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Saudi Arabia and Europe set eyes towards a new vision at World Economic Forum gathering in Davos

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The Davos forum last week outlined a few major topics in Saudi Arabia`s 2018 and future. Or rather, how it saved a nation of 33 Million that was not to blame for a murder is now ready to engage in a new vision together with the rest of the world.

The World Economic Forum (WEF), based in Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland, was founded in 1971 as a not-for-profit organization. The Forum’s mission is cited as “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas”. The meeting brings together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, economists, celebrities and journalists for up to four days to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world. Beside meetings, the organization provides a platform for leaders from all stakeholder groups from around the world – business, government and civil society – to come together.

A key presence who gained the media attention on this year’s edition were the Saudi officials. However, Europe seemed to be gladly ready to bury the hatchet and all the negative attention was buried by the Swiss president Ueli Maurer`s words in Davos: “We have long since dealt with the Khashoggi case… We have agreed to continue the financial dialogue and normalize relations again.”.

On the Saudi side, the Chairman of the Capital market Authority Mohammed El Kuwaiz seemed to be just as ready to move on whilst signifying the crisis citizens of Saudi Arabia were put under during those murderous events. However, a whole nation should not suffer through the events that happened: “Speaking not just as a government employee but as a Saudi citizen, everyone in Saudi has been absolutely horrified by what happened… But a country of 30 million people should not be held hostage by an event, no matter how heinous, particularly at this point in time when we have been working very hard to set a new course for the country.

Economically, the oil giant Saudi Aramco was also presented by Amin Nasser, who described the readiness of the company to merge together with the other petrochemical giant SABIC. Alas, if everything goes as planned, the two giants Saudi Aramco and SABIC will join up and not only do so for the stock market. In addition, previous to the WEF forum in Davos, the former stated its readiness to start building Saudi Arabia`s first hydrogen cell vehicle fueling station. This could mean that after the merge of the two titans, they will be looking to upgrade to sustainable energy and reduce the carbon footprint, slowly switching to eco-friendly and easy decisions not only for the kingdom, but also globally. In that sense, Saudi Arabia has clearly shown its interest of moving away from oil and into the new, more sustainable future.

Socially, Saudi Arabia was taking part of the discussions shaped towards the youth this Friday, where a new opportunity for more constructive discussion focused on the development of a promising generation of successful entrepreneurs, by analyzing the mentality and skills required for this goal and highlighting associated work ethics and showing how young people can build a strong support network that guides them, throughout the journey of their projects, as well as expected role of governments and companies to create a supportive ecosystem for young people.

The World Economic Forum in Davos has shown a series of statistics, most notably the fact that half of the world’s population is under the age of 30. On the other hand, young people have shown a huge spending capacity totaling $2.45 trillion, in 2015, requiring companies and economies to prioritize innovation to meet the needs and interests of young people. Among the major challenges addressed by the Misk Global Forum discussions in Davos were high intergenerational inequality, non-representation, at the decision-making level, and the rate of one out of every five youth was not involved in education, employment and/or training.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Vision 2030 constitutes a readiness towards working on those elaborated issues, as it puts women`s rights, their representation in society and the integration of women into the labor market in a frontal position. Ever since the reforms started taking place, alas 2018, the women were permitted to drive, also taxis, were also allowed to enter stadiums, and were empowered to do sports such as kickboxing. Other jobs, such as ones in the military, passport and air traffic control, or public notaries as well as independent entrepreneurship have been officially opened for women. Lastly, they were allowed to legally become tour-guides.  To the Western eye, those changes might seem alien, one may wonder how come women did not receive such rights before. Due to the third kingdom of Saudi Arabia being founded in 1932, it had to change and shift its policies swiftly and has been doing so for the last few years, showing its readiness to open up to the Western world.

So, all in all the WEF forum in Davos outlined all occurrences in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2018, the good ones alongside the bad ones, and firmly asserted Europe and the rest of the Middle East and Asia, as President Trump was not present, that it is ready to publically own to their actions but alongside that aim for bettering and restructuring their formally set rules and look forward to the challenges the whole world is facing, as it aims to contribute with solutions to not only regional, but also global problems.

Well then, worldwide understanding is not achieved through words, but rather by the justification and support of step-by-step actions that are taken up in one direction. And it so seems the rest of the world is ready to forgive and move on. Are you?

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