Bush to attend World Economic Forum meeting in Egypt


Cairo : US President George W. Bush will be among 12 heads of states and governments to attend the opening session of the World Economic Forum to be hosted by Egypt May 18, a statement by the organisers said Monday.

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Over 1,500 participants from 55 countries will take part in the meeting, which will be opened by Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, organisers from the World Economic Forum said at a press conference in Cairo.

On the fringes of the Sharm el-Sheikh event, Bush will hold meetings with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

Among participants are leading business and media figures and leaders from civil society from all over the world.

“The Forum’s unique ability to convene leading figures from politics, business and civil society makes it a platform where decisions are taken that will affect the region and beyond,” said Andre Schneider, Managing director and Chief Operating Officer of the World Economic Forum.

The forum is a Geneva-based foundation whose annual meeting held in Davos, Switzerland, brings together top business leaders, heads of states and selected intellectuals and journalists.

The forum also holds regional meetings throughout the year.

“The annual event on the Middle East provides an independent platform for leaders from around the world to discuss what can be done today and create a better world for generations to come, said Rachid M. Rachid, Egyptian Minister of Trade and Industry at the press conference.

“Learning from the Future” is the main theme of the Sharm el-Sheikh meeting, which will explore the impact of long-term global trends on the Middle East and moves to be taken in response to the challenges of the next 20 years.

Other sessions will also discuss topics making the news headlines, such as rising food prices and sovereign wealth funds.