Sunday, January 6, 2013

7th MIT Pan-Arab Conference

Press release:

22,000 jobs needed per day to combat the high unemployment rate in the Arab world -

MIT AAA conference to address employment and innovation in the region

06 January 2013

The MIT Arab Alumni Association (MIT AAA), with the lead sponsorship of Sadara Chemical Company and its parent companies, the Dow Chemical Company and Saudi Aramco, is convening world and regional industry leaders this month in Dubai to address the future of manufacturing and economic development in the Arab world. The 7th MIT Pan-Arab Conference: Manufacturing for Jobs, Growth and Diversification will be held at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi on January 19-20, 2013.

According to a recent IMF study, the Arab world must add 22,000 new jobs per day until 2020 and manufacturing is a key sector which can accelerate the growth and development needed to tackle this challenge.

Regional and global leaders speaking at the 7th MIT Pan-Arab Conference include:
1.     His Excellency Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Saudi Arabia
2.     His Excellency Abdullatif Al-Othman, Governor, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority
3.     His Excellency Ahmed Chami, Former Minister of Industry, Trade, and New Technologies, Morocco
4.     Mohamed Al-Mady, Vice Chairman and CEO, SABIC
5.     Jim McIlvenny, Senior Vice President, The Dow Chemical Company
6.     John Rice, Vice Chairman, GE and President and CEO, GE Global Growth and Operations
7.     Homoon Kang, Vice Chairman, Samsung Electronics
8.     David Steel, Senior Vice President, Samsung Electronics
9.     Motassim Al-Maashouq, Vice President, Saudi Aramco
10.  Martin A. Schmidt, Associate Provost and Professor of Electrical Engineering, MIT
11.  Joe Saddi, Chairman, Booz & Company
12.  Amer Majali, Chief Commissioner, Development and Free Zones Commission, Jordan
13.  Azzam Shalabi, President, National Industrial Clusters Development Program, Saudi Arabia
14.  Ahmed Yahia Al-Idrissi, Executive Director, Mubadala Industry
15.  Professor Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology
16.  Professor Stefan Catsicas, Provost and Executive Vice President, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
17.  Ziad Al-Labban, CEO, Sadara Chemical Company
18.  Gassan Al Kibsi, Director, McKinsey & Company
19.  Dr. Hani Shammah, Head of Private Equity, National Bank of Abu Dhabi
20.  Nader H. Sultan, Senior Partner at F+N Consultancy and Former CEO, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation
21.  Zuhair Allawi, President, Dow Saudi Arabia
22.  Badr Al-Olama, CEO, Strata Manufacturing
23.  Abdulrahman Al-Ubaid, Founder and Managing Director, Saudi Development and Innovation Group

Mr. Talal Kheir, President of the MIT AAA, said: “The Conference will focus on the future of manufacturing and its potential in meeting two of the Arab world’s most pressing demands: job creation and economic diversification. The objective of the conference is to bring together leaders in technology, policy, industry, education and finance to discuss innovations and showcase solutions that have the potential to significantly impact today’s global manufacturing challenges.”

Topics addressed at the two-day conference will include institutional, regulatory, and macroeconomic issues pertaining to manufacturing; education, training and innovation in manufacturing and their impact on employment, entrepreneurship and investment opportunities; plus models for a globally competitive Arab manufacturing sector.

Conference delegates will include senior government and industry leaders from the Middle East, Europe, Asia and North America, MIT faculty, students and alumni, as well as regional business leaders and professionals. Registration is still open at

About MIT Arab Alumni Association:
The MIT Arab Alumni Association (MIT AAA) was established in order to bring MIT to the Arab World and to bring the Arab World to MIT. MIT AAA’s vision is to promote the highest interests of humanity, to support science and technology education in the region, and to facilitate education of the diverse MIT community in the region.
Since its inception in the late 1990s, MIT AAA has pioneered and developed a regional conference model for which it received the MIT Presidential citation. These high profile regional conferences bring together the MIT community from Cambridge, as well as alumni/ae and prominent leaders in the Arab region to the different countries in which the conferences take place: Cairo (2000), Amman (2001), Beirut (2002), Dubai (2003), Tunis (2004) and Abu Dhabi (2009) have been recent venues.

For more information kindly contact:
Rabih Riman
PR Manager, entourage
Mobile:         +971 55 414 929 6


  1. We have all read stories in which people from a sinking ship reach an island and have to learn to do for themselves. In a real sense Saudi Arabia is an island but what they need to do is learn to rely on their own labor not that of imported foreigners (except for those few real skills that only foreigners can do such as teach English or any other foreign language). At this point it might make sense for Saudi Arabia to go cold turkey and stop importing foreigners. Of course that would mean minimum wage laws and job safety regulations. It would make work a bit more expensive, but unless you really kick the foreign labor habit you are only going to add cost to Saudi society without fixing things. If all the foreigners vanished the real work would have to be done by locals, and some of it would get done (unless Saudis are a lazy as foreigners think they are).

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