Assaf leads Saudi contingent as world leaders converge for WEF


Saudi Gazette report

A high-level Saudi Arabia delegation, headed by Minister of State and Member of the Cabinet Ibrahim Al-Assaf, is attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss city of Davos on Tuesday.

The WEF will witness a remarkable Saudi presence with a huge contingent comprising several ministers, top company executives, business leaders, prominent businesswomen and economic experts.

The Saudi delegates will be sharing their visions about the future of the world related to the economy, environment, society, and politics.

This year’s WEF is more significant for Saudi Arabia as it currently holds the G20 Presidency, leading up to the Leaders’ Summit in Riyadh on Nov. 21–22 while the Saudi capital city and other major cities are hosting hundreds of meetings, workshops, and preparatory sessions ahead of the summit.

The Davos forum would devote a separate session on its own to talk about the priorities of the G20 hosted by the Kingdom. Minister of Energy Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman will partake in discussions related to the future of fossil fuels.

US President Donald Trump will open the 50th edition of the Forum with a keynote address in the presence of 52 other heads of state along with top business leaders, politicians and thinkers.

The theme of the conference is “Stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world,” with a focus on renewing the concept of stakeholder capitalism to overcome income inequality, societal division and the climate crisis.

The annual forum is one of the most important global meetings, which focus on issues of cooperation between the public and private sectors, and contribute to addressing the challenges facing the world with the aim of improving the global situation through discussion of several major issues and topics.

The Forum will focus on several topics in the fields of economy, technology, environment, society, industry, and geopolitics.

It will discuss subjects such as how to address urgent climate and environmental challenges; how to transform industries to achieve more sustainable and comprehensive business models; how to reduce the risks of technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and how to adapt to demographic social, and technological changes that reshape education, employment, job opportunities, and entrepreneurship.

The Kingdom’s participation comes in the framework of enhancing its international presence and consolidating its global position, and confirming its strategic relations with WEF. The Kingdom’s participation in Davos meetings will be through six sessions dealing with three main topics.

The first is the affirmation of the Kingdom as a possible force by the international community based on its efforts to support regional and international stability, while the second topic is the Kingdom’s strength as the basis of balance for energy globally through highlighting its pioneering role in the stability of energy markets, and its leadership role in promoting the balance between the interests of energy producing and consuming countries, along with highlighting its advancement and aspirations in the field of renewable energy. The third topic deals with the reality of the Kingdom as an economic force, which is aware of its responsibility in light of its current G20 presidency.

The WEF was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a business professor at the University of Geneva. First named the European Management Forum, it changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987 and sought to broaden its vision to include providing a platform for resolving international conflicts.

The WEF's mission is cited as “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.