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Get to know world leaders' quotes on FII7 Day 1; Saudi Arabia's role praised

Get to know world leaders' quotes on FII7 Day 1; Saudi Arabia's role praised
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By: Ingy ElSafy

Riyadh – Mubasher: Saudi Arabia has delivered “remarkable changes” in access to education and promoting women over the recent years, as quoted by CEO of Citigroup, Jane Fraser, during the first day of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference in its seventh edition

More than 6,000 delegates of world leaders, ministers, CEOs, investors, founders, and public policy experts are attending the three-day event, which is being held in Riyadh until 26 October 2023.

Based on the FII Institute, Mubasher brought to the readers quotes given by the world’s top leaders and officials on 24 October at FII7.

CEO of FII Institute, Richard Attias:

“In a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected, it is imperative that we continue to recognise the shared humanity that binds us together. The challenges that we face from climate change to others require a collective spirit of togetherness.”

Editor-at-large at Bloomberg TV, Francine Lacqua:

“Apart from the elusive goal of peace and stability, what’s needed is cross-government cooperation that gets what the global south is facing.”

Founder and President of SVB Energy International, Sara Vakhshouri:

“Saudi Arabia is a dependable energy source with a history of buying assets instead of nationalising, and its global investments facilitate swift supply to consumers. Cooperation within OPEC is crucial, and as low-cost renewable energy producer, Saudi Arabia can help bridge the energy gap and combat energy poverty.”

President of the World Bank, Ajay Banga:

“Investing in solar, wind, and geothermal is appealing. Kenya is 93% renewable –half geothermal, half hydro. However, significant upfront capital and long timelines bring FX and political risks. The private sector is eager to invest in carbon reduction, but challenges persist.”


“Saudi Arabia is doing an amazing job of including more women in the workforce.”

CEO of Citigroup, Jane Fraser:

“There’s a new ‘S’ in ESG, that’s Security –food security, energy security. It’s a theme decision-makers are talking about globally. For Citi, resilience means coping in a world where globalisation is fragmenting. As Ray –Dalio- said, leaders must navigate multiple forces and need a thick skin for this. I’ve been coming to KSA for 15 years; remarkable changes in access to education and promoting women. Male allies are crucial in that rise.”

Yoon Suk Yeol, President of South Korea:

“Saudi Arabia is transitioning from an oil producer to an advanced industrial powerhouse–the Republic of South Korea industrialised quickly, a process that took longer for others. We can share this experience to help Saudi Arabia speed up their industrialisation. For this, high-level exchanges are essential.”

Yoon Suk Yeol:

“The Shaheen project, launching this year, is the largest-ever investment in Korea’s petrochemical industry. It’s a prime example of Korea’s tech prowess and Saudi Arabia’s capital, contributing to cost reduction, job creation, and economic revitalisation.”

Yoon Suk Yeol:

“More than 20% of semiconductors, rechargeable batteries, and smartphones are made by Korean companies.”

Oliver Dowden, Deputy Prime Minister of the UK:

“I could not be in a better place to discuss dynamism than here in Saudi Arabia. The pace is dizzying, affirming global leadership from the Gulf. Rising in ease of doing business rankings, surpassing even the world’s largest economies, embracing tech change, and transitioning to a renewable-powered economy, turning Vision 2030 into a reality.”

Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanné:

“The core issue in energy transition is pace. While investment in renewables like solar and wind is ongoing, it hasn’t offset the massive surge in energy demand. This complexity underscores why the transition isn’t straightforward.”

Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, Laurence Fink:

“We all have to be better humanitarians and we all have to be more focused on how to make sure that the political side of the world understands that peace and prosperity do work a lot longer and do shape and lift more human beings to middle class and higher standard of living.”

Founding and Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital, Neil Shen:

“Investing in China is quite competitive. Work ethics are different; people work a lot. The competition is fierce. To create a strong return, you must position yourself to create value and work as hard as our CEOs. Economic cycles go up and down, so taking a long-term view is important. Fields like venture capital are long-term investments. From both a micro and macro perspective, a longer view is essential.”

Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Carlyle, David Rubenstein:

“AI consumes a lot of electricity. Is it truly going to be beneficial for society to use this much additional electricity?”

David Solomon, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs:

“Many businesses require a compelling talent ecosystem, and it’s essential to find a way to establish one. Providing people with opportunities for gaining experience, networking, mentorship, and more is crucial.”

Group CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, Bill Winters:

“Higher for longer means a stronger dollar and tougher conditions for non-US firms borrowing in dollars. The Fed’s rate hikes aim to cool the economy and curb inflation, leading to slower growth in the US. We’re looking to China to potentially offset that slowdown.

CEO of Vale, Eduardo Bartolomeo:

“China’s steel production surged from 100 million tonnes in 2000 to 1 billion tonnes in 2020, mirroring a super cycle. Likewise, critical minerals, essential for EVs, turbines, and electrification, are also in a super cycle. For instance, copper grew by 25%, nickel by 100%, and lithium’s demand skyrocketed 300-fold. These are the building blocks of a sustainable future.”


“The future of steel is here in the Middle East.”

Chairman and CEO of LanzaTech, Jennifer Holmgren:

“Scaling up tech, specifically hydrogen plants, is crucial for cost reduction. The focus should be on large-scale deployment, not just R&D. Governments can accelerate this by financing large-scale production. However, incentives should be technology-neutral to allow for future innovation, rather than locking us into current methods.”

Co-Founder and CEO of Transmutex SA, Franklin Servan-Schreiber:

“France has managed to achieve the lowest cost for electrical energy and produces almost 10 times less CO2 per KWh than Germany.”

Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles:

“We believe that India will remain the fastest-growing large economy, leveraging the skillset of our people, especially our under 30 population, to contribute an additional $30 trillion to India’s GDP over the next 30 years.”

Finland’s Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Ville Tavio:

“Finland’s companies are highly competitive in the clean tech sector, with our energy being 90% fossil-free. Finland is on track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035, a commitment driven by the imperative to ensure business competitiveness.”

It is worth mentioning that 23 strategic partners are supporting the programmes and mission of the FII7 conference, among which are listed on regional stock markets.