By Andy Sambidge
More than 900 business, political leaders from region to attend World Economic Forum in Jordan
The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa opens in Jordan on Friday.
The three-day meeting, convening under the theme Advancing Conditions for Growth and Resilience, will focus on shaping the region’s economic, social and governance systems of the future.
The meeting will convene more than 900 leaders from the Gulf region, the Levant, North Africa and internationally.
Representatives of business, government, civil society, youth and media will come together to better understand and discuss the greater region’s challenges like youth unemployment, transparency, income disparity, private sector development and infrastructure.
This year’s programme has been shaped around three core areas - new partnerships for employment, entrepreneurship and infrastructure; strengthening economic governance; and advancing regional cooperation and resilience.
Borge Brende, managing director at the World Economic Forum, said: “Building on Jordan’s recognised role in the region, the aim of the 2013 meeting is to drive the dialogue necessary to overcome long-standing fault lines and foster the spirit of cooperation.
"It is essential that everybody in the greater region realises the urgent need for collaboration to navigate through these turbulent times.”
The co-Chairs of the meeting include Mohammed H Al Mady, vice-chairman and CEO, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC); Ibrahim S Dabdoub, Group CEO, National Bank of Kuwait; and Mina Al Oraibi, assistant editor-in-chief of the UK's Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.
In total, more than 70 public figures, including 30 ministers from 15 countries will join the meeting including King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, King of Jordan; John Kerry, US Secretary of State; Mustafa Jassim Al Shamali, deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Kuwait; Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Development and International Cooperation of the UAE; Tawfig bin Fawzan Al Rabiah, Minister of Commerce and Industry of Saudi Arabia; and Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister.