P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News
Friday 28 January 2005
Last Update 28 January 2005 12:00 am
JEDDAH, 28 January 2005 — Prominent international figures including the presidents of Nigeria, Afghanistan and Senegal and the prime ministers of Pakistan and Malaysia will address the Jeddah Economic Forum scheduled for Feb. 19-21.
Other distinguished speakers are Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Suzan Mubarak, the first lady of Egypt, Francesco Frangialli, secretary-general of World Tourism Organization, and Prashant Sahni, CEO of Tecnovate eSolutions.
A number of Saudi ministers and officials including Prince Turki Al-Faisal, ambassador to Britain, Prince Sultan ibn Salman, secretary-general of Supreme Commission for Tourism, Labor Minister Dr. Ghazi Al-Gosaibi, State Minister Abdullah Alireza and Commerce and Industry Minister Hashem Yamani will also address the annual event.
“This year’s forum will focus on creating a vision for sustainable development building on previous theories that took a purely economic approach emphasizing hard dimensions such as the availability of capital and the adequacy of infrastructure,” said Jeddah Marketing Board (JMB), its organizer.
“This year we will adopt a more holistic methodology, covering the softer social dimension with a focus on concepts such as capacity building and expansion of social capital and discussing how institutions of learning, production, regulation and social welfare all fit together and support socio-economic development,” the JMB said in a mission statement.
The three-day event, to be held at the Jeddah Hilton, will attract more than 2,000 delegates from within and outside the Kingdom. “The forum will discuss national, regional and international economic issues and highlight the achievements of countries that have pursued strategies for human resource development as a prerequisite for sustainable growth,” JEF 2005 Chairman Amr Enany said.
The forum will debate success stories in countries like Ireland, Singapore, Dubai, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt, aside from those of local businessmen. Registration of delegates is already open. The delegate fee is $1,500 for men and $750 for women.
“First organized in 2000, the JEF has become the region’s strategic think tank focusing on local, regional and economic and social issues,” Enany said. London Business School is the academic partner of the event for the second year.
The forum has seen active participation of women speakers and delegates for the past four years. This year’s female speakers include Haifa Jamalullail, dean of Effat College in Jeddah, and Wahi Loqman, professor of law at King Abdul Aziz University.
The Jeddah Economic Forum has become one of the Middle East’s most important annual gatherings of world leaders, government officials, prominent businessmen, financiers, economic strategists, academics and other influential figures.
Last year it brought to Jeddah such distinguished speakers as Queen Rania of Jordan, former US President Bill Clinton, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed.