WEF Final Communique
Monday، 20 July 2009 - 12:00 AM
The World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East 2006 concluded its activities on 22/5/2006 in Sharm El Sheikh. More than 1100 participants of the political, economic and civil society elite met together in "The Promise of a New Generation" in light of great challenges witnessed by the region.
Participants in the forum shed light on many challenges namely war in Iraq, Arab-Israeli conflict, escalating tension concerning Iranian nuclear file, negative effects of oil high revenues, big gaps of income, less investments in infrastructure, the discontent of the middle class due to drop in capital markets and the dire need for creating 90 million job opportunities during the coming twenty years to avoid spread of extremism among youths generations.
Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman and Founder of the World Economic Forum, said that the forum participated in establishing a future carrying the promise for a new generation and motivating the Middle East to play an active and conducing role in the world economy through activating participation of the business sector and promoting partnership between the public and private sectors and holding a fruitful and constructive dialogue. Said meeting has resulted in a direct positive income and there are more of said results that will be unleashed by relation of mutual respect and confidence that prevailed here in Sharm El Sheikh.
In this context, the meeting was characterized by unprecedented clearness and openness whereas the participants focused on the issues that may be settled seriously and truthfully by the world of business. In the frame of their participation in the meeting, leaders of politics, economy and civil society, especially youths, launched brave initiatives for change in the region. Heads of States who participated in the closing session of the forum stressed the importance of forming a regional work power in the Middle East. They clarified that the WEF sessions revealed the ambition required for promoting partnership between the governments and private sector in order to find and enable any innovation or development in the region, the matter indicating the need for a good education.
They also called on all countries to open their markets in order to achieve success and stressed the necessity of finding a collective vision for the region starting with the nation, and then moving by ideas and developing in all countries in the region. All participating presidents stressed the importance of focusing on the issues of human resources development and promotion of its potentials in all countries. They clarified the importance of paying attention to the human element starting from the early educational stages till joining the work market. They said that if we focused on said matter, there will be no major discrepencies between others and us because the human element represents the main important axis of development.
Among issues discussed in the closing session, the issue that the private sector should assume the responsibility of providing job opportunities. They confirmed that the private sector has a key role in developing and improving education and in enabling woman to participate in the society and clarified that the report of the World Bank said that the balanced participation of woman in the society helps increase development and growth in many fields at 25%.
Princess Lo’lo’a El Faisel was among the prominent participating dignitaries in the closing session and as one of pioneers of education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She made it clear that our real wealth in the Arab world is in youths and focusing on supporting them, promoting their capabilities, encouraging their activities and ensuring in good education for them in order to enable them to go into competitions. She also highlighted the role of private sector in supporting all initiatives in cooperation with the governments. The Princess thanked President Mubarak and Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak for their hosting the forum.
Participants in the closing session called on the governments to provide open entry visa to the Arab and Middle East region and without restrictions. By doing so, they added, there will be a real integration of ideas, all citizens will trust each others and we will achieve part of our strategy.
The WEF final communiqué noted the existence of many challenges in face of introducing a promise for a new generation. It determined the main challenges in the conflict in Iraq which may lead to a civil war, the unsolved Palestinian-Israeli problem, escalating tensions on the Iranian nuclear file, negative of oil high returns such as increasing gaps in income, insufficiency of investments in basic infrastructure and the discontent of the middle class due to the stock markets drops. The communiqué underlined that the most important challenge is the need of creating 80 million job opportunities during the coming twenty years to prevent appearance of fanaticism among youths.
The communiqué mentioned that, in this frame, the forum was characterized with more clear and open discussions and commitment to increasing the role of private sector. Participants focused on the issues that the business sector may settle with proper credibility. It added that heads of governments, business sector and civil society, especially youths, launched a brave initiative to change the region.
The Communiqué mentioned four achievements for WEF:
• Holding important discussions in business sector and politics among Arab, American and Israeli leaders including discussions on the highest level since 11 months between Israel and Palestinian Authority.
• Expanding a valuable network for supporting interconnection and interchanging among youths through linking a group of students to regional ministers from the young world leaders of the forum.
• The forum launched the Egyptian Education Initiative of which 820.000 children in 2000 schools will make use.
• For the first time, the program of leaders of women included female ministers from around the region to put a five-year work plan and policies of both the public and private sectors bridging the gap between the two genders in the region.
In the field of trade and business, the communiqué mentioned four points:
• The forum has taken primary steps to launch a campaign financed by the private sector to improve the image of the Middle East under the title "No for Bureaucracy, Yes for Law".
• The forum honored businessmen for their social activities due to their achievements in promotion of practicing works viable to continuation in Egypt.
• Releasing the third report of the Egyptian National Council of Competitiveness.
• Achieving an agreement on reviewing amendments for the open skies policy for Egypt for supporting tourism.
The communiqué said that the WEF agreed to facilitate the following points:
• Under the umbrella of WEF council which includes 100 of leaders, a gate of information on the internet would be developed. The council will work with local societies of different religions to support its work.
• Expanding the initiative of "Partnership against Corruption" of the forum to launch a regional work power fighting corruption.
• Working with the giant companies of great potentials and strong growth for developing a program to help them in merger in the world economy. The communiqué said that a number of proposals was presented during the forum. The forum is committed to push them forward during the coming year by its members and partners.