Panelists during a discussion at the first Women Economic Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Monday. The two-day ‘Lets talk about tomorrow’ forum aims to promote positive change. Image Credit: Courtesy: Twitter

Manama: Saudi Arabia is holding is first Women Economic Forum, which opens in Riyadh today.

The two-day forum entitled “Lets talk about tomorrow” aims to promote positive change, facilitate discussions and foster cross-sector partnerships.

Panelists will discuss Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation amongst an audience of business leaders, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, NGOs, artists and youth.

The forum comes at a time where the country is witnessing the rapid diversification of its economy, and reinforcement of investment opportunities, organisers said.

Tremendous pro-women changes have been recorded in Saudi Arabia as the country is moving ahead with an ambitious drive to overhaul society and empower women politically, socially and economically.

Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, has pushed through a number of other reforms to relax some of the country’s ultraconservative rules, including allowing women into stadiums to watch sports, bringing back musical concerts and promising a return of movie theaters this month after a more than three-decade ban.

The reforms are aimed at improving Saudi Arabia’s image abroad, attracting foreign investors, increasing women’s participation in the workforce and boosting local household spending as lower oil prices force the kingdom to undertake sensitive austerity measures.

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The inclusion of women and youth is crucial to driving a sustainable economy in Saudi Arbaia and authorities they will be able to play leading roles going forward.

Empowerment is also seen as the strongest factor in stimulating any national economy and increasing a country’s competitiveness.

Economic Empowerment, Innovation, Saudisation, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and Entrepreneurship will be addressed during the forum that comprises a broad range of panel discussions and talk shows as well as hands-on workshops.

First Saudi female boxer Halah Al Hamrani, Shura Council Member Mody Al Khalaf, Director Center for Career Development (CCD) at Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) Nahlah Al Jubeir and former editor-in-chief of Saudi Gazette Khalid Al Maeena will be among the Saudi speakers to address the forum.