How can we achieve sustainable growth for MENA?

How can we achieve sustainable growth for MENA?

October 25, 2010 at 09:10am
Opinion by Nabil Habayeb, President and CEO, GE in the Middle East & Africa
As I set off for this year’s World Economic Forum, I keep returning to one question: How can we achieve sustainable growth for MENA? More to the point, what defines “sustainable” growth for the region?

Many countries in the region are increasing their commitment to reduce carbon footprints and protect the environment. Their efforts benefit the environment and most important of all, this gradual green revolution benefits us, the people who live in the region.

I take pride in knowing that the company I represent has had a long history of protecting the environment and still is a steadfast believer in doing all we can to promote a sustainable environment for the future. Ecomagination has guided the development of our products by putting into practice our belief that financial and environmental performances are complimentary. This belief is fundamental to what defines us as General Electric.

But sustainable growth should not and cannot be limited to the environment. True sustainable growth lies in achieving sustainability in the economy as well as society. Lest we forget, the recent economic crisis has highlighted rather forcefully the consequence of unsustainable, and irresponsible, growth.

As world leaders arrive in Morocco to share their insights and develop actions plans at the Forum, I want to share with them my plan of action for true sustainability in MENA. My plan of action calls for two key factors – technology and people.

GE has been delivering innovative solutions to MENA for over a century. GE and MENA are closely intertwined through the developments we devise, create and implement together. I am proud that these advancements continuously support the growth of the region and enhance the everyday life of its people.

But I believe that technology alone is never enough. Over 60% of MENA’s population is under the age of 25. This concentration of youthful vigor represents a huge reservoir of untapped human resource and talent. To help the region achieve true sustainability, it is important to empower MENA’s youth through knowledge sharing and technology transfer. Who better to draft the blueprint for the region’s sustainable future than its people?

I look forward to fruitful discussions with other like-minded leaders at the Forum and further develop my plan of action into reality. I am keen to expand GE’s commitment to deliver tailored and innovative solutions to MENA and empower the region’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders.

Read more:
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