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Saudi Aramco, Pearl Initiative enter into a strategic partnership

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RIYADH — World markets are rapidly evolving, and the Gulf Region’s Private Sector has an increasingly global impact on this evolution. At the same time, global expectations of corporate governance standards have been rising, which in turn is having an impact on how companies in the Gulf Region conduct business and plan for the future.

This means that it is now essential to drive growth through competitive and sustainable business practices. 92% of CEOs surveyed by the Pearl Initiative recently believe that working towards sustainable development goals will have a positive impact on their business, and 89% say that it can create concrete business opportunities.

To this end, Saudi Aramco and the Pearl Initiative, the leading Gulf-based non-profit organization promoting a corporate culture of accountability as a key driver of competitiveness across the region, have announced their strategic partnership. These new partners share a deep commitment to promoting corporate governance within the Gulf Region’s business landscape.

As a part of the partnership, Saudi Aramco and the Pearl Initiative will host a high-level forum, Governance in Focus: Boosting Competitiveness in a New Business Paradigm, held under the aegis of Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid A. Al-Falih. More than 300 global business leaders, ministers, senior government officials and members of corporate and civil society are expected to attend the forum, which will be held on April 25, at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center in Riyadh.

The Governance in Focus forum will bring together renowned business and government thought leaders to discuss the important role that corporate governance plays in enhancing business resilience and attracting investment, particularly in the context of technological disruption and shifting geo-economic landscapes.

Opening speakers at the forum include Al-Falih; Amin Al-Nasser, president and chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco; Kristalina Georgieva, chief executive officer of the World Bank Group and Badr Jafar, chief executive officer of Crescent Enterprises and founder of the Pearl Initiative.

“Effective governance is vital for maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct and for promoting best practices in effective oversight, leadership, and reporting,” said Nasser. “With that in mind, we are glad to partner with the Pearl Initiative to deliver the Governance in Focus forum which will focus on the important role of corporate governance in enhancing business resilience and the investment ecosystem.”

Jafar said: “The strategic partnership with Saudi Aramco provides a unique opportunity to collaborate with one of the world’s most influential companies at a time when strong leadership to promote corporate accountability and governance is so important. Through this partnership, we look forward to bringing the global discussion about the fundamentally changing landscape for business to the region and debate the role for corporate governance in supporting growth, investment and innovation in the Gulf Region and globally.”

Saudi Aramco is now part of the Pearl Initiative’s growing partner network that includes renowned firms such as Al Rajhi Partners, Aramex, BNY Mellon, Chalhoub Group, General Electric, KPMG, Philips, PwC, SABIC, Tamer Group, Tadawul and the Zubair Corporation among others. — SG

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