Representatives of the World Economic Forum and Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry met in Sharm El Sheikh to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) marking the official start of preparations for the World Economic Forum on the Middle East on 20 to 22 May 2006 to be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The MOU is to be signed by Rachid Mohammed Rachid, Egypt's Minister of Foreign Trade and Industry and André Schneider, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the World Economic Forum.
This will be the first time that the World Economic Forum will be holding a meeting in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The meeting will be designed to provide a bridge between the region and the rest of the world in an era of deep divisions of understanding. The World Economic Forum's core competence lies in its power to convene the world’s leaders of government, business, civil society and intellectual authority to engage in informed debates on current global affairs. The participants in the Forum's activities work together to build a shared understanding of the forces that shape the state of the world we live in and, most importantly, seek to chart the path and take initiatives to deliver a better future.
The World Economic Forum on the Middle East in Sharm El Sheikh next May will gather global leaders to deliberate the political, social and economic affairs of this important part of the world. The Forum will devote a considerable part of the Sharm El Sheikh meeting agenda to the business affairs of the Middle East to complement the central debates on the political, security, energy and reform agendas.
"The Forum welcomes this focus on the business agenda, put forward by its Middle East members, and is committed to work with the Egyptian and Middle East business community at large to support the region's efforts to position itself competitively in the global market. The World Economic Forum on the Middle East in Sharm el Sheikh will be the meeting where government and businesses will embrace the future and unleash the potential of this geographically-endowed region," said Sherif El Diwany, Director, Middle East and North Africa of the World Economic Forum.
According to Egyptian Foreign Trade and Industry Minister Rachid Mohammed Rachid, the World Economic Forum on the Middle East signals an important milestone for Egypt: "The decision to bring the Forum to Sharm El Sheikh sends a clear signal: Egypt is open for business. We are serious about reform. We are determined to engage – as an equal and active partner – with our global peers. The international community believes in our commitment and is prepared to support Egypt as it strives for change."