Wednesday 20 March 2019

Female workforce, oil prices to top Euromoney Saudi agenda

RIYADH, April 11, 2018

Women in the workforce, the price of crude and the economic impact of geopolitical tensions will be discussed at this year’s Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference, said the event organisers.

The event, which will take place in Riyadh from May 2 to 3, brings together international bankers with senior government and business figures from across the kingdom.

At the opening panel debate, business leaders will assess the progress being made towards Saudi Vision 2030, the ambitious programme of reforms announced by the Crown Prince, HH Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, just over two years ago.

“This session will provide an opportunity to explore a number of key areas, such the oil price recovery and the impact of payment technology,” remarked Victoria Behn, Euromoney Conference’s Head of Middle East and Africa.

“The impact of female empowerment will be a particularly interesting area, and the drive to help more women – and young adults – enter the Kingdom’s workforce will be considered within a broader economic and geopolitical context,” she noted.

One of the economic aims of the Vision 2030 reform agenda is to raise women’s participation in the workforce from 22 per cent to 30 per cent by 2030.

Speakers on the panel will include Wassim Al Khatib, the managing director and head of Investment Banking, NCB Capital; Ibrahim Saad Al Mojel, the director general, Saudi Industrial Development Fund; Mazen Al Sudairi, the head of research, Al Rajhi Capital; Jan Friederich, the head of Middle East and Africa Sovereign Ratings, Fitch Ratings; and Katherine Garrett-Cox, the managing director and chief executive of Gulf International Bank (UK).

One of the longest-running conferences in the kingdom, The Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference has specialised in focusing expert insight on a broad range of issues that shape business and banking confidence.

Panel members will give their thoughts on the direction of the energy market and oil prices, as fears arise that the growth of shale production could jeopardise the sector’s recovery, said Behn.

Members of Opec (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) remain split on pricing strategies, and speakers will also look at the strategies of fellow outliers Russia and China.

In addition, as cashless transactions become more widespread, Saudi Arabia is exploring the potential of payment technology with an eye on slashing bureaucracy and tackling corruption, she stated.

Yet the Kingdom is still largely a cash-based society, meaning some citizens risk being left behind, she added.
"How should the country ensure all its citizens benefit as it undergoes this digital transformation?' will be a major top of discussion at the high-profile event being organised in conjunction with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance.

The ‘Saudi and the Global Economy: 2018 to 2019’ panel will be held on the first day of the conference.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Oil Prices | female workforce | Euromoney Saudi |

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