Investment Minister: Saudi Arabia dealt with COVID-19 pandemic with high resilience, gained investors' confidence
The Minister of Investment, Eng. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, affirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has dealt with the repercussions of COVID-19 pandemic in a manner that surpassed many countries, through the leadership that demonstrated the Kingdom's resilience and its superior ability to deal with crises. It strengthened investor confidence, as foreign direct investment in the Kingdom increased greatly in 2020 compared to the previous year.
This came in session entitled "Leveling up: How will a new era of interdependence reinvigorate international investment?", within the Future Investment Initiative sessions, with the participation of Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of the Arab Republic of Egypt; Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World; Lord Grimstone of Boscobel; Minister for Investment at the UK Department for International Trade and Eric Cantor, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Moelis and Company. The session discussed policies aimed at enhancing investment and business partnerships, reflecting the prevailing realities and geopolitical situations.
Eng. Al-Falih expressed his optimism about the future of the global economy. He indicated that the world went through similar circumstances 100 years ago, as it faced the Spanish flu, and then it was able to bounce back and benefit from the economic recovery. Today the world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic, but with greater and more advanced capabilities.
The Minister of Investment highlighted a set of changes that occurred during 2020, including consumption patterns and technology uses, trade tensions and changing corporate strategies, and the pandemic's impact on supply and demand and foreign direct investment.
Eng. Al-Falih stressed that the Kingdom is continuing to create an exceptional investment environment, as it has changed and amended more than 200 of 400 legislations, which it has reformed to meet the needs of investors. As a result, the Kingdom has leapfrogged global indices on risk and ease of doing business.
He indicated that the pandemic demonstrated the importance of technology and future sectors, such as the data industry, the logistics, biotechnology and others, stressing that the Kingdom is focusing on developing its capabilities in the future sectors. He added that industries need to enhance the strength of the digital infrastructure in order to grow and prosper, supported by the necessary legislation and regulations, and this is on top the Ministry of Investment priorities.
For her part, the Minister of International Cooperation of the Republic of Egypt, stressed the importance of supporting the principles of economic diplomacy, and pushing more economic opportunities to include important projects.
For his part, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Moelis & Company, Eric Cantor highlighted a number of possible opportunities to get out of the current crisis, including focusing on attracting foreign investments, as well as working on investing in industries that the countries depends on, which other countries may not see as important, in order to achieve a better life.
For his part, the Chairman and CEO of DP World stated that in 2020 everyone gained experience in how to deal with the challenges that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic by adhering to many requirements.
For his part, the Minister for Investment at the UK Department for International Trade Lord Grimstone of Boscobel, stressed the importance of bridging the gap between policymakers and investors by attracting them to the center of policies, dealing with their investment ambitions, and examining and overcoming the obstacles they face.