European inclusion under threat warns WEF paper

A report from the World Economic Forum has called for a strengthening of city diplomacy through a network that connects cities in the fight against terrorism, crime and violence. (Reuters)
Updated 19 January 2018
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European inclusion under threat warns WEF paper

LONDON: Europe’s leaders must embrace a bold and innovative program of reform to secure a peaceful, prosperous and stable future, according to a report by the World Economic Forum ahead of its Davos summit next week.

One of the key findings of the WEF paper was that Europeans, especially younger people, believe that a core set of European values, based on inclusion and equality, openness and diversity, and sustainable growth are coming increasingly under threat.

To preserve these values for the future, the paper outlines a number of innovative ideas aimed at addressing the region’s challenges.

These cover five major policy areas: human-centric economy; security and defense; migration and borders; democracy and governance; and energy and sustainability.

“Collectively, these themes cover more than two-thirds of the policy areas where most Europeans say they want greater intervention by the EU,” said the report.

Among other things, it call for a strengthening of city diplomacy through a network that connects cities in the fight against terrorism, crime and violence; a European SecurityForce to augment national defense systems as well as provide new roles such as coast guard and border patrols; and a common digital identity for refugees and asylum seekers to better manage migration
flows and improve integration of immigrants.

A second WEF paper, also released on Friday focusing on startups and corporates aims to help Europe develop more world-class technology companies by providing a blueprint for greater collaboration between the two worlds.


Saudi minister Al-Falih says Aramco IPO likely in 2019

Updated 25 May 2018
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Saudi minister Al-Falih says Aramco IPO likely in 2019

  • Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih: “We are ready, the company (Saudi Aramco) essentially has ticked all the boxes. We’re simply waiting for a market readiness for the IPO.”
  • Khalid Al-Falih: “Most likely it will be in 2019 but we will not know until the announcement has been made. All I could say is stay tuned.”

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is most likely to hold the initial public offering (IPO) of oil giant Aramco in 2019, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Friday, confirming a delay from the initial plan to list the company this year.

“The timing I think will depend on the readiness of the market, rather than the readiness of the company or the readiness of Saudi Arabia,” Khalid Al-Falih, who’s also the company’s chairman, said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia on Friday.

“We are ready, the company essentially has ticked all the boxes,” he said. “We’re simply waiting for a market readiness for the IPO.”

For almost two years, Saudi officials said the IPO was “on track, on time” for the second half of 2018. But for the first time in March they suggested it could be delayed until 2019.

“Most likely it will be in 2019 but we will not know until the announcement has been made,” Al-Falih said. “All I could say is stay tuned.”

The Aramco IPO would be a once-in-a-generation event for financial markets. Saudi officials said they hope to raise a record $100 billion by selling a 5 percent stake, valuing the company at more than $2 trillion and dwarfing the $25 billion raised by Chinese retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in 2014.