Top CEO Conference & Awards takes up imperative issues of Arab world

Fah Al-Rasheed, Group CEO of King Abdullah Economic City, while giving a speech at Top CEO Conference

Various burning issues ranging from ‘The Execution Challenge’, ‘Bureaucracy’, ‘The Private Sector’ and ‘Maintaining Momentum’, will be taken up during the Top CEO Conference & Awards event at King Abdullah Economic City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday.

In its fourth edition, Top CEO Conference & Awards promises an exceptional opportunity to network, brainstorm and exchange of tangible ideas. This two-day conference was started on Tuesday with the first edition of Arab Women Forum.

“Top CEO Conference is a platform for change of insights and networks. Currently plethora of changes are going on in different sectors and the theme of this conference is very appropriate – ‘paradigm shift’,” said Martin Roll, a leading business and brand strategist, while opening the Top CEO Conference on Wednesday.

Breaking the ice

While speaking about the massive transformation that this region is currently undergoing, Julien Hawari, Co-CEO, Mediaquest Corp, the organizer of the Top CEO Conference & Awards, said that this conference gives a rare chance to panelists and the attendees to draft a future roadmap toward a more sustainable future.

“There has been a profound change in the region and the impact of this change is reaching all across the globe. We are seeing that new models are emerging. Scenario is becoming very competitive and at the same time we are observing that the playing field is not very leveled in the region. Therefore, we have to find out how we can take the projects from the strategy to the perfect execution level,” said Hawari.

“We also have to find out how to save the weakest link in the society. Arab world need to have a very a strong social model without adding any further layers of bureaucracy,” added Hawari.

Perennial issues

Centralized government, red tape and bureaucracy haven’t let the public services sector to realize its maximum potential in the Arab world. There’s a consensus among the leaders that there is an opportunity here to rethink the system and remove the hurdles at the administrative level by cutting down the red-tape and making administration business-friendly so that the public sector can come on its own. The marvels of Fourth Industrial Revolution can also play a crucial role in this technological shift of public services.

Top CEO Conference will take up the issue of bureaucracy nightmare in this region in depth.

“The fundamental change should be in the mindset. There should be focus on productivity and delivery. Megaprojects need careful monitoring and craftsmanship. They also require a professional approach. Unfortunately, bureaucracy is the enemy of progress,” Khaled Almaeena, Managing Partner, Quartz-Communication Company, told TRENDS.

Conventionally insulated from the peripheral trends, the public services are no more immune from the wave of transformative technology. An OECD study outlines the political imperative for improving the efficiency, effectiveness and governance of public services design and delivery through digitization.

Challenges ahead

At a time when the region is witnessing low growth, tough fiscal conditions and rising unemployment, the public service sector can be the lifeline to infuse new life into the sagging economy and give it the much-needed impetus, provided it gets freedom from the administrative control and clarity on policies. Business leaders want the authorities in the Arab world to ensure efficiency, prevent leakage and transparent flow of revenues.

However, there are some burning questions that need to be answered such as: is transformation at the administrative level, coupled with blockchain, facial recognition, crypto-currencies and other new technologies a solution to drive the transformation of public services towards a technological environment? And how can this transformation be achieved? How technological shift will impact employment rates and the overall economy as many public sector jobs become automated?