Forum to focus on excellence and competitiveness
Riyadh, January 18, 2012
'Business Excellence' and 'Competitiveness' will be the two key themes of the sixth Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF) set to be held in Riyadh this month.
GE will be a strategic sponsor of the forum which will take place from January 21 to 24, a statement from the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (Sagia) said.
It will be held under the patronage of King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the statement said.
Abdullah Azib, director of the GCF, and Walid Abukhaled, GE’s president and chief executive officer of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, signed the partnership agreement. GE is supporting the event for the second year.
“GE’s partnership complements Sagia’s objectives of promoting entrepreneurship and business competitiveness in the Kingdom. GE is committed to supporting governmental initiatives to achieve its Vision 2020 with a focus on economic diversification and creating a knowledge economy. To achieve this, the key drivers are innovation and entrepreneurship – both values that GE upholds in our operations in the kingdom,” Abukhaled said.
The annual Global Competitiveness Forum this year focuses on the theme of entrepreneurship covering all related aspects including social entrepreneurship. The objective of the conference, which brings together industry leaders from around the world, is to further strengthen the competitiveness of the kingdom.
“The Global Competitiveness Forum 2012 aims to build on the success achieved in the past five editions in boosting the competitiveness of Saudi Arabia, by further stimulating dialogue among various governmental and industry stakeholders. One of the founding objectives of Sagia is to establish the kingdom as one of the world’s most competitive nations that fosters a culture of entrepreneurship and by driving inward investments,” Abdullah Azib said.
Saudi Arabia is ranked 17th in the Global Competitiveness Index issued by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report in 2011-12, a rise in ranking from 21 in 2010-11.
With over 1000 employees across seven offices and facilities, GE has a long heritage of over 80 years of operation in the kingdom. GE has invested more than SR1 billion ($0.27 billion) in localisation and manufacturing projects last year only, and plans to double its workforce by 2013.
This will be led through initiatives such as the GE Energy Manufacturing Technology Center opened in 2011 that further supports the Saudi vision of promoting manufacturing and exports. Also featuring a dedicated training facility, the center has the potential to create more than 2,000 direct jobs including 500 jobs for Saudi technologists.
Currently, several of these young professionals are being trained by GE through its educational programs in partnerships with leading universities such as King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and technical colleges under the Technical and Vocation Training Corporation (TVTC).
The Global Competitiveness Forum will host over 100 governmental, industry and other sectoral leaders from around the world. More than 30 special workshops will be held addressing the key themes of the conference this year. The event is set to create dialogue with respect to the positive impact organisational and national competitiveness can have on local, regional and global economic and social development. – TradeArabia News Service