International cooperation and multilateralism will be again highlighted in the fifth edition of the Future Investment Initiative (FII), in which at least 5,200 people, including state leaders, senior ministers, corporate leaders, policymakers, investors, and innovators from across the world, are expected to participate.
Senior FII officials said to BNA that the number of people participating in this edition exceeds by far the previous ones but insisted that their focus will be on the quality.
The fifth edition, to be held on October 26-28 in a hybrid format under the theme “Invest in Humanity,” will address numerous matters, including artificial intelligence, robotics, education, healthcare, and sustainability.
FII Institute CEO Richard Attias, FII Institute COO Rakan Tarabzoni, and Head of Investments at FII Institute Anthony Berkley highlighted the program of the global event at a press conference hosted by Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
Attias said the edition would discuss ways to invest in clean water, education, public health, gender equality, and fighting poverty, mainly in the countries that could not receive COVID-19 vaccines.
The media conference was part of the FII Institute’s efforts to enhance communication with local and international media and inform them about the program of the fifth edition.
“The percentage of people who received the vaccine in Africa stands at around 1%, which brings a sense of regret, where we should be generous, sharing and inclusive, and these are the directives that we received from leaders when we established the institute,” Attias said.
He pointed out to the Saudi Vision 2030 and its vital community through empowering young men and women and its positive impact on humanity.
The CEO noted that all types of sectors have started working normally after the pandemic, where all sectors need sustainability through investing in humanity, stressing that the institute’s program urges this.
“To build confidence, you need partners who work with you, and that is not easy to convince global companies to join FII as strategic partners,” Attias said, noting that the FII will launch several initiatives in healthcare, artificial intelligence, and social, environmental and educational governance.
Action has started locally and internationally, and the idea was born in Saudi Arabia and registered in the United States, and an office will be opened in Asia, he added.
Attias stressed that having global partners, including Saudi companies, such as Saudi Aramco and Maaden, in addition to projects like NEOM and Al-Ula, will all achieve a global impact, reiterating that Saudi Arabia is waiting for a tourist future. He expressed appreciation for partners who will invest significant amounts of money in FII, one of the biggest global initiatives.
The CEO noted that the institute has products that reached 60 pages of research in healthcare, sustainability, poverty, and social and environmental governance, which all provided ideas for solutions to several problems in various sectors, mainly those related to the health sector and sustainability.
Countries increase GDP expenditure by 5% in the health sector as part of the GDP, which plays a role in increasing the average age of humans by nine years, which is a significant achievement, he added.
Attias said that over the past two years, due to intensified studies and research, there has been an increasing interest in research in the health sector in particular, which did not happen over the past 20 years because the investment was not much in the field, where the institute seeks to shed light on such essential areas.
Regarding social and environmental governance, he said that the FII Institute seeks to prepare a new approach based on evaluating social and environmental governance and build a just and comprehensive framework that will constitute the foundation of the initiative.
“The board of trustees of the institute has set a goal to have an opinion on social and environmental governance due to its big and tangible impact in the investment market, and consequently, some research pieces have been conducted through study and research center to boost productivity,” he said.
“The concept of social and environmental governance is a framework through which investors and CEO’s assess potential risks with any relation to the environment and the use of resources.”
He noted that the process of governance and transparent leadership work on getting acquainted with these risks and help companies be stronger and better at the financial level.
In comments on environmental governance, Attias said the institute has a mission to stimulate action and be part of social and environmental governance.
FII Institute COO Rakan Tarabzoni explained that the FII is independent, non-profitable, and manages the activity as a result of the investments of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), under the directives of HRH the Crown Prince, adding that the institute is conducting many studies in robots (artificial intelligence), health care and sustainability.
He stressed that the FII takes into account the main trends in investment that help create a better future for all, besides the investment arm, indicating that the institute has its platform that displays all its products, organizes many annual events around the world, and operates on tangible matters on the ground.
Head of Investments at FII Institute Anthony Berkley underlined that the institute focuses on investing in the human aspect and works on positive investment opportunities for the people and the planet, highlighting the importance of using technology in sustainability, health care, and education.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is working on concluding many investment agreements in the technology sector,” he added.
He cited King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) as one of the essential innovative entities that aims to find advanced technical solutions in the agricultural sector.
It has begun to build a reserve in the desert, relying on the use of solar energy to provide water and using artificial intelligence to conduct the process of harvesting organic crops, which are currently sold in the central markets.
He indicated that those who use technology in agriculture aim to improve productivity and the agricultural production sector, asserting that the Kingdom is moving at a very rapid pace in that regard and offering excellent care to companies that utilize technology in their production.
Responding to a question on how stakeholders at the FII Institute determine proper subjects to meet countries’ needs, Attias said that the conference has its own application that will broadcast the event live, adding that the conference will be paperless.
He said more details would be uncovered during the first session of the forum. The same day will witness a meeting for the board of directors, where the session will include a speech by PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan and other speakers from several countries and companies.
“This session will see the answer the question on how can invest in several countries and in what sectors to understand how participants in the forum will be interested in pumping money and in what fields and how the investment will be in humanitarian fields, and all do not know where they will put their money and investments, but I do know that they will invest in the future of humanity and I know that they have already just like the Public Investment Fund that invests in several fields, mainly sports and entertainment,” he said.
The CEO stressed that the Riyadh Season is not just a show rather than it expresses the development of the entertainment industry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that provides inspiring jobs for many people, in addition to the sports sector that led to the social progress and economic development.
Attias explained that the return of economic life to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic requires flexibility, affirming that many countries have managed to recover economically, lauding the role of the media in broadcasting the correct information.
He also stressed the importance of artificial intelligence technologies that are changing lives and offer several new jobs.
Through the Kingdom Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has worked on investing in this field, mainly in humanitarian activities, noting that the fifth edition of FII will welcome several global companies that seek to establish headquarters in Saudi Arabia, he added.
The FII Institute is a global nonprofit foundation with an investment arm and one agenda: Impact on Humanity.
Global, inclusive, and built on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles, FII fosters excellent minds from around the world and turns ideas into real-world solutions in five critical areas: Sustainability, Healthcare, Education, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics.