WEF Global Agenda meet begins in Dubai
The WEF summit opens with a call to replicate the successful innovations adopted in the United Arab Emirates at the global level
The seventh edition of the World Economic Forum’s Summit on the Global Agenda opened in Dubai on Sunday with a call to replicate the successful innovations adopted in the United Arab Emirates at the global level.
Speaking at the forum, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of WEF, praised Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, for recognizing that “the key to transformation is the spirit of innovation.”
Sheikh Mohammad, Schwab said, “recognized this when he said: ‘Innovation today is driven by effective institutions, strong policies, specialized skills, and an economy where all sectors work together to discover new ways to conduct business. A flexible and creative economy based on a national culture of innovation is the fastest and most sustainable way to reinforce the UAE’s competitiveness on a global level.’”
“This is an approach that can be translated into an action plan at the global level,” Schwab added.
The three-day summit, which has attracted more than 1,000 participants, brings together thought leaders and experts from all over the world.
Gathering under the theme “UAE Brainstorms for the World,” participants will discuss possible solutions to more than 80 issues of concern to the world.
In his opening address, UAE Economy Minister Sultan Al Mansoori, who is also a co-chair of the summit, said the UAE’s successful approach to creating a growth environment was “invaluable to finding effective solutions to global challenges and redefining the world’s development agenda.”
Mansoori said the summit comes at “crucial” period when the world is facing a number of global challenges, including the rise of extremism, humanitarian and health crises, unemployment, food security and poverty.
He also noted that climate change, energy crises and scarcity of resources were no longer “just looming threats but grim realities.”
Mansoori said the Middle East region had attracted positive attention because of growth and development activities in Gulf countries, in spite of the formidable challenges.
He said sharing the success of the UAE in creating a growth environment would “be invaluable in finding effective solutions to crisis situations and redefining the world’s development agenda.”
For his part, Sami Dhaen Al Qamzi, the director general of Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, said hosting the summit in Dubai was a clear message to the world that the emirate was committed to tackling global challenges.
Qamzi said the Dubai government was playing its part in embracing innovation in different ways, including the Dubai Government 2021 Initiative that aims to integrate technology in the efforts to improve the lives of people.
“In this direction, the government has initiated a new framework for interaction between customers and the government, providing customer relations experience in corporate style,” he said, noting that Dubai had also launched the Smart Government Initiative to make emirate “the smartest city in the world through 100 targeted initiatives and 1,000 smart services.”
The summit, which runs until Nov. 11, is exploring a number of topics of current relevance such as innovation, renewable energy, climate change, competitiveness, energy security, corporate governance systems, media and entertainment, infrastructure, intellectual property and internet security.
It is also looking at major challenges such as refugee crises, humanitarian aid, extremism, health concerns and several other issues currently facing the world.
Its recommendation will be taken up at the World Economic Forum in Davos.