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Kingdom to host regional WEF next year

By JT - Jul 05,2016 - Last updated at Jul 05,2016

AMMAN — Jordan will host over 1,000 government and business leaders for the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East and North Africa in 2017, the WEF announced on Monday. 

Reflecting Jordan’s central role in the region, and the continued support and participation of Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania, the meeting will provide a collaborative platform for shaping the region’s future through public-private cooperation, the WEF said in a statement.

The forum will be held in partnership with the King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD).

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury, who is also KAFD’s chairperson, said the forum’s return to Jordan is “a testimony to Jordan’s strategic regional role, resilience and vast economic potential”.

“The forum continues to provide opportunities for partnerships geared towards inclusive development and investing in human talents,” Fakhoury added, according to a WEF statement. 

Mirek Dusek, WEF executive committee member, said Jordan was an appropriate location for the WEF’s efforts to support the current reform momentum in the region. 

“Jordan, given its long standing economic and social resilience and commitment to dialogue, is a great partner for this effort,” added Dusek, who is also the WEF’s head for the Middle East and North Africa. 

Top decision-makers from Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the Levant and North Africa, as well as key international stakeholders from the US, Europe, East Africa and other regions will meet at the Dead Sea in May 2017 to explore the impact of the new era in the global economy, the WEF said.

The theme of the conference is the “fourth industrial revolution”, which resulted from the convergence of digital information and technological advancement in various economic fields, the forum added.  

Leaders in business, government and civil society will examine how new technologies can be harnessed to create employment, encourage entrepreneurism and drive inclusive growth, according to the WEF. 

In the context of growing economic reform efforts and shifting investment and trade priorities, the WEF said the forum would also address continued geopolitical shifts and humanitarian challenges by supporting dialogue on the situation in Syria, Iraq and Libya, and the ongoing refugee crisis.

“If the hope is fulfilled that the region during the next months will have some kind of stability, it is essential to stimulate the economy through public-private cooperation to make any peace effort realistic and sustained,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.

 

Jordan last hosted the WEF on the Middle East and North Africa in 2015, in partnership with KAFD. The May 2017 forum will be the ninth hosted by Jordan since the first conference in 2003, which was held at the Dead Sea, the WEF said. 

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