Arab Business Council forum opens
Cairo:, November 17, 2007
The Arab Business Council of the World Economic Forum (ABC) opened its fourth annual meeting in Cairo, Egypt, today (November 17).
The two-day meeting, inaugurated by Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Mahmoud Nazif , has brought together over 170 leading business, government and public personalities from 25 countries across the region.
The ABC is a World Economic Forum initiative formed by top Arab CEOs in 2003 to build advance the economic and governance reform agenda through collaborative partnerships between business leaders and government.
The ABC has given a significant effort to boost competitiveness in the Arab world. This year’s meeting will focus on 6 main topics: trade, competitiveness, investment, education, innovation and regional focus, the council said in a statement.
The ABC meeting provides a unique opportunity for leading business executives, government officials, and thought and opinion leaders to gather for a frank exchange of views on the most pressing issues affecting the Arab world. Through formal discussions in the conference sessions, as well as informal discussions amongst delegates on the sidelines, the deliberations of the ABC will help set the policy agenda in economies throughout the region, according to the statement.
“The selection of Cairo as the location for this year’s event is a strong vote of confidence in the impressive economic reforms the Egyptian government has put in place, and reflects Egypt’s leadership role in the Arab world,” said Arab Business Council Chairman Shafik Gabr.
“The Arab Business Council of the World Economic Forum has become a recognized, authoritative voice of Arab business. It provided insights on specific reforms that were needed to leverage private investment. In a concerted dialogue with Arab governments and multi lateral bodies such as the G8, the ABC was able pin point the key areas to guide international assistance in support of reform. Today, one can say with a great deal of confidence that the economic reform agenda across the Arab world is well defined and irreversible. As we look forward, the Arab Business Council will be able a play more significant role in integration of Arab economies into the global market and increase the engagement of Arab businesses as global corporate citizenship,” said Middle East and North Africa Director Sherif El Diwany. – TradeArabia News Service