By Andy Sambidge
Over 1,000 gov't, business leaders to attend World Economic Forum in Jordan in May
The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa will be held in Jordan on May 24-26 2013.
Over 1,000 leaders from government, business, civil society and academia are expected to take part, the WEF said in a statement.
Jordan's King Abdullah II said that the on-going developments in the Middle East and North Africa warrant renewed efforts to shape the new regional context to positively support socio-economic development and address youth issues.
He highlighted youth unemployment as a priority, saying the region needed to “answer our young people’s cry for a normal future, in dignity and opportunity, in view of all the developments and challenges taking place in our MENA region".
Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chairman, said the next World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa will take a practical look at the policies and business strategies that are necessary to support the aspirations of the region’s economies.
He said decision-makers across the region are responding to the challenge of translating the current societal momentum into "concrete positive outcomes for all citizens".
"This situation represents a key opportunity for industry, government and civil society to jointly make historic gains in crucial areas, including youth unemployment, transparency, income disparity reduction, private sector development and infrastructure," he added.
At the same time, the deep economic slowdown in Europe and continuous geopolitical uncertainty in the Levant underscore the need for enhanced regional cooperation as well as the importance of relations with emerging markets.
Miroslav Dusek, director and head of Middle East and North Africa at the World Economic Forum, said: “The aim of 2013 meeting is to drive the dialogue needed to overcome long-standing fault lines and foster the spirit of multistakeholder partnerships that are so essential for ensuring peace and security at this time of fundamental change."