Summary: the Future Investment Initiative had a big splash at its launch in Riyadh in 2017. But after the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi ‘Davos in the desert’ has struggled.
Against the backdrop of a struggling economy, Riyadh this week hosts the fourth Future Investment Initiative (FII).
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1 thought on “Riyadh hosts delayed investment forum”
While it is accurate that many heads of the more prominent companies did not attend last year’s FII(2019), their No.2s and 3s did. I attended and saw them. The challenge FII has is that at this current juncture many companies go to the meeting and Saudi in general seeking fees and funds,and to sell products and services, rather than with plans to invest etc (too often MoUs are signed which fail to evolve beyond just that; the follow up is important). Investors and commentators alike often seek to gather information and data and find explanations for sometimes contradictory positions between, for example the energy ministry and Aramco, as well as stay up to date with changes and political developments in the kingdom. Also the fact that FII is hosted by PIF indicates somewhat that there is a focus on outward rather than foreign investment (but mostly branding). If it were to be organised by the Ministry of Investment (formerly SAGIA) that could indicate a stronger focus on attracting and retaining FDI. Saudi certainly needs investment, skills and tech transfer to support V2030 plans, post-pandemic growth and job creation (in decent numbers)… and soon.