JEDDAH: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will speak at the 11th Jeddah Economic Forum, set to begin on March 20, and the event will not have a political orientation, despite the political events sweeping the region, Saleh Kamel, Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers and Chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Thursday.
The Jeddah Economic Forum is purely economic and its framework will not change, Kamel said at a press conference to discuss the event, adding that it will allocate some revenue from registration for rain and flood victims in the city.
The forum’s priorities and subjects keep pace with global issues and it has become a global workshop in which people with different cultures and their thoughts meet for the sake of all mankind, he said.
Dr. Majed Al-Qassabi, chairman of the forum, said the program will include several sessions, the first of which is titled, “The Forces of 2020 – the Global Forces Forming the Next Decade.”
The second session is titled “The Great Transformation – Learning from the Best Economic Transformations in the World,” to be followed by “The State as a Trade Partner – the Future of Partnership Between the Public and Private Sector.” Sessions to be held the following day will include discussing the Kingdom’s future and exploiting Saudi economic potential, along with another meeting focusing on building a stable and successful middle class.
That session will focus on the future health of any economy and its relationship with the size and development of the social middle class, which forms the largest segment in all societies because it includes employees and consumers, he said.
Despite the rapid population growth, the Kingdom will not be able to achieve its economic ambitions unless it cares for and develops the middle class, Dr. Al-Qassabi noted, adding that the session will also discuss challenges and opportunities related to the Kingdom’s middle class.
A session focusing on harnessing technology to meet the Kingdom’s productivity needs is based on the fact that productivity has always been the major long-term mover in any country’s development and prosperity, he said.
A session to discuss developing a world standard of infrastructure to deal with natural disasters will shed light on recent times in which natural disasters and their economic impacts have become more violent and destructive, Dr. Al-Qassabi said.
Deliberations in the third and last day will focus on the subject of building a stable and prosperous society, he added.
Sessions will focus on Islamic financing; stimulating cooperation between society’s different segments; creative thinking with regional mentalities and methods to face regional challenges; and dialogues with world leaders.
Daily recommendations will be prepared from all the sessions, he said.
There will be 42 speakers, 18 Saudis and 24 non-Saudis, foremost of whom will be Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey; Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Emir of Makkah Region; Prince Saud Bin Abdul Muhsin, Emir of Hail Region; Prince Turki Al-Faisal, Chairman of the King Faisal Center for Islamic Studies; Prince Khaled Bin Sultan, Assistant Minister of Defense and Aviation for Military Affairs; Prince Faisal Bin Khaled, Emir of Asir Region; Abdullah Zainal, Minister of Commerce and Industry; Dr. Muhammad Al-Jasser, Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency; Amr Al-Dabbagh, Governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority; Saleh Kamel, Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce; Nasser Al-Saidi, President of Economic Affairs in Dubai Financial Center; and Kaspar Villger, Chairman of UBS Bank.
The forum’s budget is estimated at SR14 million and its major sponsors include the National Commercial Bank, the Bin Ladin Group and Dallah Group, said Dr. Al-Qassabi, who pointed out that organizers do not pnay the main speakers. There is SR1.5 million allocated for scientific research, he added.
– Okaz/Saudi Gazette