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World leaders gather in Sharm el-Sheikh
 From Sharm el-Sheikh: Leading global figures in politics, business and academia are gathering in Sharm el-Sheikh for Egypt’s landmark Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC), which begins today, 13 March. Hosted by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and Prime Minsiter Ibrahim Mahlab, the three-day conference will seek to raise international support and funding for Cairo’s ambitious New Economic Development Strategy. “This conference marks an important milestone in the government’s economic and investment roadmap,” said Mahlab from Sharm el-Sheikh. “[It] aims to bring investment and stability in the region and deliver prosperity for our people.” Reform agenda The conference is a key element of Cairo’s economic programme, which aims to restructure and transform the Egypt’s economic base by improving productivity, encouraging private sector-led growth while supporting social justice. The government is using the event to present its vision for Egypt to international investors, to explain its reform programme, and to showcase investment opportunities to international investors. More than 1,800 delegates from 70 countries are expected to be in Sharm el-Sheikh for the conference, which will provide a forum for discussions between international business executives and Egyptian governmental and private sector leaders on specific investment initiatives across a broad range of sectors, including energy, mining, housing, agriculture, tourism, industry, transport and information technology. Global leaders The conference begins today, 13 March, with an address by Al-Sisi on the state of the country’s economic roadmap and the prospects for future growth. Other presentations will come from global heads of industry such as GE chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Jeff Immelt, Siemenspresident and CEO Joe Kaeser, Nobel laureate Ahmed Zewail, BP Group CEO Bob Dudley, International Finance Corporation CEO Jin Yong Cai. Political leaders from around the world are also showing great commitment to the steps that Egypt is taking. More than 30 heads of state will be in attendance, as well as the presidents of theWashington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, Christine Lagarde and Jim Yong Kim.
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