World Economic forum on Mideast and North africa kicks off

The World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East and North Africa is scheduled to kick off today at the Dead Sea, in Jordan and it will host more than 1000 business and political leaders and representatives from civil society, international organizations, youth and the media from over 50 countries, organizers said today.

Minister of State for Media Affairs, Mohammed Momani said that hosting the WEF is crucial to address potential opportunities in the economy and other issues of interest to Jordan and the region. The two-day conference is expected to be inaugurated by King Abbdullah of Jordan amid presence of several international heads of state.

Topics to be high on the agenda include the challenges presented to employment and jobs by the dawning Fourth Industrial Revolution, the gender gap holding back regional competitiveness and inclusion, the future of Syria and Iraq, and the way forward through economic and political reforms, according to WEF statment. The meeting s theme of Enabling a Generational Transformation highlights the key role that young people will play in realizing the region s promise. The World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa offers unprecedented high-level participation, with 10 heads of state and government, more than 130 public figures and 500 global and regional business leaders, a statement of the organizers reads. It also brings together several groups including one hundred start-ups from the Arab world - many of which have been founded under the most challenging circumstances - including Arabic voice-recognition software developed in Syria, the first e-mobile wallet in Libya, a labour marketplace in Yemen and mobile games produced by a team in Gaza.

The conference will also bring young businessmen and leaders as well as refugees from the Zaatari camp, who will meet with the Forum s Regional Business Council to find innovative ways to build on the success of free trade zones, allowing refugee-made products to reach markets The current reform momentum in the Middle East and North Africa is promising, but success is not guaranteed. Together with our long-term partner Jordan, the World Economic Forum is hosting its biggest-ever meeting of entrepreneurs and start-ups in the region, said Mirek Dusek, Head of Regional Strategies - Middle East and North Africa at the World Economic Forum.