Leaders sign unique road map for stakeholder capitalism in MENA

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File photo of Mirek Dusek, member of the executive committee at the World Economic Forum. — courtesy WEF
File photo of Mirek Dusek, member of the executive committee at the World Economic Forum. — courtesy WEF

GENEVA — Regional leaders are advocating a shared vision for stakeholder capitalism and have signed the Principles of Stakeholder Capitalism for the Middle East and North Africa. This road map advocates the importance of public-private collaboration and includes the following action points:

• Crafting inclusive economic policies and a new social contract

• Stimulating economic integration

• Reshaping education systems

• Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution

• Promoting environmental sustainability

• Mitigating global health risks

• Committing to good and agile governance

Signatories are members of the World Economic Forum’s Regional Action Group on the Middle East and North Africa, which the Forum created in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Top-level members of government, business and civil society convene monthly during virtual meetings with the aim of developing action-oriented initiatives and projects that strengthen the region’s resilience for the post-COVID-19 era.

Driven by their conviction that companies and governments need to have a larger societal role, the signatories believe that the shared vision and language — agreed upon in the Principles of Stakeholder Capitalism — will serve as a guiding framework to steer collaboration.

The Regional Action Group on the Middle East and North Africa will offer a platform for projects and initiatives that emerge from these principles, with the aim of scaling them up and replicating them throughout the region.

The principles have been released ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit, which aims to scale up solutions to address the economic, social and environmental challenges of our time.

Signatories to the Principles of Stakeholder Capitalism for the Middle East and North Africa are:

Mohammad Al-Ississ, minister of finance of Jordan; Mohammed Al-Jadaan, minister of finance, economy and planning of Saudi Arabia; Rania A. Al-Mashat, minister of international cooperation of Egypt; Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, minister of state for foreign trade of the United Arab Emirates; Abdulla Bin Touq, minister of economy of the United Arab Emirates.

Adeeb Ahamed, managing director, Lulu Financial Group; Khadim Al Darei, vice-chairman and co-founder, Al Dahra Holding; Yousuf Mohamed Al-Jaida, chief executive officer, Qatar Financial Centre Authority; Mina Al-Oraibi, journalist; Tareq Al Sadhan, chief executive officer, Riyad Bank; Ali Bin Masoud Bin Ali Al Sunaidy, chairman, general authority for special economic and free zones; minister of commerce and industry, deputy chairman of the supreme council for planning of Oman (2012-2020).

Mohammed Alshaya, executive chairman, Alshaya Group; Alain Bejjani, chief executive officer, Majid Al Futtaim; Mazen S. Darwazeh, executive vice-chairman; president, Middle East and North Africa, Hikma Pharmaceuticals; Hisham Ezz-Al-Arab, chairman and managing director, Commercial International Bank; Fadi Ghandour, executive chairman, Wamda Capital.

Bandar Hajjar, president, Islamic Development Bank; Mohamad Ali Hamade, chief executive officer, Amanat Holdings; Khalid Humaidan, chief executive officer, Bahrain Economic Development Board; Sir Mohammad Jaafar, chairman and chief executive officer, Kuwaiti Danish Dairy; Majid Jafar, chief executive officer, Crescent Petroleum, United Arab Emirates.

Samer S. Khoury, president, engineering and construction, Consolidated Contractors Company; Luciano Poli, president, India, Middle East and Turkey, Dow Chemical Company; Hashim Shawa, chairman, Bank of Palestine; Ayman Tamer, chairman and partner, Tamer Group; Inam ur Rahman, chief executive officer, Dawood Hercules; Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman and managing director, VPS Healthcare; Helmut von Struve, chief executive officer, Siemens Middle East, Siemens, and Marc Waters, managing director UK, Ireland, Middle East & Africa, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

“The World Economic Forum’s Regional Action Group for the Middle East and North Africa reflects the engagement of the region, not only in responding to global challenges, but in proactively contributing to shaping the right vision for the future,” said Mohammed Al-Jadaan, minister of finance, economy and planning of Saudi Arabia.

“The community’s vision for the Middle East and North Africa aligns with Saudi Arabia’s G20 agenda, as it aims to foster higher inclusive economic growth, harness technological advancements, enhance environmental sustainability, promote better governance and partnerships, and enhance global cooperation.”

A similar view was expressed by Abdulla Bin Touq, minister of economy of the United Arab Emirates, who said: “The Regional Action Group is one of the most important multilateral and regionally focused platforms where policy-makers and private-sector decision-makers can come together to share their views, allowing them to push some of the major regional priorities into the domain of actionable projects.”

According to Bin Touq, the Principles of Stakeholder Capitalism “represent the building blocks for all of us to actively work together in addressing the challenges brought by COVID-19 and to make headway on the economic prosperity of MENA.”

“Adopting a shared vision and language for public-private collaboration through endorsing the Principles of Stakeholder Capitalism for the MENA region is an opportunity to reshape our societies and economies, allowing us to emerge from the pandemic stronger, more unified and more resilient than before,” said Rania Al-Mashat, minister of international cooperation of Egypt.

“The Principles for Stakeholder Capitalism form the foundation of a new beginning that will require a fresh approach to how the public and private sectors work together to unlock the region’s vast potential,” said Alain Bejjani, chief executive officer of Majid Al Futtaim Holding in the United Arab Emirates.

“The philosophy of stakeholder capitalism places the benefit of concerned parties at heart and is the path to achieving a better standard and quality of living for all populations in the MENA region,” said Mazen S. Darwazeh, executive vice-chairman and president, Middle East and North Africa of Hikma Pharmaceuticals in Jordan.

“There is an urgent need for enhanced investment and youth employment in order to ensure a brighter future for the region,” said Majid Jafar, chief executive officer of Crescent Petroleum in the United Arab Emirates. “The Principles of Stakeholder Capitalism constitute a crucial effort to learn and implement the key lessons of the pandemic, so that we rebuild economies and societies with growth that is more resilient, equitable and sustainable.”

Mirek Dusek, member of the executive committee at the World Economic Forum, said: “The Principles of Stakeholder Capitalism for the Middle East and North Africa constitute a milestone for the region in preparing for its future.

“They crucially provide a framework for promoting environmental sustainability, as they are designed to support regional decision-makers in shaping social and economic policies that are in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, thereby mitigating potential future climate-related disruptions and putting the region on a path of sustainable, equitable, and inclusive growth.” — SG


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