WEF Jordan focus: Economic growth and job creation

WEF Jordan focus: Economic growth and job creation

October 22, 2011 at 01:10am

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Meeting on Economic Growth and Job Creation in the Arab World opened to much fanfare in Jordan yesterday. Gathering top minds from public and private sectors, the Meeting seeks to find answers through debate and discussion to some of the most pressing concerns that face the Arab World today. Chief among those concerns are the twin challenges of sustaining economic growth and creating jobs.

Already a dynamically growing region, the recent Arab Spring catapulted the Middle East again to the forefront of the world’s attention. The recent shifts have renewed the sense of urgency for the region’s decision makers in trying to solve systemic issues. For example, the unfortunate reality of high youth unemployment, caused in part by an ill-equipped education system is inhibiting the region from achieving even more.

As a case in point, one of the region’s assets, its young population (over half is under the age of 25) represents a huge reservoir of untapped human resource and talent. But for this group to be economically and socially productive, they also demand a creation of over 25 million jobs (or an increase of 40% in current levels) by 2020. That is just a mere nine years away.

To enable an effective response to the pressing issues, the organizers of the WEF Special Meeting have highlighted, among other things, the key role of private companies/investment in the continued economic growth and human development of the region.

As a key supporter of WEF and the region, GE could not agree more.

With an active presence in the region spanning over a century, GE has always been in step with the region’s growth. The company not only delivers innovative and advanced technologies that support all aspects of the region’s growing infrastructure, GE and the region are closely intertwined through the developments we devise, create and implement together.

It serves to note that developing human capital and investing in the countries that the company operates in have been two fundamentals of GE’s business for over 130 years.

To date, GE has established over 20 technology centers and employs close to 4,000 people in the Middle East and North Africa to support its operations in the region. GE’s long history of knowledge transfer and technology sharing has been a two-way street with our regional partners from day one. In this long and growing partnership, we share GE’s technological capabilities and financial strength with the local know-how of our partners. Our most recent energy footprint in the region, the GE Energy Manufacturing Technology Center in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, comes equipped with a $20 million training center, dedicated to expanding the development of human capital in the region. By increasing GE’s localization efforts and delivering innovative technology, we make sure that we truly deliver on the needs of the region.

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