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News: Investment uncertainty tops agenda at Saudi FII conference

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The third edition of the Future Investment Initiative has opened in Riyadh with a series of debates around the future of investment involving leading global executives.

The conference was opened by Yasir Al-Rumayyan, governor of the Public Investment Fund who welcomed delegates.

He said: “Like all great things, FII began with a simple idea, to bring diverse leaders together to change the status quo.

“In 2017 it was mainly the United States, Europe and the Middle East, now you come from China, India, the Americas, Japan, Russia and Africa.

“All united in a spirit of collaboration.”

He added: “Until now FII has been an annual conference – it is now becoming an institute as well.

“It will be a place of continuous collaboration.

“A thought leadership platform and a global knowledge hub.”

Among the issues discussed were how sovereign wealth funds are reshaping global investment, the challenges and opportunities of moving towards a more inclusive workforce and how investors can thrive in a multipolar world.

Discussing the challenges faced by investors, Stephen Schwarzman, chief executive of the Blackstone Group, said: “We’re all dealing with more uncertainty than we were.

“Ten years ago, you could make an investment and be reasonably sure that the basic model was going to remain intact.

“Now, whenever you make an investment you look at to see whether that company’s business model is resilient knowing it’s going to be challenged.

“You’re either going to be a disruptor or you’re going to be disrupted – or maybe both at the same time.”

The speakers at FII 2019 include nearly 300 leading global decision makers, investors and experts from more than 30 countries.

The speakers demonstrate FII’s global perspective, with significant numbers coming from North America (39 per cent), Europe (20 per cent), Asia (19 per cent) and the Middle East (15 per cent).

More than 6,000 attendees have also registered their participation at the event.

Mukesh Ambani, chairman, Reliance Industries, said: “The world is transiting, this is the first time that you have simultaneously four or five new technologies combined with digital that are really transforming the global economy.

“While it brings in uncertainty, it brings in tremendous opportunity.”

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.

More Information

The event is dedicated to providing a truly inclusive platform that facilitates free and creative dialogue between policymakers, business leaders, investors, innovators and world-leaders.

Find out more on the official website.

Image: Future Investment Initiative