Riyadh: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said that the ambitious economic vision of Saudi Arabia makes it a key player in shaping the future of the global economy. Shaikh Mohammad also praised the vision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, to boost international cooperation and constructive global dialogue to support sustainable development efforts regionally and globally.

Shaikh Mohammad’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. Shaikh Mohammad 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 Mohammad Bin Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, which brought together Bahraini Crown 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 Shaikh Mohammad, 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 per cent-2.5 per cent while the budget deficit will decline to 4.6 per cent compared to 9.3 per cent in 2017. He also said that the next budget will be more than 1 trillion Saudi Riyals, adding that capital expenditure is increasing.

Mohammad 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 per cent last year.

Lebanon’s 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, Shaikh Mohammad toured the venue of the FII, the King Abdul Aziz International Conference Centre in Riyadh. Shaikh Mohammad was accompanied by Shaikh Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman & Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group; Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi; Director General of His Highness The Ruler’s Court Mohammad Al Shaibani; Director General of the Department of Protocol and Hospitality in Dubai Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman; Chairman of Emaar Properties Mohammad Al Abbar and Chairman of Dubai Holding and Group Chairman of Meraas Abdullah Ahmad 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.