Jeddah Economic Forum 2008 begins

February 23, 2008

The 9th Jeddah Economic Forum 2008 began today at the Jeddah International Exhibition and Convention Center. The theme of this year’s forum is “Value Creation Through Alliances and Partnerships.”

In an inaugural address at the opening ceremonies, Governor of Makkah Province Prince Khalid Al-Faisal highlighted the Kingdom’s efforts to achieve economic advancement, including the establishment of the King Abdullah Economic City and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Prince Khalid also urged international businesses to invest in Saudi Arabia’s trade and tourism industries.

More than 24 economists, leading businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and academics from all over the world are scheduled to address the four-day forum. This year’s roster of speakers includes Minister of Finance Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf; Minister of Labor Ghazi Al-Gosaibi; Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board; George Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Institute; former Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal; Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Group; Professor Mohammed Younis, Grameen Bank founder and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient; Sheikha Lubna Al-Qassimi, UAE minister for external trade; Maha Al-Ghunaim, chairperson and managing director of Global Investment House and Atif Abdulmalik, CEO of Arcapita.

The JEF was established in 2000 at the initiative of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JCCI) to promote Jeddah’s position as the commercial capital of Saudi Arabia and a center for Middle East business. International, regional and local leaders from the private and public sectors convene annually to discuss global and regional economic, political and social trends, to propose solutions to current and future challenges, and to enhance cooperation among business leaders and organizations.

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