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Fifth FII to discuss ways to invest in clean water, education, public health, gender equality and fighting poverty
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 10 - 2021

The Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute CEO Richard Attias revealed that the fifth edition of FII, which will be held in Riyadh between Oct. 26 and 28 under the theme "Invest in Humanity", would bring together more than 2,000 missions and 5,000 participants due to restrictions.
During a press conference held Thursday at the Saudi Press Agency Convention Center, Attias said that the 5th 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 conference was held with the participation of FII Institute COO Rakan Tarabzoni and Director of ACT and Head of Investments at FII Institute Anthony Berkley, and moderated by Rima Al-Medaires.
"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 added.
He pointed out to the Kingdom 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.
He added that action has started locally and internationally and the idea was born in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and registered in the United States of America and an office will be opened in Asia.
He stressed that having global partners, including Saudi companies, such as Saudi Aramco and Maaden, in addition to projects like NEOM and AlUla, will all achieve a global impact, reiterating that Saudi Arabia is waiting a tourist future.
Expressing happiness for his being the CEO of this non-profit organization, especially that it carries out humanitarian action, he expressed appreciation for partners who will invest big amounts of money in FII that is one of the biggest global initiatives.
The CEO noted that the institute has products that reached 60 pages of research that were published in healthcare, sustainability, poverty and social and environmental governance, which all provided ideas for solutions of several problems in various sectors, mainly those related to the health sector and sustainability.
He noted that 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 human by nine years, which is a big achievement, pointing out that over the past two years, due to intensified studies and research.
There was an increasing interest in research in the health sector in particular, which did not happen over the past 20 years due to the fact that investment was not much in the field, where the institute seeks to shed light on such important fields.
Regarding the 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 with the aim of boosting 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 added.
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.
Regarding the environmental governance, he said that the institute has a mission to stimulate action and be part of social and environmental governance.
For his part, 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 the Crown Prince.
He added 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.
Meanwhile, 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 peoples 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, citing King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), as one of the most important innovative entities.
KACST, he said, aims to find advanced technical solutions in the agricultural sector, and has begun to build a reserve in the desert, relying on the use of solar energy to provide water, and also 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 offer great care to companies that utilize technology in their production.
In a reply to a question from the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on how stakeholders at the FII Institute determine proper subjects to meet the needs of countries, FII Institute CEO Attias said that the conference has its own application that will broadcast the event live, adding that the conference will be paperless.
He affirmed that more details will be uncovered during the first session of the forum that will be held in Riyadh between Oct. 26 and 28, and that 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 of your question on how we 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 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 also said that the Riyadh Season is not just a show rather that it expresses development of the entertainment industry 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 the life and offers several new jobs, where Saudi Arabia, through the Kingdom Vision 2030, 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. — SPA

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