Thirty Saudi and international figures joining the 2014 Jeddah Economic Forum (JEF) will highlight the problem of unemployment in hopes of recommending possible solutions.
The event, scheduled from the March 18 to 20 at the Jeddah Hilton hotel, convenes under the auspices of Makkah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah.
The Jeddah Chamber for Commerce and Industry (JCCI) will be organizing this year’s event and not a private company as previously discussed.
The new elected board of directors decided to keep the organizational issue within the chamber. New Chairman of the board of directors of JCCI Saleh Abdullah Kamel told Arab News that the new board will discuss outsourcing the event management role in the next round.
Kamel said the forum’s 14th edition would be entitled “Development through the youth” and focus on the issue of unemployment and job searching throughout the three forum days.
“Statistics show that the Arab region needs 15 million jobs in the next ten years,” Kamel told Arab News.
“In the Kingdom, the unemployment is qualitative and not quantitative,” he pointed out.
Kamel explained that the Ministry of Labor’s data show that there are one million unemployed citizens in Saudi Arabia while there are 10 million expatriates working in the Kingdom.
“This qualitative unemployment is a result of the social and educational culture in Saudi Arabia,” Kamel said blaming the families.
“Many parents spoiled their children and raised them in a way that they should only be managers unlike the older generation that worked hard to reach their current status,” Kamel added.
With 600 speakers from 40 countries, 23 presidents and 320 sponsors, the forum has carved its name as one of the most important economic activities in the region.
This edition, however, holds a special significance particularly as the last forum’s edition received the Makkah award of economic excellence.
The 13th edition’s performance was considered an exemplary model for the economic development.
The forum is recognized as the Middle East’s major economic event and a platform for exchanging ideas and opinions. Since its establishment in 2000, as many as 24,000 people from around the world have participated in the economic event.
Around 2,000 attend the forum annually from 60 different countries.
Adnan Mandoura, secretary general of the chamber, hoped the forum successes would continue over the 14th edition.
With a budget of more than SR10 million, the event hopes to find solutions to the current issues in the Kingdom and the region.
“Our motto in this forum is the quest for excellence,” he said mentioning the strategic partnership agreement with the World Economic Forum in the Swiss capital of Geneva.
Both forums agreed to strengthen the cooperation and enhance the status of the leading Saudi economic event.
The forum hosts a number of ministers, officials, and experts from the US and Europe.
The previous chief of Davos economic forum and some leading economic figures will attend.
From Saudi Arabia, Prince Sultan bin Salman, chairman of the General Authority for Tourism and Antiquities will be one of the main guests alongside Labor Minister Adel Fakeih, Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Jasser, Abdul Latif bin Ahmed Al-Othman, governor and chairman of the board of Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, Ibrahim bin Fahd Almaliki, director general of the Human Resources Development Fund, and Mohamed Al-Mady, vice chairman and CEO of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).
The Jeddah Economic Forum first edition came out in 2000 under the title of “steady growth in the global economy” and continued discussing different topics each year.