At the Future Investment Initiative 2019

Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II

At the Future Investment Initiative 2019

Saudi ArabiaRiyadh
29 October 2019

كلمة جلالة الملك عبدالله الثاني في منتدى مبادرة مستقبل الاستثمار 2019

In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate,

Your Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,
Your Highnesses, Your Excellencies,
Distinguished Participants:

Thank you all. I am delighted to be back in Riyadh. And I thank my dear brother, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the warm welcome, hospitality and for hosting this important event.

Investors, innovators, and sector leaders from around the world come to this lively forum to explore the future of the global economy. They come here to debate the best investments for the future—the investments that would bring them the highest returns.

I cannot claim to be a business expert, but I can point you in the right direction. The future starts here, in this region, with its talented, creative, and forward-looking youth—70 percent of our population.

Their innovation knows no bounds. Their energy knows no limits. And their potential is so full of promise. You can find them all across the Arab world, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf. And here in Saudi Arabia, you will find an eager youth cohort ready to play their part—incentivised by a leadership that speaks their language.

Indeed, Arab youth are our most vital resource and the key to the future of this region and this world, and they are waiting for you.

My friends,

As holders of this immense wealth, we in the region recognise the need to nurture our young people’s talents and harness their energies. And we must enable them through quality education, and empower them towards success.

My country strongly believes in this. Young Jordanians never cease to amaze me with their infectious energy and their ambitious dreams. They are the coders and creators, the disruptors and innovators of tomorrow. Investing in their boundless talents is an investment in a bright future for our region and our world.

We are home to youth-led enterprises that are changing the face of the economy in our region and beyond. Though Jordanians make up only 3 per cent of the region's population, they represent 27 per cent of its top innovators.

And a new generation are on the way.

They are awaiting your support for their talents, your belief in their potential, and your investment in their future.

They have already much to show for their potential. Their competitive market skills and global outlook have helped make our ICT sector a significant contributor to economic growth. With a total of 160,000 registered engineers, those specialised in ICT are bringing bilingual and Arabic products and features to the Internet, video games, and mobile apps, and driving enterprise opportunities in AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, and more.

Jordan’s over 35,000 highly qualified physicians are turning our medical sector into a promising engine of growth. And the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and solutions and expertise has turned Jordan into a major medical tourism destination in our region.

All of this is just the beginning. A key aspect of success is our all-in government commitment. Reforms are underway across all sectors, to foster a healthy business climate. And these efforts are making an impact, as the World Bank attests in the latest report on ease of doing business.

My friends,

Our youth, the youth of this region, look to you to invest in their future. And every investment in their success, and every enterprise that maximises their opportunities, builds a better future for all.

So I invite you to take a look at what Jordan and this region have to offer. With your vital resources and our precious human capital, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Our young people are awaiting your push to take flight towards a future of hope, a future of prosperity, a future we can all share. This is a business opportunity you cannot miss.

Thank you.