A panel of over 100 of the world’s most gifted minds including political leaders and top-notch business executives will be rubbing elbows with each other at the GCF’s different sessions spread over three days from Sunday onward.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Jean Chretien, former Canadian premier, will be among the main speakers at the event.
This is the fifth edition of the GCF organized by Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) that seeks to enhance the Kingdom’s economic competitiveness by promoting innovation as a means to competitiveness, according Amr Abdullah Dabbagh, SAGIA’s governor.
Al-Dabbagh said that the event would bring together global leaders and economic experts, and translate their visions into a formula to transform the economic environment locally and globally. The forum, to be opened by Prince Naif, will be attended by a number of high-ranking Saudi officials including Ali Al-Naimi, minister of petroleum & mineral resources, Adel Fakieh, labor minister, and Muhammad Al-Jasser, SAMA governor, said a spokesman of SAGIA.
“The opening session Saturday night will be addressed by Prince Naif and Al-Dabbagh,” said the spokesman.
Abdullah Hashim Yamani, president of King Abdullah Atomic & Renewable Energy City, and Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC’s vice chairman and CEO, would also speak during the forum, said Azzaz Al-Azzaz, a SAGIA official. The event is significant keeping in view the fact that Saudi Arabia itself has exerted pioneering efforts to create a better investment environment and to improve its rankings in terms of competitiveness.
The Kingdom today is among the top 25 countries in terms of competitiveness, according to the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum every year.
SAGIA also recently announced that Riyadh has improved its ranking in the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” index 2011. From the 183 countries surveyed for the report, Saudi Arabia has made significant progress by moving up to 11th place from the 67th place in the global ranking it occupied in 2005.
Referring to the theme of the GCF, called “Innovation is important as it is a means of developing competitiveness,” the spokesman said that the debate will contribute to build sustainability, promote responsible development, and drive economic growth.
“For the GCF’s fifth anniversary, the world’s premier gathering on competitiveness challenges will not only look at what challenges to competitiveness exist, but how to use innovation to solve those challenges,” he added.
The forum will continue building on the success of previous years, with the goal of being one of the year’s most important conferences, said the statement.
The forum, the only event of its kind, has emerged as a major meet of global business leaders, international political leaders, and selected intellectuals brought together to create a dialogue with respect to the competitiveness. To this end, it is notable that a large number of political and business leaders will address different sessions of the event.
Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International; Dennis M. Nally, chairman of PriceWaterhouseCoopers Intl. Ltd; Fadi Ghandour, Aramex founder and CEO; Hermann Requardt, CEO of Siemens Healthcare; James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young; Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric CEO and president; Jim Albaugh, Boeing president and CEO; and Stanton Friedman, a well-known nuclear physicist and UFO expert, are some of the important international speakers.
The list of international participants is unending. The list also include John Rose, Rolls-Royace CEO; Marie Poulin, senator of Northern Ontario (Canada), Arif Naqvi, founder and CEO of Abraaj Capital Ltd.; Atul Punj, chairman of Punj Lloyd Ltd.; David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president; Chrystia Freeland, global editor-at-large for Thomson Reuters; and Jake Elberts, Oscar winning movie producer.

Add Comment