IsDB Group Private Sector Institutions Host 12th Edition of Private Sector Forum in Riyadh

Riyadh, 29-04-2024, The private sector institutions of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group successfully organized the 12th edition of the "Private Sector Forum - 2024". Held from 28th to 30th April 2024 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Forum took place on the sidelines of the Annual Meetings of the IsDB and the Golden Jubilee of the Islamic Development Bank under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdelaziz Al Saud.

The primary objective of the Private Sector Forum was to provide a unique platform for the global business community to connect, network, and explore investment and trade opportunities offered by member countries. Additionally, the Forum showcased IsDB Group activities, projects, services, and initiatives across member countries, highlighting the organizations’ role in promoting Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects and its services to the private sector. This event served as a gateway for potential investors interested in Saudi Arabia and as a platform to promote the KSA Vision2030.

The event attracted more than 2,000 participants, including government officials, Chairpersons, Presidents, and CEOs of local and international companies, multilateral and financial institutions, chambers of commerce and industry, business associations, investment promotion agencies, individual investors, and entrepreneurs. The Forum facilitated parallel business to business (B2B) and business to government (B2G) meetings, enabling business communities across member countries to establish valuable connections. Moreover, the event featured exhibitions for partners, a competition for start-ups, and, for the first time, recognized and awarded notable organizations and personalities has been recognized and awarded by the IsDB Group entities.

In his address, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser, Chairman of the IsDB Group, remarked: “The 12th edition of IsDB Group Private Sector Forum, taking place this year in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has successfully promoted the integration of the public and private sectors, which is crucial for the economic and social development of our member countries. It is the responsibility of the public sector to develop infrastructure and legislation to foster an attractive business climate for the private sector to stimulate production and create jobs” H.E. Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al Jasser thanked the attendees for their participation in the Forum, which included 17 sessions, more than 60 speakers, 32 exhibitors, and more than 2,000 participants representing 83 more countries and witnessed the signature of 53 agreements with amount of US$ 6,486 billion.

Mr. Oussama Kaissi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), a multilateral credit and political risk insurer and a member of the IsDB Group, on the impactful outcomes of the forum, stated: "The Private Sector Forum has served as a crucial platform for ICIEC to explore innovative strategies that merge trade, insurance, and investment sectors, especially in line with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030. This year's forum has been instrumental in facilitating a valuable exchange of knowledge among leading experts and stakeholders." "Moreover, the Forum played a critical role in highlighting the importance of these sectors in fostering economic diversification and sustainability. Our approach at ICIEC, guided by robust underwriting, reinsurance, and risk management policies, has significantly contributed to this effort. With over US$ 108 billion in cumulative trade and investment insurance, focusing on key sectors such as energy, manufacturing, infrastructure, healthcare, and agriculture, we have been able to identify challenges and opportunities that align with Vision 2030, fostering essential partnerships. ICIEC remains committed to driving economic growth and sustainable development in our member states through strategic insurance and investment solutions." added Mr. Kaissi .

Reflecting on the success of the Private Sector Forum, H.E. Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, the Acting CEO of The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), and CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), highlighted the core focus of their activities on sustainability and development. He expressed hope that the forum effectively presented existing co-financing opportunities available for the private sector and discussed potential solutions in sustainable development. Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol emphasized the importance of the private sector as a vital driver of economic growth, job creation, and poverty alleviation in member countries. The ICD has been instrumental in this effort, having disbursed more than USD 4.5 billion to unlock private sector investment in finance, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, and energy for sustainable development since its inception in 1999. This is a testament to their commitment, with a record of 451 approved projects in 50 countries. He reaffirmed ITFC's commitment to supporting private sector growth, underscoring the collaborative efforts in empowering businesses and driving economic progress across member countries. Over the last 15 years, ITFC has approved a cumulative total of US$ 18.5 billion in support of private sector and SME clients, accounting for 25 % of its trade finance portfolio.