries and major international companies will be attending and contributing to discussions that shape the future of global investment.

“Today we have more than 6,000 executives and participants attending, this is more than double the first FII,” PIF Governor Yassir al-Rumayyan said in opening remarks.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, leaders of key emerging markets, are set to speak at the three-day event, along with King Abdullah II of Jordan and four African leaders.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin leads a high-powered American delegation that includes Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior advisor to President Donald Trump.

The CEOs of asset management firms Blackstone and SoftBank, as well as chairs of the sovereign wealth funds of Kuwait, UAE, Singapore and Russia are also expected to attend.

Top executives from Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are also on a long list of global bank representatives at the forum.

PIF had announced important details on topics on the agenda of the conference, which will last until October 31, amid the presence of a number of prominent decision makers, major investors and international experts.

Rumayyan joined a panel that discussed challenges facing the global economy including disruptive technology, wealth gaps and lack of effective central bank tools amid slowing economic growth.

It included HSBC Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn, Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman and Goldman Sachs Group Chief Operating Officer John Waldron

In a welcome message on Monday, Rumayyan said the FII has evolved from just an annual gathering to become a hub for building relationships.

“Until now the Future Investment Initiative has been an annual conference, today it is an institution... it will be a global hub to build relationships," he said.

The FII raises questions about the next decade for the global economy with business leaders and policymakers exploring all means to boost growth amid growing uncertainty.

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