UK Saudi Business Trade and Partnership Forum

UK Saudi Business Trade and Partnership Forum

07 June 2023

We are delighted that our Founder & Managing Director, Andrew Elia was invited to speak at the UK Saudi Business, Trade & Partnership Forum in London this week.

In a comprehensive day of discussion at Mansion House in the City of London, the event covered private sector development, sustainable development and partnership opportunities in the fast-developing Gulf state.

Andrew spoke at one of the event’s workshops, entitled ‘Technology Innovation and Developing the Digital Economy including fintech, e-commerce; building on recent successful events/initiatives’, moderated by Hashim Alawadi. Andrew enjoyed engaging with the other respected panel members:

  • Dr Majed Altuwaijri, CEO, National Center for Artificial Intelligence, SDAIA
  • Ziad AlYousif, Deputy Governor for Development and Technology, Saudi Central Bank
  • Nabel Alnoor, CEO, Graphene Ventures
  • Alison Young, Head of Global Investment, Connected Places Catapult

Andrew spoke about the route that e-commerce is taking both in KSA and the Middle East in general. Western companies providing e-commerce and payment solutions are still a little uncertain about the market. This has had a knock-on effect with a combination of people building and maintaining their own systems and a lower standard of implementation across the board.

He explained that there is a high demand for Metaverse solutions, based largely on hype and not necessarily to meet a business case.

Finally, he mentioned that there is a consistently high demand for AI but the unhelpful comments from influencers such as Elon Musk cause misunderstanding and, ultimately, stifle innovation worldwide.

Arishi would like to thank the Saudi-British Joint Business Council for organising such a high level and informative event.


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