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Tue 19 Jan 2010 02:22 PM

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EXCLUSIVE: Tony Blair to speak at Saudi forum

Former British PM confirms appearance at Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh.

Former Britain Prime Minister Tony Blair will be a speaker at the Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh next week, a spokesman for the event told Arabian Business on Tuesday.

“We have just had it confirmed Tony Blair will be flying in to give a keynote speech on Sunday afternoon,” Steve Wilson, Saudi general manager for event promoter Hill and Knowlton said.

According the official website, other speakers scheduled to appear at the three day event include Saudi Minister of Finance HE Dr Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al Assaf, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt, Dell CEO Michael Dell, Blackstone CEO Stephan Schwarzman and SAMA Governor HE Dr Muhammad Al-Jasser.

Qatar claimed the title of the Gulf region's most competitive country, according to the latest ranking published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) last September.

Qatar was rated 22nd overall in the list of 133 countries which was topped by Switzerland.

The world's largest producer of liquefied natural gas pipped the UAE to the best in the Gulf title with the UAE coming in 23rd.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall