The Future Investment Initiative has officially begun in Riyadh. Known as “Davos in the Desert,” the annual forum is hosting more than 7,000 delegates and more than 500 speakers from across 50 nations.
The annual forum is in its sixth year and brings together participants across business, technology, and shared challenges facing humanity. Some of the world’s top business leaders, policymakers, investors, entrepreneurs, and tech experts gathered in Riyadh for the forum.
This year, the forum is focusing on the fundamental question of what the new global order will look like.
This year’s theme, “Investing in humanity: Enabling a new global order,” invited participants to delve into topics as diverse as education, artificial intelligence and robotics, health, and sustainability.
During the opening sessions on Tuesday, delegates explored a variety of issues, including supply-chain disruption, the growing demand for travel after Covid, e-commerce, cybercrime, and the widespread problem of rising inflation.
Much of the discussions revolved around ways in which investors, businesses, and governments can work together to recover and restructure vital sectors of the global economy in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.
Pavilions hosted sessions on a wide range of topics, including equality, data, aerospace, and the new smart-city development in Saudi Arabia “NEOM.”
As the global economy was finally beginning to rebound after Covid, the Russian war in Ukraine set back recovery, causing disruption to supply chains, food supplies and security, and energy security and prices.
The results include rising inflation worldwide that is running at a 40-year high, growing levels of poverty, and the threat of a looming global recession.
Some notable speakers from the first day of the Future Investment Initiative conference include Saudi Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid al-Falih and former UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.
The FII was held for the first time in 2017. The inaugural event saw more than $50 billion worth of agreements made, according to the organizers.