Minister of Labor Ghazi Al-Qusaibi, addressing the Sixth Annual Economic Forum yesterday, declared that Saudi Arabia is determined to eradicate unemployment within five years while accelerating the pace of Saudization. There is a plan, he said, to employ 120,000 nationals in the private sector every year. There are 75 training institutes with extensive courses for various professions and vocations, and these will train 300,000 young Saudis over a three-year period.
Secretary-General of the Supreme Commission for Tourism Prince Sultan bin Salman moderated a panel discussion on tourism, and described the Kingdom's tourist industry as offering jobs for young people. Delegates from Egypt, Malaysia, France, and the Maldives presented perspectives from their countries.
Earlier, Prime Minister of Malaysia Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had delivered his keynote address on the creation of a flexible, learning society, in which he stressed the importance of education from a young age, and the prevention of brain-drain. The multiracial, multi-religious Malaysia, he said, is “a success story” in this respect.
A panel discussion in which former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa took part discussed the eradication of poverty as a top priority, more important even than the fight against terrorism. There were also sessions on building up a workforce for the 21st century, fostering innovation and creativity, and enfranchising women.
The three-day conference ends today.