Riyadh forum to underscore importance of corporate governance in fostering competitiveness

Riyadh forum to underscore importance of corporate governance in fostering competitiveness
Badr Jafar, founder of the Pearl Initiative and CEO of Crescent Enterprises.
Published: 22 April 2018 - 1:44 a.m.
By: Jonathan Sheikh-Miller

Over 300 leaders of government, global and local organisations will assemble at the upcoming ‘Governance in Focus: Boosting Competitiveness in a New Business Paradigm’ Forum to be held on April 25th, at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre in Riyadh.

The high-level forum is being hosted by Saudi Aramco and the Pearl Initiative to discuss the inextricable links between good corporate governance and sustainable economic competitiveness. The Forum is being held under the patronage and in the presence of Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources of Saudi Arabia and the chairman of Saudi Aramco.

Other speakers include: Amin Nasser, president and CEO, Saudi Aramco; Kristalina Georgieva, CEO, The World Bank Group; Ahmed Al Sayegh, chairman Abu Dhabi Global Market and managing director of Dolphin Energy and Yousef Al Benyan, vice chairman and CEO of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation.

With more than $50bn in foreign direct investment flowing into the Middle East and North Africa in 2017, over a third of which was into the Gulf Region, and 91 Arab companies launching investment projects outside their countries’ borders, there is increasing recognition of the business case behind higher standards of governance when it comes to a business’ licence to operate and invest regionally and globally. And with over $1tn in wealth expected to pass to the next generation of family business owners, which collectively generate over 80% of non-oil GDP across the Gulf region, these governance standards are essential in preserving value creation and building resilience within the region’s economies.

Badr Jafar, founder of the Pearl Initiative and CEO of Crescent Enterprises, commented: “The international investment community is carefully watching the Gulf region, an exciting high-growth market with compelling investment opportunities. The faster we embed corporate governance within our business DNA, the faster we will see foreign direct investment and investor confidence grow. This is essential as the region strives towards economic diversification, competitiveness and mass job creation.”

Forum sessions will examine how the government and private sector can work together to promote robust competition, social-capital creation, and enhanced productivity in the context of economic diversification.

A dedicated session will explore the adequacy of governance models within the technological sector within the Gulf and globally, and how to ensure the disruptive impact of new technologies can be harnessed for socioeconomic development and inclusive growth.

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