Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that the ambitious economic vision of Saudi Arabia makes it a key player in shaping the future of the global economy. His Highness also praised the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, to boost international cooperation and constructive global dialogue to support sustainable development efforts regionally and globally.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s remarks came as he attended the second day of Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative (FII) 2018 organised in Riyadh by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) from 23-25 October. Sheikh Mohammed expressed his appreciation for the organisation of the FII and the topics discussed at the event. He also praised the 150-strong Emirati delegation attending the event which included ministers, senior business executives and investors.
He also attended the special session of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, which brought together Bahraini Crown HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri.
The Saudi Crown Prince praised the unique development journey of the UAE, which started from Dubai, thanks to the unique development projects initiated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who made Dubai a model for economic diversification.
During the session, the Saudi Crown Prince reiterated his commitment to economic reforms, which are showing results. He said that the Saudi economy has increased its non-oil revenue three fold. He further said that the Kingdom’s economy will grow this year by 2.2%-2.5% while the budget deficit will decline to 4.6% compared to 9.3% in 2017. He also said that the next budget will be more than SAR 1 trillion, adding that capital expenditure is increasing.
Mohammed bin Salman also praised the economic development taking place in the Arab world including the mega projects in Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. He expressed his confidence in the region’s growth potential.
Meanwhile, Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa thanked the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for supporting Bahrain in negotiating the challenges it faced recently. He also highlighted the various economic projects Bahrain has launched to boost and diversify its economy, adding that the country’s non-oil revenue grew 5% last year.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Al Hariri discussed the economic reform journey of his country, which involves a review of legislation with the aim of curbing corruption in the country.
Earlier, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid toured the venue of the FII, the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh. Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied by President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman & Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum; Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi; Director General of His Highness The Ruler's Court Mohammed Al Shaibani; Director General of the Department of Protocol and Hospitality in Dubai Khalifa Saeed Suleiman; Chairman of Emaar Properties Mohammed Al Abbar and Chairman of Dubai Holding and Group Chairman of Meraas Abdulla Ahmed Al Habbai.
The three-day high-profile event, organised by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, aims to explore and develop new opportunities that can shape the future of investment in the world. This year’s edition features 150 speakers representing over 140 organisations.
The event covers three main themes including ‘Investing in Transformation’: The world’s top investors are creating new cities and transforming economies; ‘Technology as Opportunity’: Technologies are now enabling new economic opportunities through personalisation and industrialisation at scale, and ‘Advancing Human Potential’: A world where humans and machines work together to create safer, happier and more productive lives.