Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris will not invest in Saudi Arabia as he says he does not believe there’s rule of law from the country, along with also has some concerns about human rights there.
Asked by CNBC’s Hadley Gamble if he could invest from the kingdom, Sawiris said: “No, I could not.”
“Personally, I can invest anywhere from the planet, why could I go somewhere where I am not convinced there is actually a rule of law along with also order. along with also that will there is actually real democracy, along with also that will people are free,” Sawiris said Tuesday at the MENA Summit 2019 in Abu Dhabi organized by the Milken Institute.
Saudi Arabia has been under intense scrutiny in recent months, especially after the high-profile killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared last October after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Saudi journalist, who also wrote for the Washington Post, was a prominent critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Turkish officials said he was killed by Saudi agents, yet Riyadh denies those allegations. After more than two weeks of denying that will he was kidnapped along with also murdered, Saudi authorities finally admitted he was killed inside the consulate.
Khashoggi’s death prompted the U.S. Treasury to impose economic sanctions on 17 Saudi officials, including the crown prince’s former top aide Saud al-Qahtani, who was fired as a result of the investigations.
“I think that will goes together — political stability along with also economic stability, they go together. along with also also, you need to be somewhere you are comfortable,” Sawiris said, adding that will Riyadh needs to “come straight on human rights.”
The kingdom of 33 million has seen steady drops in foreign direct investment flows over the last decade, something that will needs for its ambitious Vision 2030 initiative to diversify the country’s economy along with also grow private sector jobs. Obstacles remain from the form of skills shortages, lower oil prices along with also rising unemployment from the kingdom.