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23 Oct, 2018 18:03

Saudi Arabia clinches $50bn in deals at ‘Davos in the desert’ forum despite Khashoggi crisis

Saudi Arabia clinches $50bn in deals at ‘Davos in the desert’ forum despite Khashoggi crisis

The death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul hasn’t hindered the kingdom in signing $50 billion worth of contracts at an investment conference in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The deals were signed in oil, gas, infrastructure, and other sectors at the Saudi international business forum, dubbed the ‘Davos in the desert’. Companies involved in the deals include Total, Hyundai, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, and others.

READ MORE: Khashoggi’s body parts found in garden of Saudi consul general’s home – sources

Saudi oil giant Aramco clinched agreements with 15 international partners worth more than $34 billion. Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, received a standing ovation despite being suspected of playing a role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told a panel that the top-three oil exporter Saudi Arabia was facing a “crisis of a sort” but would speed up economic diversification plans.

"Nobody in the kingdom can justify it [Khashoggi’s killing] or explain it," he said.

About 320 foreign institutions have registered as qualified foreign investors on the Saudi Stock Exchange and another 200 are expected to follow.

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