WEF’s Riyadh summit ‘can help resolve regional, world issues’

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman received Borge Brende in Riyadh Wednesday. (SPA)
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Updated 13 February 2020

WEF’s Riyadh summit ‘can help resolve regional, world issues’

  • Saudi Arabia merits focus because it is the Middle East’s largest economy, forum president tells Arab News

RIYADH: The WEF believes its Davos summit in Riyadh in April can help to resolve some of the pressing issues facing the region and the world, the organization’s president told Arab News on Wednesday.

“The interesting thing in the Middle East is that you are faced with two kinds of realities at the same time,” Borge Brende said.

“It has one of the youngest populations in the world, with a lot of innovation and entrepreneurship going on, but at the same time you see a lot of conflicts and proxy wars. There are two realities, but we will focus mainly on the opportunities.”

The WEF is inviting 600 global thought leaders in business, policy making and technology to Riyadh for the summit, and Brende visited the Saudi capital to meet officials and policymakers in preparation for the event.

“Saudi Arabia is the first country in the Arab world to stage the G20 presidency, but merits focus anyway because it is the largest economy in the region,” he said.

The summit will take place amid a worsening global economic outlook, as well as the uncertain economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak in China. “We are seeing slowing growth and there has to be a real strategy on how to avoid a future recession,” Brende said.

The WEF president noted that travel to Saudi Arabia had been made significantly easier recently with the introduction of online visas, and the relaxation of restrictions on women in the Kingdom.

“Around 24 per cent of delegates at Davos last month were women. We would like to have parity, and if we can do better in Riyadh that would be great,” he said.
 


Saudi candidate through to next round of WTO race

Updated 15 min 8 sec ago

Saudi candidate through to next round of WTO race

  • Tuwaijri is among three women and one other man bidding to become the next director-general of the WTO
  • The other remaining candidates are from Kenya, Nigeria, South Korea, and the UK

Saudi Arabia’s candidate Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri advanced to the second round of the selection process, the Geneva-based World Trade Organization said on Friday.
Tuwaijri is among three women and one other man bidding to become the next director-general of the WTO. The remaining candidates are Kenyan minister Amina Mohamed, former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, South Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee and British ex-minister Liam Fox.