CEF, Arab Fund to host sem­i­nar with NYT’s Thomas Friedman

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By Ben Gar­cia

KUWAIT: Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize win­ning au­thor and colum­nist at the New York Times, will visit Kuwait tomorrow to at­tend an eco­nomic sym­po­sium. This was an­nounced by Ous­sama Kanaan, Di­rec­tor of the IMF Mid­dle East Cen­ter for Eco­nomics and Fi­nance (CEF), at an event held at the CEF head­quar­ters at Symphony Mall yes­ter­day. Kaanan said this year’s sym­po­sium, ti­tled ‘The World is Fast: How to Understand it and Thrive in it’, will tackle eco­nomic and so­cial im­pli­ca­tions of eco­nomic re­forms in Arab coun­tries.

The sym­po­sium, which is the sec­ond part of a new se­ries or­ga­nized by the CEF, will be jointly pre­sented by the Arab Fund for Eco­nomic and So­cial De­vel­op­ment. Friedman was in­vited since he is the most prom­i­nent eco­nomic writer in the world to­day and his opin­ions mat­ter in many coun­tries. He has been tasked to dis­cuss is­sues re­lated to eco­nomic chal­lenges in the world to­day.

“With Friedman, we want to en­cour­age a de­bate on many eco­nomic is­sues at hand. We want to have some­body here with us to dis­cuss is­sues which will ben­e­fit us and share with the peo­ple in the re­gion,” Kanaan said. Discussing the role of CEF, Kanaan noted the institution has been pro­vid­ing ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing in eco­nomics and fi­nance to of­fi­cials from all Arab coun­tries since 2011.

“We don’t make any rec­om­men­da­tions, but what we want is to get some­thing from our speak­ers and ig­nite a de­bate that will en­rich ideas. We do not go to gov­ern­ments in the Arab world and tell them that this is best for their coun­tries - CEF is more into re­search,” Kanaan ex­plained. The CEF curriculum con­tin­ues to pro­vide great ben­e­fits with cour­ses in ar­eas to which Arab pol­i­cy­mak­ers are ac­cord­ing greater at­ten­tion, such as health and ed­u­ca­tion.

—Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

KUWAIT: Ous­sama Kanaan, Di­rec­tor of the IMF Mid­dle East Cen­ter for Eco­nomics and Fi­nance (CEF), speaks at the event yes­ter­day.

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