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Committee selects 100 Arab start-ups to take part in upcoming World Economic Forum at Dead Sea

By JT - Apr 02,2019 - Last updated at Apr 02,2019

AMMAN — The World Economic Forum and the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) on Monday selected the 100 most promising Arab start-ups of 2019, according to a statement sent to The Jordan Times.

The initiative aimed to integrate Arab entrepreneurs into a national and regional dialogue on pressing challenges, and those selected will participate in the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and north Africa at the Dead Sea on Sunday and Monday.

The forum, which will be held under the patronage of Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania, will bring together industry and government leaders to discuss the future of industries and how to add value to societies, the statement said.

“The Arab world will need its private sector to address youth unemployment, the current skills gap for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the inclusion of women in the workforce. Start-ups, and the entrepreneurs building them, are key to a strategic public-private dialogue on these issues,” said Mirek Dusek, deputy head of the Centre for Geopolitical and Regional Affairs, and member of the World Economic Forum’s Executive Committee.

The start-ups were selected out of 400 applicants representing 17 countries and included Wahed; the world’s first halal investment platform (the UAE), MonoJo; a biotech company that uses camel milk to develop antibodies (Jordan) and FalconViz; a company conducting a range of mapping including that of cultural heritage sites with autonomous drones.

“Across the Middle East, entrepreneurs are devising increasingly innovative ways to tackle the evolving societal challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with novel applications of technology. These efforts need to be encouraged, recognised and supported by investors, business leaders and policymakers,” said Khalid Rumaihi, chief executive of the EDB.

The Dead Sea meeting will gather over 1,000 leaders from government, business and civil society, as well as leaders from Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the Levant and north Africa, as well as key international stakeholders from east Africa, Europe and the US, according to the statement.

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