25 Apr 2019
The first edition of the Financial Sector Conference was held on 24 and 25 April 2019 at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh under the generous patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
The conference is considered the largest at the local and regional levels, and its first edition was launched based on the outputs of the Financial Sector Development Program, which is one of the programs under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The program successfully identified targets and developed important initiatives to build a diversified and stable financial sector and develop an advanced financial market. The conference aims to highlight the competitive regional and global position of the Saudi financial sector, in addition to introducing the Financial Sector Development Program and its initiatives to realize the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and enable industry leaders to meet and connect under one roof, where they can exchange experiences and information, discuss challenges and practices to advance the financial sector, present investment opportunities, stimulate competition, and increase the attractiveness of the Saudi financial sector.
SEDCO Holding participated in the conference through a speech delivered by its Chief Executive Officer Mr. Hasan Al Jabri. The company also had a customized booth for the Riyali Program for financial awareness and another for SEDCO Capital. During the conference, SEDCO signed a memorandum of understanding with Majid Society for Community Development.
During his speech, Al Jabri discussed financial culture and the financing of SME’s; explaining that financial awareness at a young age is the key to learning correct financial habits and achieving financial dignity in order to realize the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 for a “prosperous economy.”
Al Jabri confirmed that the Riyali Program has become a nationwide initiative aiming to promote financial awareness and provide youth with necessary financial knowledge. The program is implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, and the new collaboration with SABB Bank has contributed to enhancing the program’s access to more beneficiaries. This comes within SEDCO’s efforts to reach more than two million beneficiaries by the year 2020, particularly after the program’s success in reaching more than 760 thousand beneficiaries to date. In addition, the program plays a major role in the entrepreneurship sector by providing the necessary support and assistance to enable entrepreneurs to gain the financial skills required to succeed.
Al Jabri also participated in a panel titled ‘Drivers of Growth and Innovation: SME Funding’ tackling the issues facing the financing of this vital sector, which is expected to play a critical role in the Kingdom’s economic development.
During the conference, SEDCO signed a memorandum of understanding with Majid Society for Community Development, which provides small loans to low-income families, to renew the cooperation agreement between both parties for the coming three years. The agreement aims to promote financial awareness among owners of micro, small, and medium enterprises with the objective to provide sustainable income that can empower individuals to start their businesses. The latter is done through specialized consultations provided by the Riyali Program to beneficiaries of Majid Society initiatives, as Majid Society requires the beneficiaries of its programs to participate in Rowad Riyali to enhance their financial awareness, develop their skills, and provide them with the knowledge needed to help their projects succeed; thereby creating more jobs, opening horizons in different business fields, and improving the living standards of individuals.
The Financial Sector Conference is the most prominent in its field locally and regionally, and it seeks to increase the contribution of the Saudi financial sector to the country’s GDP by building a diversified and stable financial sector and developing an advanced financial market by inviting all the parties concerned with and working in the Saudi financial sector to participate in a constructive and fruitful dialogue under one roof.