Attendance at the 5th Jeddah Economic Forum proved the high international esteem attained by the annual event when, as in previous years, speakers of the highest caliber addressed the now familiar assembly of the world's business leaders, industrialists, financiers and bankers. Held 17-19 January at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel, the Forum's theme for this year was "Achieving Accelerated Growth" and the chosen academic partner was the London Business School.
HRH Prince Abdul Majeed Bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Makkah Region presided over the Jeddah Economic Forum for the fifth consecutive year, and the event was supported by the Jeddah Business Women's Committee, chaired by HRH Princess Adelah Bint Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz.
The roster of distinguished speakers included: HM Queen Rania of Jordan; HRH Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden; former US President Bill Clinton returning for the second time; HE Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey; HE Mr. Rafik Hariri, Prime Minister of Lebanon; HE Mr. Fuad Saniora Minister of Finance for Lebanon; HE Mr. Nursultan Nazarbeyav, President of Kazakhstan; HE Dr. Kassymzhomart Tokayen, Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan; HE Mr. Shaukat Aziz, Minister of Finance for Pakistan;
HE Mr. Mahathir Mohammed, former Prime Minister of Malaysia; HE Dr. Supahi Panitchpakdi, Director General WTO; Mr. Mohamed Al Abbar, Director General Department of Economy Dubai; HE Mr. Gunnar Lund, Minister of International Economic Affairs & Financial Markets for Sweden; and Lubna Olayan, CEO of Olayan Financing Company.
The inclusion this year of the entertainment industry as a topic brought a touch of Hollywood glamour to the event with the attendance of film actors John Cusack and Chevy Chase.
Academic contributors included; Laura Tyson Dean London Business School, Dr. Jeffrey Sampler, Associate Professor LBS, and Professor John A. Quelch, Senior Associate Dean of Harvard University.
Financial support for the 5th Annual Jeddah Economic Forum reached a record 15 million Saudi Riyals million (US$ 4 million) raised from a total of 21 sponsors who included: Sannine Zenith Lebanon; Saudi Aramco; Sabic; Saudi Arabian Amiantit Company; Abdul Latif Jameel Co. Ltd; National Commercial Bank; Riyad Bank; Bank Al Jazira; Dallah Albaraka; Saudi Binladin Group; United Sugar Company; Pharmaceutical Solutions Industry (PSI); Tetrapak; MedNet; Kingdom Holdings; Saudi Cement; and IKEA.
Media sponsors were the Okaz Organization for Press and Publication, International Herald Tribune, CNBC, and Al Arabiya, the news channel for MBC. Budget Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom's largest car rental and limousine service provider, was the official limousine provider for VIPs.
Achieving Accelerated Growth
Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Dr Hayat Sindi is currently a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA