24 October 2018

South Africa: As Saudi Investment Conference Kicks Off, SA Maintains Ambiguous Stance On Saudi Relations

Photo: CIO East Africa
(File photo).
analysis

Tuesday saw the opening of Saudi Arabia's much-touted Future Investment Initiative, dubbed 'Davos in the desert', amid an exodus of senior business leaders and politicians following the kingdom's ongoing diplomatic furore over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. At least one high-profile South African CEO is reportedly attending, however, while both government and business leaders back home are shying away from the topic of a boycott.

Saudi Arabia's Future Investment Initiative is billed as a platform for "doing business for good".

But as the glitzy conference opened in Riyadh on Tuesday, it could not escape the shadow of the row in which Saudi Arabia is embroiled as a result of the murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

High-profile delegates boycotting the conference include International Monetary Fund (IMF) boss Christine Lagarde and Virgin billionaire Richard Branson, while multinationals like JP Morgan, Uber and Ford also pulled out before the event.

A speaker list of...

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