Oct 28, 2019

Saudi Arabia's "Davos in the Desert" releases its agenda

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the conference in 2017 — with then-IMF head Christine Lagarde at left. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia's Future Investment Initiative — popularly known as "Davos in the Desert" — has finally released its agenda, just 24 hours before the controversial conference is set to begin.

What's happening: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman does not appear to be on the program. Instead, opening remarks will come from Saudi Public Investment Fund chief and Uber board member Yasir Al-Rumayyan.

  • Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman isn't just a panelist. He'll be "interviewing" Jared Kushner.
  • The Bloomberg News moderators have been replaced with a hodgepodge of independent British journalists and members of a Chinese news network. (Bloomberg still won't explain why it agreed to put its people on stage in the first place.)
  • Plenty of U.S. tech startups will be on stage, including from companies like Plenty and Sprinklr. Confirmed U.S. venture capitalists include Jim Breyer (who spoke last year) and 500 Startups' Christine Tsai.

Go deeper ... Scoop: The grandees headed to Saudi Arabia's "Davos in the Desert"

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