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MENA World Economic Forum kicks off in Jordan

Amman, April 6  The World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) 2019 kicked off on Saturday in Jordan with over 1,000 participants from more than 50 countries.

The 17th WEF meeting in the region called for united efforts to address the most pressing challenges of the area.

At the opening ceremony, King Abdullah II of Jordan said it takes a broad partnership to create a platform for economic growth, Xinhua news agency reported.

Remaking that Jordan’s focus on education and innovation has helped nurture an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and startups, the king said, “We are also looking forward to the growth that comes with abundant and real opportunity. Jordan’s economic situation is promising”.

Addressing the forum, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in light of the pressures and challenges that the kingdom was facing, it deserved strong solidarity from the international community.

“Beyond the impact of the Syrian crisis and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Jordan is also a country with large investment and growth opportunities for the private sector,” Guterres said.

Jordan, a leading country in the peacekeeping forces, was the driving force behind UN resolutions on youth, he said. The UN secretary-general reviewed the challenges in the region and called for united efforts to address them.

Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of WEF, said the region has been held back by “conflict”.

“We are prepared to build on our long-standing commitment to dialogue to tackle issues such as the future of Iraq and Syria, relations between Israelis and Palestinians and the plight of the refugees,” Schwab said.