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King to open World Economic Forum meeting today

By Omar Obeidat - May 22,2015 - Last updated at May 22,2015

Around 1,000 political and business leaders, and representatives of civil society, international organisations, youth and the media from over 58 countries are participating in the May 21-23 World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa on the eastern shores of the Dead Sea (Photo by Raad Adayleh)

AMMAN – His Majesty King Abdullah on Friday inaugurates the World Economic Forum (WEF), which will be held on the eastern shores of the Dead Sea under the theme “Creating a Regional Framework for Prosperity and Peace through Public-Private Cooperation”. 

This year’s meeting marks the forum’s ninth gathering in Jordan and the 16th in the region.

The high-profile event, which concludes Saturday, will see the participation of around 1,000 political and business leaders and representatives of civil society, international organisations, youth and the media from over 58 countries, according to organisers. 

Hosting the event in Jordan amid regional unrest, officials and analysts say, highlights the importance of the Kingdom at the regional and international levels and its key role in boosting peace and stability.

It also sends a positive message to global investors and tourists about Jordan's stability, strengths and resilience, according to experts.   

In previous remarks to The Jordan Times, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury, who is also the chairperson of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD), said the WEF will also be an opportunity to present the Kingdom's economic development plans, particularly after the launch of the 10-year economic blueprint “Jordan 2025”. 

KAFD is a co-organiser of the gathering. 

Leading international companies in key sectors such as energy, infrastructure and health services are scheduled to be present at the forum. 

At a press conference Tuesday, Fakhoury said King Abdullah will deliver a speech during the forum’s opening ceremony, adding that His Majesty will also attend a number of sessions, including the “Jordan Relaunched” session that is scheduled to feature significant investment opportunities in seven vital sectors: energy, transport, urban development, water, infrastructure, tourism and ICT.

Her Majesty Queen Rania and HRH Crown Prince Hussein will also be participating in the event in addition to a number of senior officials.    

Several world leaders are scheduled to participate in the event, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, President of Kosovo Atifete Jahjaga, Iraq’s Vice President Iyad Allawi and Moroccan Prime Minister Abdel Ilah Benkirane, in addition to senior officials from Arab and foreign countries as well as top representatives of international organisations, according to Miroslav Dusek, senior director and head of Middle East and North Africa at WEF. 

Dusek said co-chairs of the meeting are: Omar K. Al Ghanim, CEO of Al Ghanim Industries in Kuwait; Gordon Brown, UN special envoy for Global Education and UK’s former prime minister; Sir Suma Chakrabarti, president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Bodour Al Qasimi, chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority in the United Arab Emirates; and John Rice, GE vice chairman in Hong Kong.

 

According to Dusek, some 200 top executives of international and regional companies will attend the event.

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