Maryam Forum launched at Davos to promote leadership expertise

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The name Maryam was chosen because of its connotations of inclusiveness across several of the world’s leading religious faiths. (File/AFP)
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The name Maryam was chosen because of its connotations of inclusiveness across several of the world’s leading religious faiths. (File/AFP)
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Updated 21 January 2020

Maryam Forum launched at Davos to promote leadership expertise

  • The Maryam Forum will conduct public policy research, with a fellowship program, online leadership courses and private working groups
  • The Maryam Forum was inaugurated at an event in the Swiss Alpine town with the view to “accelerating the kind of leadership the world needs urgently”

DAVOS: A new organization to develop leadership expertise has been launched under the guidance of Arab businessman Khalid Abdulla Jahani on the eve of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.

The Maryam Forum was inaugurated at an event in the Swiss Alpine town with the view to “accelerating the kind of leadership the world needs urgently.” It is the product of a partnership between Jahani, former vice-chairman of the WEF’s Arab Business Council, and the London School of Economics’ Institute of Global Affairs.

Prominent advisers to the new organization include Eric Berglof, economic professor at the LSE, and Kishore Mahbubani, the outspoken former dean of the LKY School of Public Policy in Singapore. Also present at the event was Lindiwe Mazibuko, former leader of the opposition in the South African Parliament.

The Maryam Forum will conduct public policy research, with a fellowship program, online leadership courses and private working groups. There will be an annual global event staged in London each December.

Jahani told Arab News: “There is an obvious lack of effective leadership all round the world, and not just in politics or international affairs. You see it also in governments, in business, and even in the home.”

The name Maryam was chosen because of its connotations of inclusiveness across several of the world’s leading religious faiths, he explained.

The Maryam Forum said: “The world faces multiple, urgent and complex challenges on an unprecedented scale. From climate change and oceans to global growth, financial architecture, human mobility and disinformation, courageous leadership is needed to navigate our future.

“For transformative leadership to emerge, we need stronger links between research and policy along with an ecosystem that encourages meritocracy, accountability and inclusion,” the Forum added.

Mahbubani said the world was on the cusp of discarding 200 years of “artificial” leadership by the economic power of Europe and North America. “Western leaders have to adapt to a new global environment. Then rest of the world does not want revenge — it wants to be partners with the West.”

In the course of 2020, Maryam Forum will develop a community of 50 founding individuals who will provide their input to the annual December meeting. Media partners to the December event include the New York Times and Caixin Media of China.


Automechanika Riyadh opens, featuring leading global suppliers

Updated 25 February 2020

Automechanika Riyadh opens, featuring leading global suppliers

  • Saudi auto deals grew 40 percent last year with influx of female buyers

RIYADH: Leading names in the global auto services industry are out in force at Automechanika Riyadh — which opened on Monday at Al Faisaliah Hotel — vying to increase their share of a growing market expected to reach a value of $10.15 billion by 2023.

Automechanika Riyadh is the regional arm of the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organizer, Messe Frankfurt, which has licensed the Automechanika brand to event organizer Al Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE) Group.

Mansour Abdullah Al-Shathri, vice chairman of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, inaugurated the trade event, which will run from Feb. 24-26.

It was revealed that Saudi auto deals grew approximately 40 percent last year, with female buyers accounting for between 10-15 percent of sales after the landmark decision to allow women to drive in the Kingdom for the first time.  

“International suppliers are stepping up their marketing for the resurgence in Saudi’s market, and this impacts the entire supply chain,” said Mahmut Gazi Bilikozen, show director for Automechanika Riyadh.

“While there is growth potential in the market, it is becoming a more competitive landscape and one which will also have to contend with evolving customer preferences. The conditions are ripe for new business relationships for those wishing to succeed in this transformative environment,” he added.

Zahoor Siddique, vice president of ACE, said: “Future vehicles will become more complex and challenging for the aftermarket industry. It is therefore imperative for manufacturers, local garages, technicians and mechanics to upskill and remain above the curve. 

 “Automechanika Riyadh is one such platform that can enable us to share and learn what the industry needs to unleash its potential.”

Two major US players — disc pad producer Giant Manufacturing and United Motors Mopar, the Kingdom’s sole distributor of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Fiat cars — forecast a bullish market over the next few years.

Giant’s vice president, Eli Youssian, said he believed car sales in the Kingdom would grow by 9 percent annually until 2025, while United Motors District CEO Hassan Elshamarani expected another three million female drivers to be on the Kingdom’s roads by the end of the year.

Both Giant and United Motors launched new products at the show, with the former rolling out its new German-engineered Euro Premium Metallic Disc brake pads, and the latter introducing its Magneti Marelli spare parts.

The high potential of the new-look Saudi automotive landscape has also struck a major chord with South Korean suppliers.

The show’s Korean pavilion is hosting new-to-market entrants and existing suppliers all looking for business partners. With products from wiper blades to filters and air-conditioning parts to brake pads, the Korean contingent was positive about the Kingdom’s prospects.

One exhibitor, D Only Automotive, is looking to ring fence 10 percent of the Saudi brake market. “With more vehicles on the road, demand for brakes will increase, (so) we believe this is possible,” said President Jeon JaeWon.

Global research and analytics firm Aranca — Automechanika’s knowledge partner — has forecast that Saudi Arabia’s automotive spare parts and service market will grow at approximately 6 percent over the next five years to reach a value of $10.15 billion by 2023.

“The spare parts and service market for passenger cars alone is expected to eclipse $6.9 billion by 2023,” said Vishal Sanghavi, Aranca’s automotive practice head.