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Arthur D. Little hosts inaugural CEO Session

Saudi Arabia’s business and public-sector elite gather in Riyadh, prompting launch of unique report

RIYADH: Arthur D. Little (ADL) hosted its inaugural CEO Session at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, with candid insights from prominent executives and public sector leaders forming the basis of a unique report – ‘Saudi Arabia: Uncharted Terrain, Unlimited Opportunity’.

The invite-only event in Riyadh was a rare opportunity for decision-makers from Saudi Arabia’s public and private spheres to meet face-to-face and discuss the opportunities, challenges, and ways ahead as the kingdom continues along its journey of profound transformation.

Among the organisations represented at the first-of-its-kind ADL event were Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Conventions and Exhibitions Authority, Aseer Development Authority, Nortal and King Abdulaziz University, alongside other respected companies and institutions from the worlds of government, science, education, and business.

The ADL CEO Session was shaped by private workshops covering three fundamental topics: (i) policy and regulation, (ii) capability building, and (iii) growth, competition, and investment – each of which is unpacked in ‘Saudi Arabia: Uncharted Terrain, Unlimited Opportunity’. With insight derived directly from the CEO Session, the report is informed by the first-hand experience and expertise of high-profile Saudis, as well as the unapologetic passion they share for the future of their nation.

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During the event, Roberto Croci, Director of Value Creation & Transformation at PIF, took the opportunity to discuss the topic of competition and investment: “What the Public Investment Fund is doing is creating a platform from which sectors can grow, and this is amazing. Local entrepreneurs see opportunity and a brighter future,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a nod to the speed of the transformation underway in the Kingdom, Amjad Shacker, CEO, Saudi Conventions and Exhibitions General Authority, pointed out that “you can literally get a visa to come to Saudi Arabia faster than you would get an espresso in a café — somebody tried it.”

As one of the CEO Session’s main facilitators, Thomas Kuruvilla, Managing Partner at ADL Middle East, emphasised the importance of empowering Saudi nationals to chart their own course. “From economic growth to shaping the kingdom’s own narrative, the government is driving the creation of the new Saudi Arabia and it is a country where benchmarking, replication, and cookie cutter approaches simply don’t work. The Saudi experience is truly unique, and building the future demands a Saudi-led strategy.”

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