27 November 2007, Cairo, Egypt
Ms. Françoise Foning – President, World Association of Women Entrepreneurs at the opening ceremony.
(L-R) H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin – Minister of Investment, Egypt, H.E. Ms. Emma Bonino – Minister for International Trade & European Affairs, Italy and Mr. Angel Gurría – Secretary-General, OECD
The Women Business Leaders Forum and Business Forum preceding the Ministerial Meeting was targeted towards private sector participants of the MENA-OECD Investment Programme, including business associations and chambers of commerce from MENA and OECD countries. It took place in parallel with a matchmaking forum organised by the UNIDO and GAFI to acquaint foreign investors with investment opportunities in the MENA countries.
The first part of the Business day was a Women Business Leaders Forum organised under the patronage of H.E. Mrs. Susanne Mubarak, first lady of Egypt with the participation of H.E. Mrs. Emma Bonino, Minister of Trade for Italy and H.H. Sheikha Lubna, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates. The event was organised in cooperation with women's business associations from Egypt, Arab and African countries and highlighted key issues for enhancing the participation of women in the economy. Its objectives were to establish a dialogue and an action plan among regional bodies for improving the economic role of women as a mechanism for reducing unemployment and increasing economic performance. A Declaration was adopted for presentation to Ministers.
The afternoon session consisted of a high level public-private panel on ‘Strengthening the Role of Private Sector in Economic Growth and Sustainable Development’, which brought together senior business representatives from MENA and OECD countries and international organizations to mobilise private sector input to the process of reform and modernization. The panel addressed key issues related to the role of private sector in spurring economic development in the MENA region, with particular regard to the creation of linkages between foreign direct investment and domestic markets and effective measures to communicate the achievement and benefits of reform to stakeholders and the population.
A business statement was adopted for presentation to Ministers.