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Mohammed Al-Jadaan

FSC 2023 opens painting a positive outlook for financial sector

RIYADH, March 15, 2023

The second edition of the Financial Sector Conference (FSC 2023) has opened in Riyadh painting a positive outlook for the sector despite headwinds. 
 
Welcoming over 3,000 participants from around the world the conference discussed the way ahead for the global financial community under the conference theme of “Promising Financial Prospects.”
 
Welcoming delegates to the conference Saudi Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said: “I am confident that this conference will be an opportunity to build on experiences and share ideas to address a global economy which is full of challenges and opportunities—helping to make the global financial sector stronger, more influential and resilient.”
 
Panel discussion
The conference opened with a powerful panel discussion examining the strategic options for the financial sector in light of challenging global economic circumstances.  Credit Suisse Group AG Chairman Axel Lehmann told the audience: “What is clear is that over the past 10 to 15 years the massive geopolitical shifts we have seen are generating new economic opportunities in places like the Middle East which is becoming a vibrant new global centre along with places such as China and India.”
 
Commenting on opportunities emerging in Saudi Arabia, State Street Chairman and CEO Ronald O’Hanley added: “For investors it is clearly a very attractive time to be here with a strong economy and a government that is committed to transition and powered by a well-educated workforce.  There are clear investment opportunities in energy and renewables, in tourism and to benefit from the rise in the consumer economy.”
 
Eng Khalid Al Falih, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment, said: “We are now half way to implementing vision 2030 that will triple the scale of the economy and we are ahead of schedule but we know we cannot be complacent. One of the biggest shifts emerging is that in the past we were seen as a source of capital but that is being reversed today and we are urging the financial community to be aware of the opportunities and we aim to attract more capital and international partners.”
 
Global investors
Alexandre Fleury, Co-Head of Market Activities, Societe Generale, told the conference: “Vision 2030 is extraordinary and an amazing achievement. But the world has not noticed enough what is happening in Saudi Arabia but soon investors will have no choice soon but to invest here. Global investors have to be a part of Vision 2030.”
 
Looking at the global economic situation, Seth Carpenter, Global Chief Economist, Morgan Stanley, said: “At Morgan Stanley, we are pretty optimistic about Asia, specifically China, Japan, India and Saudi Arabia. The weakest growth is in Europe and the US although economic performance is high. The quandary for central banks is how much you raise interest rates in order to bring inflation down; and judging exactly how much you need to slow things down without causing a recession.”-- TradeArabia News Service
 



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