Saudi Arabia reiterated its commitment to build bridges across geopolitical and economic divides at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland last week.
His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs, led the Saudi delegation of nine ministers and high-level officials, and told the world that geopolitical stability is key to energy security, and the Kingdom has “become the meeting place between East and West”.
During the week, Saudi Arabia hosted a dialogue titled ‘Toward a Resilient Urban Resource Nexus’, with key international public and private sector stakeholders from regional and global organizations discussing the sustainability of future cities.
His Highness Prince Faisal, Her Royal Highness Princess Reema, His Excellency Alswaha, His Excellency Alkhorayef and His Excellency Alibrahim participated in a multilateral meeting with WEF leadership, Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, and Børge Brende, President, to explore areas of mutual interest.
During the meeting, His Excellency Alswaha, Chairman of the Board of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Chairman of the Board of The Research, Development and Innovation Authority (RDIA) and Brende, signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to establish a new accelerator program to help ignite innovation in Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi delegates highlighted the Kingdom’s role as a Pioneering Partner in the Forum’s Global Collaboration Village, which will leverage the Metaverse to serve the global community.
Separately, the Ministry of Investment, in coordination with the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, organized a high-level dialogue for executives from the energy, petrochemicals and mining sectors to discuss the impact of the energy transition, the role of petrochemical industries and investments needed to achieve net zero by 2060.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Economy and Planning – in collaboration with the WEF open innovation platform UpLink – launched a challenge to crowdsource transformative solutions to secure local food in countries impacted by low rainfall, drought and desertification.
The Food Ecosystems and Arid Climates Challenge is a global call for food entrepreneurs, start-ups, social ventures, and SMEs to submit solutions that incorporate low or high technologies or ancestral responses.
Also during the week, Saudi Arabia – represented by the Ministry of Economy and Planning – joined the WEF Jobs Consortium, a coalition of CEOs, IOs, ministers and other leaders with a common aim to promote a better future of work for all by enabling job creation and job transitions.
The Saudi Arabian delegation also engaged in a wide range of bilateral meetings, dialogues with global leaders, ministers and CEOs and – for the first time – public panel sessions as part of WEF’s Open Forum. These included discussions with high-level public and private sector representatives from several countries and were an opportunity to share the Kingdom’s vision while exploring potential partnerships and areas of collaboration.