Riyadh, January 30, 2019: Policy makers and business leaders from across the Arab World, Africa, North America and Europe addressed delegates in Riyadh on the second day of the 2019 Future Investment Initiative (FII), examining the importance of creating genuinely global platforms and new models for tomorrow.
• In a panel focusing on “What’s Next for Africa,” HE Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria, HE Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger, HE Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya, discussed a roadmap to promote universal connectivity and intracontinental trade, with a goal to drive inclusive growth and public-sector reform. Mr Kenyatta’s statement that “Africa wants to be a friend to all and is open to business” was met with a round of applause by the audience.
• Inspiring new generations was the focal point of conversation in today’s afternoon panels examining the move toward deep tech, the future of space exploration, and the world of entertainment. Astronaut Terry W. Virts Jr. told the audience about the reaction he sees internationally, saying that “I speak around the world, and there’s excitement everywhere I go”. Likewise, when asked for his advice to young aspiring Saudi filmmakers, film director Oliver Stone told them to “go ahead and make the film… you will get an audience”.
• HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, Chairman, Saudi General Sports Authority also pointed to the demand that the country’s young population was creating in the sports industry, highlighting that “with 70% of the Saudi population under the age of 35 there’s a demand for sporting events and they’re a platform for growth – we aim to create 130,000 jobs by 2030”.
• This afternoon’s sessions saw conversations shared between HE Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director-General, United Arab Space Agency, UAE and Richard Arnold, Managing Director, Manchester United Group, UK.
• Other prominent figures participating in discussions include Masayoshi Son, Founder & CEO, Softbank, Japan, Patrice Caine, Chairman & CEO, Thales Group, France, Sir Martin Sorrell, Executive Chairman, S4 Capital, UK, HE Mohammed Rashed Al Nasri, Chairman, Gulf Islamic Investments LLC, UAE, Erik Kaas, Chairman, Europe, Partners Group, Switzerland, Iqbal Khan, CEO, Fajr Capital Limited, UAE, Shiv Vikram Khemka, Vice Chairman, SUN Group, India, Patrick Zhong, Founding Managing Partner, M31 Capital, China.
• FII was created to drive conversation and collaboration around some of the most pressing topics currently facing the world today – including sustainability, technology and the future of society. FII is dedicated to providing a truly inclusive platform that facilitates free and creative dialogue between policymakers, business leaders, investors, innovators and world-leaders.
For more information about the FII 2019 program and speakers, please visit the FII website
• Day Two in Quotes
Alireza Zaimi, Head of Corporate Finance at PIF “Here in Saudi Arabia we have it all – we have the vision, we have the means to deliver on it, and we’re starting from a very strong and sustainable position.”
Masayoshi Son, Founder & CEO, SoftBank “Today I would say AI applies to around 10% of tasks while the human brain still beats it for 90%. This will change dramatically over the next 30 years as computing power increases.”
Alexander Shulgin, Founder & CEO, Familia.ru “Bitcoin wasn’t created for fintech. In 1999, when I started to understand P2P tech, it was used for things like music. In a way, media and entertainment content is the father of decentralized technology.”
Terry W. Virts Jr., Astronaut/Commander Int. Space Station/Film Director, NASA, USA “We all share the same sky – it doesn’t matter which continent you’re from, we all look up and see the same moon. It unites and excites us, and it’s a great way to motivate our youth.”
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• About the Future Investment Initiative
Convened annually, the Future Investment Initiative (FII) is an international platform for expert-led debate between global leaders, investors and innovators with the power to shape the future of global investment. It is focused on utilizing investment to drive growth opportunities, enable innovation and disruptive technologies, and address global challenges
• The third edition of FII will continue building active, global networks of influential decision makers to explore the emerging industries that will shape the global economy and investment landscape over the coming decades.
• and governments as well as economic leaders since it was launched in 2017. Building on the theme of ‘A Blueprint for the 22nd Century’, the second edition of FII in 2018 saw more than USD60 billion (SAR225 billion) worth of agreements announced over the three days of the event. These agreements included major investments across a range of sectors, including energy, housing, health and ICT. FII 2018 attracted more than 3,500 participants from 88 countries, including representation from eight heads of state and more than 20 international ministers. In addition, more than 2.6 million viewers worldwide followed FII 2018 through the event’s livestream.
• FII is powered by the Public Investment Fund, the Kingdom’s main investment arm and one of the world’s leading sovereign wealth funds.
• About PIF
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is one of the largest and most impactful sovereign wealth funds in the world, enabling the creation of new sectors and opportunities that will shape the future global economy, while driving the economic transformation of Saudi Arabia. PIF is building a world-class, diversified portfolio through investments in attractive, long-term opportunities across sectors and asset classes at both the domestic and international level. Working alongside global strategic partners and renowned investment managers, PIF acts as the Kingdom’s main investment arm to deliver a strategy focused on achieving attractive financial returns and long-term value for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in line with Vision 2030. More information can be found at www.pif.gov.sa