World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa

Video:Session:Speakers

Advancing Growth and Resilience

With regional growth expected to slow to 3.1% in 2013, how can leaders take decisive action towards advancing economic development and strengthening societal resilience in the Middle East and North Africa?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Investing in positive social outcomes
  • Building competitiveness for the long term
  • Withstanding political and economic shocks

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Chaired by:

The Anatomy of Entrepreneurial Success

What makes or breaks start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Celebrating successes
  • Navigating challenges of forming a company
  • Financing ventures effectively
  • Enabling managerial excellence

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Moderated by:

Breaking the Impasse

Simultaneous interpretation in Arabic, English and French This session is on the record and webcast live.

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Special Address by:

Building Institutions' Effectiveness

How can institutions in the Arab world better align with the growing aspirations and needs of its societies?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Promoting the rule of law
  • Fostering transparency and credibility
  • Strengthening financial institutions

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The Business Case for Gender Diversity

What are the business drivers for achieving more gender diversity in the workplace?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Attracting the best workforce
  • Enhancing organizational performance
  • Improving access to target markets
  • Fostering innovation and creativity

This session was developed in partnership with France 24.

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Connecting 360 Million Consumers

As the region's young consumers aspire for an increased access to goods and services, what are the infrastructure and technological requirements to cater to their needs?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Fostering trade in a digital era 
  • Developing competitive regulatory ecosystems
  • Increasing consumer engagement

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Creating a Dynamic Emerging Market

In light of strong international competition, how can the region increase its share of the 60% of global capital that is expected to flow into emerging markets this year?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Identifying growth sectors
  • Strengthening policy implementation
  • Managing a changing geopolitical landscape

This session was developed in partnership with CNBC.

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Economies in Focus: Iraq

Ten years since its onset, how can the new Iraq deliver inclusive growth and development in light of favourable energy prices as well as the current political and security landscape?

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Economies in Focus: Libya

How can Libya deliver inclusive growth and development in light of favourable energy prices as well as the current political and security landscape?

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Family Businesses as an Engine for Growth

With 80% of businesses in the region owned or controlled by families, how can these enterprises drive growth in the new regional context?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Medium- and long-term societal impact
  • Values and vision transcending generations
  • Successful intergenerational transitions

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Food Security and Growth Resilience

Given that shortages of arable land and water are acute stressors on national growth resilience, what strategies are being implemented to achieve food security in the region?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Securing a sustainable food supply
  • Developing agribusiness champions
  • Leveraging other industries' best practices
  • Enhancing agricultural productivity

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The Foreign Policy Outlook

In the new regional context, how can leaders bolster security and enhance international cooperation?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Future alliances and fault lines
  • Centres of regional leadership
  • The role of the US, the EU and Turkey

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Funding for Reform

In a time of transition and budgetary challenges, how can new governments manage financial resources to deliver the needs of their populations?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Securing public and business buy-in for reform
  • Raising national funds
  • Expanding private sector involvement
  • Unlocking international financial assistance

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Infrastructure for Long-term Competitiveness

What should businesses and governments in the region prioritize to ensure that infrastructure contributes to sustainable long-term competitiveness?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Innovative financing partnerships
  • Regulatory and institutional frameworks
  • Smart and efficient technology

This session was developed in partnership with Sky News Arabia.

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Investing in Healthcare

With vast differences in cost and access across the region, what are the opportunities for investing in health and well-being for all?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Tapping into information technology
  • Increasing effective health partnership
  • Scaling up preventive interventions

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Investing in SMEs for Employment

With small and medium-sized enterprises accounting for 80% of businesses and 30% of employment in the region, what is the business case for investing in them?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Developing a platform for private capital
  • Providing loan guarantees and risk insurance
  • Involving Islamic banking

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Navigating Energy Subsidy Reform

With oil prices risking a slide in 2013 and energy subsidies remaining the highest in the world, how can the region institute reforms while balancing budgetary and social considerations?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Maintaining support for industrial growth
  • Minimizing price distortions
  • Eliminating abuses of the system

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A New Vision for Arab Employment

How can the region deliver decent and productive jobs in a timely and sustainable manner?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Scaling social innovation
  • Unlocking institutional drivers
  • Assessing the impact of global employment trends

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Opening Address

Simultaneous interpretation in Arabic, English and French This session is on the record and webcast live.

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Welcome by:

Partnerships for Economies in Transition

How can international and regional stakeholders support new governments in achieving economic transitions that are fiscally and socially sustainable?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Advancing national reconciliation
  • Depoliticizing funding for reform
  • Encouraging smart investments

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Political Islam and Governance

In light of recent shifts in the region, what has been the impact of political Islam on governance?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Inclusive growth
  • Private sector development
  • Intercommunal relations
  • Foreign policy implications

This session was developed in partnership with BBC Arabic

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Preparing for the Workforce of the Future

With the youth of today becoming the region's working population in 2030, how should education systems and the private sector prepare the workforce of the future?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Role of global academic institutions
  • Partnerships between corporations and schools
  • Opportunities for continuous learning

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Rethinking the Private Sector

How can the private sector and regulators work together to redefine the role of business in society?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Redefining the social contract
  • Partnering for positive societal impact
  • Designing incentive mechanisms

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The Role of the United States

How can the new US administration contribute to positive economic and social outcomes in the Middle East and North Africa?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Supporting economies in transition
  • Advancing regional security
  • Deepening trade ties

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Safeguarding Syria

How can stakeholders secure Syria's future political, economic and social viability vis-à-vis developments on the ground?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Immediate humanitarian imperatives
  • Diplomatic outlook
  • Options for economic support

This session was developed in partnership with Dubai TV.

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Scaling Start-Ups

How can governments and investors create an ecosystem that enables entrepreneurs in the region to scale up and generate more employment?

Session objectives:

  • Mentor-mentee relationships
  • Corporate entrepreneurship responsibility
  • Healthy policies on cross-border expansion
  • Optimal financing structures

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Facilitated by:

Shale Discoveries: Global Transformations, Regional Impact

How do global energy shifts affect the Middle East energy landscape?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Shale gas revolution
  • Investment in renewables
  • State development models
  • Resource geopolitics

This session was developed in partnership with Al Arabiya.

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Smart Solutions for Conflict Prevention

Young Global Leaders give short talks on smart ways to prevent conflict and advance reconciliation.

Learn about:

  • A community-driven solution to border conflicts
  • The use of fiction for conflict resolution
  • The power of appreciation

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Towards Coexistence

In light of current regional transformations, how can leaders prevent interfaith and intercommunal relations from deteriorating?

Session objectives:

  • Future of Sunni-Shia relations
  • Secularism and political Islam
  • Status of religious minorities

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Facilitated by:

Unlocking the Growth Potential of Trade and Tourism

As the sources of external financing dwindle, how can business and government tap into trade and tourism as engines for growth in the region?

Dimensions to be addressed:

  • Unlocking intra-regional supply chains
  • Strengthening regional investment protection
  • Enabling people mobility

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World Economic Brainstorming - Understanding Vulnerabilities, Enhancing Resilience

Over the past few decades, shocks ranging from natural disasters to humanitarian crises have cascaded across countries, societies and industries, spreading faster and more unpredictably than ever before. Business leaders, policy-makers, youth and experts will explore the region's biggest risks, and consider how to strengthen resilience.

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