The number of cancellations for the economic conference that starts Tuesday in the Saudi capital Riyadh can no longer be counted on two hands. Today, the names of the top executives of the French company EDF and the German Siemens could be added to the list. The cancellations will follow after the death of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
The conference “Future Investment Initiative” takes place from Tuesday to Thursday and serves as a showcase of the economic reforms launched by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. He is considered the strong man of Saudi Arabia. But it was raining in the past few days. Among others, the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, one of the main guests, said he will not participate. The French Minister of Economics Bruno Le Maire, the British Minister of International Trade Liam Fox and the Dutch Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra have already signed up. Christine Lagarde, the top woman of the International Monetary Fund, said she would postpone her trip to the Middle East, where she would also be present in Riyadh.
Participant list offline
From the financial world there were cancellations from top people from JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, MasterCard, BNP Paribas and the London stock exchange. Also, billionaire Richard Branson and the top people of Ford, Uber and Viacom do not drop to Riyadh. Media groups such as CNN, Bloomberg, The Economist, The New York Times, CNBC and the Financial Times cancelled their participation in roundtables. On the website of the conference, the list of participants has not been consultable for several days. The organizers promised to publish an updated list.