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Middle East leaders gather in Davos to highlight economic progress and investment opportunities

The high-level delegation will exchange expertise for a sustainable national and global economy

Middle East leaders gather in Davos to highlight economic progress and investment opportunities
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

World leaders and finance executives are gathering in the Swiss ski resort of Davos to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is taking place against its most challenging geopolitical backdrop and economic picture. 

Putting talks to end wars in Gaza and Ukraine and stabilizing shifting interest rate policies and rising debt are at the top of the agenda.

WEF president Borge Brende said much of this year’s focus would be high-level diplomatic talks on wars in the Middle East, Ukraine, and Africa. “We will make sure that we bring together the right people … to see how we can solve this very challenging world.”

According to WEF, Davos 2024, held under the theme of Rebuilding Trust, “aims to restore collective agency and reinforce the fundamental principles of transparency, consistency and accountability among leaders.

Leaders from the Middle East are participating in the WEF meeting to reflect on the pioneering role of the region, which was able to consolidate its position as a global hub for the economy, positive transformations, and shaping the future.

A high-level delegation from Saudi Arabia will participate in the annual meeting chaired by Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs. 

The kingdom’s delegation includes Princess Reema bint Bandar AlSaud, Dr. Majid A. Alkassabi, Minister of Commerce; Adel A. Aljubeir, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Member of the Council of Ministers and Envoy for Climate; Khalid A. Al Falih, Minister of Investment; Mohammed A. Aljadaan, Minister of Finance; Abdullah A. Alswaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology; and Faisal F. Alibrahim, Minister of Economy and Planning, among others.

During its participation in the annual meet, the Saudi delegation will address these era-defining challenges by working with the international community to drive economic resilience, build sustainable resource security, and harness human-centric innovation while exploring the opportunities offered by emerging technologies and their impact on the policy and decision-making process. 

The Saudi delegation will also highlight the country’s social and economic progress and investment opportunities. 

The annual meeting will hold keynotes and discussions, harnessing WEF’s long-term engagement with governments and global organizations. Notable speakers include Bisher Hani Al Khasawneh, the prime minister of Jordan, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, the prime minister and minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar.

Meanwhile, from the UAE, more than 100 personalities, including heads of national companies and corporate leaders, leading private sector firms, government officials, and senior business leaders, are attending the WEF annual meet to solidify the global economic key role and competitiveness of the UAE, and exchanging expertise for a sustainable national and global economy.

Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, said, “The UAE looks forward to sharing successful experiences during this important forum, inspiring the creation of similar successful international practices and contributing to comprehensive, sustainable development for nations and governments.”

The UAE’s pavilion, under the theme of Impossible, is Possible, will host several media conferences, bilateral meetings, and sessions discussing various subjects – from AI and global trade to economic developments and geopolitics — with the participation of major private sector companies, CEOs of prominent national companies and officials in both the government and private sectors.

Davos comes as businesses face a complex backdrop of mediocre global growth while economies grapple with high interest rates, political risk, and the after-effects of the pandemic.

The 54th annual meeting, from January 15 to 19, will discuss ways to enhance cooperation between the public and private sectors to explore future opportunities, review solutions and developments within various economic and development sectors within the framework of international cooperation, and joint work between governments and various institutions. 

The forum brings together representatives from more than 100 governments, major international organizations, and more than 1,000 major private sector players, in addition to representatives of civil society and academic institutions.

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