She said that today's economies heavily rely on the deep-rooted
ties and cooperation in a world heading towards globalization based
on open markets and mutual trade investment.
The Kuwaiti businesswomen pointed to the role of women projects in
the economic development especially for economic decision makers or
those doubting the women's role in the economic growth in the
Sheikha Hessa pointed to the Kuwaiti economy which she described as
being free and unbiased against women.
She added that Kuwait is ranked 57th out of 161 countries having a
free economy according to international specialized classifications.
She said that Kuwait's economy had recorded nearly 63.7 percent
among the other free economies according to an evaluation that was
conducted in 2007 with a 1.1 percent hike.
She said that Kuwait's exports had stood at nearly USD 33.5 billion
of crude oil and other petroleum substances, as its imports recorded
USD 18.5 billion.
Sheikha Hessa said that the Kuwaiti economy has managed to found an
enhanced monetary system according to the international standards,
thanks to the banking services the country renders.
She pointed to a number of obstacles hindering the women's projects
including the weak government support, absence of appropriate
mechanisms to secure such women participation, besides negligence of
shedding light on successful projects.
The theme of Sheikha Hessa's speech was "The Role of Women-Run
Ventures in Economic Growth".
Around 1,000 business meetings are expected to be held
throughout the two-day forum, said Bonino, noting this was the
first-time such a politics-free event was held.
The forum is attended by some 450 businesswomen, at least 250 of
whom are from southern Mediterranean countries and the Middle East.
Eighteen countries are participating in the forum, including Kuwait,
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon,
Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Turkey.
Furthermore, the forum welcomed announcement of Sheikha Hessa to
host the gathering in Kuwait next year.
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi described the initiative as
He said this initiative reflects keenness of the participants,
especially those from the Mediterranean and Italy, on the importance
of the main role of women in the development of societies.
For her part, Italian Minister for International Trade Emma Bonino
thanked the state of Kuwait for accepting to host the forum in
Kuwait next year.
She expressed hope the forum in Kuwait would also succeed in
achieving rapprochement between the Italian and Kuwaiti companies
owned by women.