By Daniel J. Bird

The global energy transition will take time, and we must take into consideration the impact of different economies, says H.E. Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan.

Aramco at the FII Summit: Seeking a Fair Global Energy Transition
H.E. Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan drew attention to the potential of increasing the gap between the Global South and North, and added: “We need to be more considerate.”

As millions of people globally do not have access to conventional energy, the world cannot simply ask emerging economies “to switch to whatever advanced economies are doing,” Aramco’s chairman said at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Priority summit in Hong Kong.

H.E. Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan made the comments during a fireside chat titled “What Are Humanity’s Priorities?” The event marked the first time the FII Priority summit has been held in Asia.

Global South

With COP28 taking place at the same time in Dubai, there was attention in Hong Kong on the likely impact of the energy transition on the “Global South” — which refers to underdeveloped and developing countries in regions such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Al-Rumayyan stressed that massive investment is still needed in renewables. He added that the world cannot “immediately go from point A to point B without thinking of the consequences and the impact on different economies.”

He drew attention to the potential of increasing the gap between the Global South and North, adding, “We need to be more considerate.”

Global Impact

Al-Rumayyan was also asked whether he thought Artificial Intelligence (AI) would have a positive global impact.

“With the right framework, the right regulations, and the right investments, I think AI will definitely be a force for good,” he said.

Recent widespread interest in the technology, Al-Rumayyan said, has come after governments and consumers started to realize how powerful tools such as ChatGPT and OpenAI are.

He added that it was imperative to ensure the technology was governed by strong regulations.

“We need to create a regulator, and the regulator’s work will basically be three major verticals: one is to put the framework in place … the second is monitoring and enforcing these regulations, and the third will be an enabler for the ecosystem of AI.”

Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan

Al-Rumayyan said that governments around the world had “a lot of catching up to do” on AI regulation, but also highlighted the work the European Union is currently doing in introducing laws. In Saudi Arabia, he said, work is ongoing on a nationwide AI strategy.


Al-Rumayyan also spoke about Neom’s linear smart city, known as the Line, which he said will be a “revolution of urban development.”

The FII Priority is a summit that brings together business, government, civil society, technology, and the media, to deliver impactful change by transforming ideas into tangible solutions.

The theme of this year’s event was “Megatrends Shaping Humanity,” which focused on the region’s rapid urbanization, digital transformation acceleration, and how Asia is driving the global megatrends of tomorrow.

— The Arabian Sun: December 13, 2023