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World Economic Forum slams Saudi Arabia’s 'misuse of Davos brand'

October 24, 2018 at 12:36 am

The inaugural edition of the Future Investment Initiative was held in 2017 in Riyadh [Twitter]

The World Economic Forum (WEF) expressed on Monday its opposition to the “misuse” of the “Davos” brand by Saudi Arabia for its recent Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference.

“The WEF condemns the illegal proliferation of the use of the “Davos” brand for events that has nothing to do with its own activities,” the Swiss company said in a statement, referring to Saudi Arabia’s summit.

The forum stressed that it “will use all means to protect the Davos brand against the illicit appropriation.”

The Saudi government launched today a three-day investment conference, dubbed “Davos of the desert,”  in the capital Riyadh, in an attempt to promote the historically petro-state as a lucrative business destination and set the stage for new ventures and multi-billion dollar contracts.

Read: The true Saudi story

However, the event was boycotted by a long list of investors, international policymakers and heads of multi-national companies over the murder of The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey’s Istanbul on 2 October. The Saudi government claims that he was killed “accidentally in a fight.”

The US Treasury Secretary Steven Menuchin, the French Economy Minister Bruno Lemerre, Dutch Finance Minister Fobke Hoekstra and the UK’s International Trade Minister Liam Fox, have all declined the Saudi invitation for the event.