Peace to Prosperity Workshop- 6/25/19 (English)

welcome to the 2019 peace to prosperity workshop ladies and gentlemen please welcome to the stage the senior advisor to the president of United States Jared Kushner [Applause] [Applause] thank you very much and thank you to everyone for being here before I begin I want to thank our gracious hosts His Majesty King Hamad His Royal Highness Prince Salman and His Excellency Sheikh Salman I want to thank the Kingdom of Bahrain and the people of Bahrain for being such gracious hosts when I came and visited with you and your father about a couple months ago in February and presented to him the way we were thinking about solving this conflict and the vision he said this is great this is exactly the thinking that we need in this region and asked that we come back here and try to assemble a bunch of leaders to talk this through when to start framing it and we've been very very overwhelmed by the reaction we've received so I really want to thank you [Applause] I also want to thank President Trump for his vision and leadership and commitment to bringing peace to the Middle East and also to throughout the entire world I want to thank secretary minuchin for leading president Trump's delegation to this workshop and for all the amazing work that you and your team have done to help us make this a reality I also want to thank everyone for joining us here today the people in this room are not people who shy away from hard problems and everyone here would like to see us bring an end to this israeli-palestinian conflict the fact that so many global leaders and experts on investment came from all around the world shows that there is a serious interest appetite and willingness by the global community to help the Palestinian people if the right context can be created for too long the Palestinian people have been trapped in an inefficient framework of the past the priests to prosperity vision is a modern framework for a brighter and more prosperous future it is a vision of what is possible with peace the conventional wisdom about the fate of the Palestinians is remarkably consistent in meeting after meeting and conference after conference I hear the same broken record of negativity about why progress is not possible when I asked my counterparts why they continued to repeat the same tyre talking points despite no evidence that they lead to progress they say what we've always said these things and we sell when we've always done things this way while politicians pay lip-service the world moves forward and the Palestinian people continue to be left behind we all agree on the following goals we want to see peace Security and Prosperity for Palestine Palestinians Israelis and everyone else throughout the world we want the freedom for people to worship without persecution we want people to live together with dignity and respect and we want to create better lives for their children and for future generations we do not need to spend a lot of time discussing how we got here we all know how we got here over the past decades there have been many stops and starts in the Palestinian economy numerous well-intended programs investments and plans have been derailed by violence political instability and the lack of a resolution to the long-standing core issues of this conflict to be clear economic growth and prosperity for the Palestinian people are not possible without an enduring and fair political solution to the conflict one that guarantees Israel's security and respects the dignity of the Palestinian people however today is not about the political issues we'll get to those at the right time the goal of this workshop is to begin thinking about these challenges in a new way let's try to view this conflict and the potential of the entire region through a different lens and work together to develop a concrete plan to try and achieve it for a moment imagine a new reality in the Middle East imagine a bustling commercial and tourist center in Gaza and the West Bank where international businesses come together and thrive imagine the West Bank as a blossoming economy full of entrepreneurs engineers scientists and business leaders imagine people and goods flowing quickly and securely throughout the region as economics become more integrated and people become more prosperous this isn't a stretch this is actually the historical legacy of the Middle East specifically of Gaza and the West Bank it is a legacy of great cultures coming together as a center of commerce innovation and prosperity at its apex the commercial traffic on the desert routes through Arabia culminating in Gaza was so dense that historians compared it to an army on the March but in recent years for most of much of the Middle East and longer for the Palestinians the only armies on the march have been armies but in recent years instead of building on a history of innovation and entrepreneurship the Palestinians became the highest per capita donor aid recipients in the world with no plan and no end in sight I might be in the minority but I believe that this can change president Trump ran on a very straightforward platform to keep people safe and to create the opportunity for prosperity in America and throughout the world the last two years have been a lot of hard work but by implementing his policies President Trump has created the best economy that America has seen in a very long time perhaps even the best we've ever had prosperity is not something that is given to people prosperity is something that is earned with smart planning determination and fortitude the Palestinian people have these qualities intelligence strength perseverance courage and great supply let's harness these strengths and create the opportunity for them to succeed my direct message to the Palestinian people is that despite with those who have let you down in the past tell you President Trump and America have not given up on you this workshop is for you the vision we developed and released if executed correctly will lead to a better future for the Palestinian people a future of dignity prosperity and opportunity you can change your course for the positive if we are willing to try new things and think outside of the traditional box peace can only be achieved if it comes with a pathway for people to improve their lives one who is more hopeful and sees opportunity for his or her family will put energy into pursuing opportunity instead of blaming others for their current misfortune that is why agreeing on an economic pathway forward is a necessary precondition to resolving what is a previously unsolvable political situation enormous amounts of money have been wasted on corruption munitions and conflict in this region imagine if that money was invested in infrastructure education workforce training and health care when we reached out to one middle-eastern investment fund to intend this workshop they politely rakaat replied that they didn't think they should attend because they don't invest in this region that was exactly our point we want people to be thinking about how we can create the condition to invest in this region we need to bring change so that rich region can become investable and as the center of opportunity as opposed to an area that is written off and overlooked so how do we begin to make this change we need the right plan and we need to create the right environment while we endeavor to create the framework the hope from this workshop is that we will be able to freely and constructively discuss the different ideas get peer feedback modify and then ultimately finalize a vision as a globally supported plan we are joined here today by representatives from the world's leading institutions we're very fortunate to have with us the president of the World Bank David Malpass we're very fortunate to have the chairman of the IMF Christine Lagarde major donor countries the largest companies investment funds from all over the world builders innovators job creators capital allocators and you'll be hearing from a lot of them over the next couple of days I want to thank you all for being here and for expressing an interest in using your knowledge in capital not just to create returns but also to drive change in the real world for real people this group has the ability to work together to create a historic opportunity for the Palestinian people and the people of this region some people have mockingly called this effort the deal of the century but at its core it is not just about making a deal in fact this effort is better referred to as the opportunity of the century if leadership has the courage to pursue it this is about creating opportunity for the Palestinian people this is about creating opportunity for the people throughout the Middle East if implemented correctly and competently the economic plan I will go through now will lead to growth in better lives to create this vision we have drawn from the lessons of the most successful economic transformations of the last 75 years we studied along with the world's leading experts and thinkers and economists Singapore South Korea Japan Peru Poland China and America we took the elements that we thought could apply and we tried to avoid the areas where we've seen mistakes and other attempts that people took over the years to try to implement these reforms what we have developed is the most comprehensive economic plan that has ever been created specifically for the Palestinians and for the broader Middle East we can turn this region from a victim of past conflicts into a model for commerce advancement throughout the world over the next two days I want us all to keep in mind the following question should we find reason to stay with the status quo a broken system that state that favors few at the expense of many or should we push together to find new solutions and fight for a brighter future filled with opportunity and hope I know which one I want to choose I appreciate you all embracing this challenge with me the United States and President Trump are committed to finding a better future for the Palestinians for the Israelis and for the entire Middle East by working together we can reach our ultimate goal which is a real peace that leads to prosperity thank you thank you so now I'm now going to transition over to the presentation we released the plan I guess like three days ago and I'm sure everyone here has read all 140 pages while we put together every line item but I'll give you just a quick summary of what we did so we put together the plan based on three pillars the first pillar is to unleash the economic potential of the Palestinian people and of the region to empower the people and then to enhance the Palestinian government's you can't do one without the other two and you need to be doing all three at the same time in order to make this work so if we implement this this program this is a very specifically designed program we go down to the different projects we've built it based on a lot of the work that's been done in the past we believe over time that we can double the GDP of the Palestinians we can create over a million new jobs we can reduce the unemployment rate to single digits and we can reduce the poverty rate by 50% this is not an easy thing to do but it's something that can be implemented we've had this peer-reviewed expense extensively and we have invited everyone here and everyone throughout the world we've released this publicly to give us their thoughts and feedback so since I know a lot of people here like to start with the numbers we go with a program that's about a fifty billion dollar program this comes from grants which is about thirteen billion this is all done over ten years then we do subsidized loans about twenty five billion and we have the private capital about eleven billion if you notice the early years we're heavy on the grants and and figuring out how to get the subsidized loans more in over time because we're trying to create the necessary conditions for people to be able to make this area investable right now there's not a lot of private capital there's not a lot of subsidized loans coming into this area because you're in a position where there's not the basic infrastructure necessary and you also don't have the rules-based system that's necessary for people to invest you know an example is a lot of the leading Palestinian business people who we speak to wanted to be here tonight they were told by the authority not to come and because they rely on them for their livelihood it's not a free market where they can make those distinctions so the first part which is unleashing the economic potential basically has four elements number one is constructing the essential infrastructure which is necessary for businesses to work number two is opening up the West Bank in Gaza right now they're very isolated enclaves you have a lot of fear of terror there's not a great amount of security and because of that the security has become very tight around the borders because of the tight security I was talking to one developer you can't get concrete in you can't get a lot of goods in and that makes the cost of living there much more expensive again if we have a real piece and there's not a fear of people doing terrorism then all of a sudden we can really thin the borders and allow for a much faster flow of goods and people promoting private sector growth a lot of the historical aid that's been done here has been done to the government and that now hasn't necessarily created a private sector we want to make sure that the private sector is empowered so that the wealth can really be distributed amongst the people because that has not been the case to date then obviously strengthening the regional development and the integration with the neighbors so we broke each of these things down into into different categories and we have obviously the foundational things we need to do we have the infrastructure the roads and rails the border crossing the power the water and wastewater digital services and then we went industry by industry for where we thought that the Palestinians could have a strategic advantage I'm not gonna highlight all of those if you go online and you look at the plan we put out we actually have a detailed business plan for how do you do each of these things individually but I'll just focus maybe on the power to show you what we did if you go to the West Bank in Gaza right now the West Bank gets about 99 percent of their electricity from outside so they're not really power independent you have the ability to develop an ecosystem they don't have the ability to do power generation if you go in Gaza they have one diesel plant which right now doesn't even have the ability to get in the goods that it needs to operate this would be about building new power infrastructure we would convert the diesel plants and natural gas we'd figure out how to get pipelines to get the necessary gas in and we would figure out how to make them much more self-reliant we'd also build out the power grid now again a lot of these investments people are unwilling to make because people don't want to put good money after bad money they've seen in the past they've made these investments they've tried to help out the Palestinian people and then all of a sudden there's some conflict that breaks out and a lot of this infrastructure gets destroyed so what we have here is very detailed plans and these are things that we can phase in over time assuming there is a real ceasefire or real peace and there's the opportunity for people to start making these investments so the next one is empowering the people having great infrastructure doesn't matter as much if you don't have the people to do the jobs we want to be matching the people with the jobs that are available today and the jobs they'll be available in the future so Palestinian people as you'll hear from one of the speakers tomorrow of one of the highest literacy rates in the world that's due to a lot of the aid that's been done over the years which has been good but we want to enhance the education services to teach them a lot more skill based training that will help them have better careers and better jobs a lot of the employers in the region are actually not able to find the the qualified workforce that they're seeking to do the the jobs and investments they want to make so we want to strengthen workforce development invest in health care and then also improve the quality of life that's part of the plan so again these are the three components and I'll focus right now just on the educational quality but each of these elements if you go into the website which is on the bottom you'll be able to see that we have a very detailed plan built out for each one but you have to do all these things at the same time you need STEM education we focus on youth and women workforce training but I'll focus just on the educational quality these are the different programs we've identified and the investments needed in order to help them catapult as to to a next level so that they can have a skilled workforce that's qualified to take on the jobs they'll be created from all this investment the third the third pillar is enhancing the Palestinian governance tomorrow we'll be talking a little bit about property rights which is a very essential component for being people being able to get loans for people being able to have investments but we need a better business environment and you know people are very quick in the Middle East you know for the last 70 years the unifying feature has been to blame Israel for a lot of people's problems but a lot of the problems really you should be looking at governance and the fact that people leaders have often deflected blame on Israel for a lot of the own shortcomings from within the countries if we can create a better business environment there that will make it investable so there's two major components that need to happen if people want to see better lives we need to figure out how do we make it a safe environment then we can actually have people willing to invest goods going in people flowing in and out and then we need an environment where people know that if they're investing then there won't be as much corruption the money actually can trickle down to the people and when people have property rights then it actually works that way and we'll talk about that more extensively tomorrow one thing that I get asked a lot from people when I share this program with them is they say well okay who's gonna implement this right you know we haven't seen a lot of ability to implement something like this and this is a major scale program that's something we've studied very very care and if you look at the last 25 years we have some very good examples not just here but in other places of where big programs have worked and been implemented we've studied those and we've tried to create a mechanism that's in line with those and then we've also had 25 years of experience to see how money could be wasted stolen all different kinds of bad things which we do not want to see happen so we've envisioned creating a master fund that then can govern this and we would release it in in tranches one of the things I like to say maybe this is from my previous life in business as opposed to being in government is we like to reward results we don't like to reward efforts and I think that that's a very important component so we would envision is that we would get commitments for this we would make it in tranches then ask you to achieve different milestones of reform then the next tranches will be released this is one slide that I asked really thought was very interesting which shows that we're actually starting from a pretty strong place relative to peers when I show this to people they're actually quite surprised if you go on the right side you'll see that you have the West Bank in Gaza with a GDP per capita of about 3000 per person if you go to the West Bank which is more governed right now you about 3800 per capita if you compare that to Egypt it's 2,500 Jordans 4000 Lebanon's 8500 Morocco's 3000 and Tunisia is 3500 if you go to debt to GDP you know you have Egypt at 100% Jordan at 94% West Bank and Gaza are at less than half of that so starting from a relatively strong place that if we can start doing these investments create a peace environment you know create a good security apparatus there is a ton of potential for people to really start rising in a very very quick way finally we constructed this in a way where we thought we can't just try to stimulate Gaza in the West Bank you know obviously we want to create a very prosperous global regional environment Israel's has a thriving economy imagine if Silicon Valley was cut off from the rest of California that's kind of what we have right now in the Middle East so obviously some form of peace would create prosperity I think for Israel but also for everyone else throughout the region but what we did is we put the majority of the projects in Gaza and the West Bank but then we also figured out what projects can we do in Jordan Egypt and Lebanon to also figure out how to get those economies to start rising and better integrated as well so we see tremendous potential again people on this file try to be very optical if you want me to come up with the reasons why this is hard I can probably give you a longer reason list of reasons than anybody else but again our goal has been to try to come up with what is the best pathway forward how can we break this deadlock that's been here for too long and how can we focus on helping people make their lives and that really is what when president Trump comes to the office every day he's focused on the American people how can he help the American people improve their lives and we took the same approach with the Israelis and the Palestinian people the politicians tend to talk about political things what we tried to focus on are what are the things that will help people live better lives help their families have better futures help them pay their mortgages help them be better providers and we think that this plan can really accomplish that so last slide is just showing you the breakdown in all the different industries again all this details on the website and I want people to review it very carefully but it shows that the money that we'd be investing is fairly well distributed obviously transportation mobility infrastructure with power and water digital services those are about half of it that's very very critical there's still government support right now the government runs a deficit but over time they should be able to raise their tax base to be to be self-sustaining and and then you know education tourism natural resources health care home ownership agriculture manufacturing quality of life these are all components that you have to do at the same time so I just want to thank everyone on the team who helped make this possible I think that it's a very good first step I do hope that the Palestinian people will take a look I hope that we'll all be able to come together and and try to come up with the best framework and put together this package and hopefully use this as a way to change the course of history in this region so I just want to thank all of you you know this is not a conference where people are coming to benefit for themselves you all have big responsibilities in a lot of places you can be and the fact that you're showing up to to do this shows that you care about the region you care about doing good in the world and you care about both the Israeli and the Palestinian people so really thank you for taking the time out of your lives to come and be a part of this and to provide your feedback and hopefully this will help us make a big step forward thank you [Applause] ladies and gentlemen please welcome to the stage professor author and broadcaster Nik gowing well let me welcome you all as well and I'm going to continue the spirit of mr. Kushner the spirit of trying to engage and let me tell you what the aim of the next day and a half is it's simple what we're trying to do is create a basis and a foundation for discussion there's really no grander intention than that after all there are many opportunities now they've got to be realized but how long will it take but what can we put now on the table I'm going to be joined shortly by two leading businessman to share their thoughts about what is possible and what can move forward but this is about an exploration and it is about an exploration of where things can go assuming there is peace or at least stability in this region when will that happen who knows when it'll happen gaining a better understanding of what possibilities there are for the Palestinians for the Lebanese for the Jordanians and for the Egyptians as well improving the quality of life through investment and infrastructure as well not just aid 179 projects already detailed in this big program that we're here to consider issues of regional integration issues of connecting people of Commerce and trade the kind of things which are stifled at the moment and the arts for you is simply to be positive to share thoughts in a positive spirit this is very much an economic discussion it's not a political discussion it's not about Jerusalem it's not about peace it is about what can happen when this stability in the region and I'm here in an independent capacity along with other moderators to try and make sure we can frame an understanding of what is possible in the spirit of what we've just heard from mr. Kushner teehee so you can frame your assessments and test the viability of the economic plan and the options and it is an economic plan only there is expected to be some kind of political plan in a few months time so let me now invite our two first guests to discuss building a coalition for Middle East prosperity the time is now let me ask Mohammed Al Abbar and also Steve Schwarzman to come to the platform [Applause] welcome to you both you're all both well-known here in the region and globally as well but what we want to do in the next half hour is explore how you as business people leading business people view the potential now and what you're going to invest in or what you might invest in or why you won't invest at all but let me ask the question which we need to ask first of all what's your reflection Steve Schwarzman of the fact that the Palestinian Authority chose not to be here well I'm not a political person I'm just a business person and I just listened to Jarrod's presentation which was pretty remarkable the idea that someone would take so much time and prepare something in such depth says something quite serious about the purpose of United States and also Jared as a person and I look at this kind of presentation as something that an economic planner would look at and and say this could happen with the right circumstances it won't with the wrong circumstances but everyone needs a dream and this is a very sensible type of dream and one would have hoped that the beneficiaries of that dream might have been here on the other hand has been 72 years roughly of complexity in this part of the world and things don't change overnight but but to make change you need to have a vision and thinking about this all 140 pages of it which I actually read twice because I knew I'd be sitting up here I just show how big it is yes and and it's got all kinds of supporting stuff that to make a dream come true for mothers in Palestine who want better outcomes for their daughters and sons and and and fathers you know who want to provide better for their families is normal and it can happen but as I think about you know these other places where things have occurred this whole region has exploded with growth since I've been coming here for 30 years a lot of it powered by natural resources and the cleverness of the people in Gaza and the West Bank there are no natural resources but there were no particular natural resources in Singapore it's just a small island it's got nothing it's flat but what it had was inspirational leadership Lee Kuan used one of the one of the most unique people in the world a country like Dubai which lacked the resources of of its neighbors with large scale resources has made an enormous success and and that all of that can happen now and this is like a first step but it's a vision that I think should be accepted for a better life and people will hear about this let's talk about specifics in the moment Mohamed alabbar the fact that the Palestinian Authority has decided not to be represented here really no the way I feel and I think many of my colleagues and the audience feel as Arabs you know this this the issue of the Palestinian and what project you might do large or small something very close to our hearts if I really believe of course it it would have been amazing to have everybody in one room but every one of us we are really blessed in Ian at heart because and the Palestinian issue is our issue so unfortunately they are not here they've been amazing to have them but we feel like I represent them because you know you know it is my story I mean Palestine and its people and the Palestinian issues is something that's close to my heart so I think today we really represent them and whatever needs to be done and then again you know many people ask me and I say you know all of us in this region you know we're really people of hope and we're very optimistic Bunch you know we live in a very harsh environment if it's really that desert or if it's the political scene in the region and we get up every morning and we are positive and we want to do more and you know what it happens it happens so I I'm saying it's unfortunate but I think it's our duty to prove to them that there's something that's very serious the people behind this effort has a good purpose all right now let's get into the detail peace to prosperity talks about envisioning extraordinary private sector investment in entrepreneurship small business tourism and so on it's a very long list for you as investors what do you need to be sure that you can put money in it could be safe and it can develop in the way that we've heard from from the plan well you need a rule of law that's very simple we can't invest places where you don't have predictability of enforcement's courts the normal kind of infrastructure you would expect and and that's a cynic want known where we go anywhere now of what you see I wouldn't think that would be a reliable place to invest just by the way this plan is is not that financially ambitious it's got twenty seven billion dollars you know for the Palestinians you know and and you know it's only about 20 percent equity so it's it's it's not that much it's like five and a half billion dollars we we put at Blackstone more than five and a half billion dollars in a single investment and this is for remaking a region so I don't think that that jared has put together something that is unachievable and and and really requires enormous amounts of commercial support I mean you you are investing an enormous amount in this region taking risks what kind of risk do you assess there is currently in Gaza in the West Bank of course I'm a big investor with my group in Egypt and Jordan in Lebanon and all these countries for the past 12 years now if we talk about if you want to talk about risk as Jared said there is no into it risk and hard work and pain which is continuous but that's the business we're in so if you tell me I'm Plus I'm from the Middle East I'll come back and say and Mike many of my colleagues they know that this is the region but we know it better it's easier for us to do business here the rather than Southern California where I get my my master planning approved in six years and I get it approved in Lebanon and in Jordan and in Egypt in three months so if you in fact I almost started a huge project in in Toronto and then acquiring the land it's it's the land that's Google is doing work on now they told me that you need to go through seven years of planning I said listen at that time I was 50 by the time I get to build anything I'll be 57 this is no deal so actually we left your clothes or office and we're gone while we are making all our money are they out of the Middle East so I'm saying that it is really easy to business to do business in the Middle East but it's hard work of course it's hard work and your accession to the risk well what about the return I don't want to do business in London where my return is you know 4.5% that's that's you know I'm out of business I'm looking at environment where I'm making 25% 35% sometimes 50 I mean certain areas I make 55% in the Middle East now as I said it's a lot of work flying in and out you have to know the mayor of the city the mayor of that city in the mayor of Tangier you know it's doable and create opportunities and remember these are so-called develop economies developed they have not developed yet so they need they need more of everything now we want to get by in the next 20 minutes to the point where we can work out whether the plan is achievable an achievable plan is what it says about itself the vision is within reach but there are some specifics here look at the kind of language in power the potential is blurred and I'm quoting from the document here by the absence of continuous sustainable peace and enhanced governance as well do you think the potential for that alone will in its own way create a new form of stability maybe not peace as such but stability which improves the investment climate what we find from investing all around the world is that great governments tend to have great countries and and make it really the kind of place where you'd want to invest and I think that's a challenge not for the region but for the for the Palestinian areas but one of the phrases here is the power to unlock from investment do you believe that is the case and could be and would be the case here well it's a little bit of a we call it in English a chicken-and-egg and I think you need both unlock potential Mahmoud I think you need them both but if you could give me a good environment where I can operate in there is no limit what can be done because with that good environment to operate in you will automatically do business you create employment you create better life for people people are optimistic people are positive and it just after that it just rolls because there's a lot of other people would be following us as we really put in the investment and it works you create great environment optimism and everybody is positive about what we do but you have to have these prerequisites so you're saying there is good justification for believing there's a causal effect between investment and creating a new environment where there can be greater stability because that's an important thing to have clear right from the beginning you want the biggest investors based in the United States one of the top five companies yeah well you you you have to have those preconditions of rule of law and and the ability to trust what people tell you it's it's the same all over the world and it's not controversial you have to deliver that and if you don't deliver that you can't attract large-scale capital you can't attract institutional capital which we mostly manage and and even brilliant I would say entrepreneurs like Mohammed would would be reluctant to go to a place like that and these are things that that that either get softer they don't the people have to want those kinds of outcomes because it gets them something the plan gets them a better life and today they're gonna have to deliver a mechanism to create confidence for outsiders I made with those you're dealing with and those you would like to deal with do you believe there's an understanding acceptance of this causal relationship between investment and the potential which is far greater than we have at the moment I think I think everyone I our group invest with you know we're across 17 countries they all believe in that and and and they've seen it working as well but again it's it must be the right environment for really two to come in and then people will will follow but if I might say one thing they're you know some we as Arabs we you have to know one thing about us is that the most brilliant minds are the Palestinian minds and for me if you have a brilliant mind you solve 90% of your problem so let's enable them and let's motivate them the right way because we've got a good material to play with let me work with them do you think this kind of discussion even though there are those who are not here in its own way can act as an inspiration to overcome these enormous the enormous legacy of geopolitical realities at the moment I think for us to get together and get people in the room I mean that's just an amusing opportunity I guess maybe I'm just a positive human being like many of these P we'll come here but that's the business that's why wake up we wake up every morning so it's the beginning of something that I'm sure will get us somewhere and I know that there's serious people in this room behind this gathering geopolitical reality so so an area with 30 percent unemployment is is not really sustainable as as an appropriate place to live and and you know it's it's hard to know what breaks an impasse but but if you have a vision that you don't have to have 30 percent you know unemployment you don't have to have you know sort of huge amounts of deaths on birth and all kinds of other issues it seems to me logical though the situation may not be logical seems to me logical that over time people are going to respond to a better life who would not want a better life I mean what is the world bank or other people in the room as well as some of the great sovereigns spend their lives making better lives for their people that's areas should at some point now I'm not a political expert to know when that point is going to be but at some point people should respond to that I'd like you to tell the story of what you've seen elsewhere because what I find certainly in my work is is that its case studies it's examples which have can really inspire as opposed to just numbers on a on a spreadsheet particularly or advantage your example from Serbia and after all 2530 years ago that was a region at war it was devastated I I was there for five years and the stories you're telling me now about the kind of dramatic change which can happen based on investment at the time we took the green light to invest GDP was minus one but all railroad station 200 acres on the river was unbelievable I was emotional about real estate emotion about human life but by the time we clean the river while we're doing the master plan we clean the river we put a bicycle path we put walking path landscape and we dropped containers in for a quick FMB that's all we did at the beginning because we're busy doing the master plan and you see people walking and you say something is happening and people still don't believe because you know don't believe that this project will happen the one by the time we delivered the first buildings still people said maybe these people are serious four to five years so I think all of us we have to be realistic it takes time and today of course doing well but you know what's amazing is that people automatically moved with us they are positive they are running around with their kids this smiling 50% of our business is the four million Serbian overseas putting their money back in their country while we are doing business in their number of visitors who followed us when we announced our two billion dollar investment and we start hitting the ground the number of people followed to come with us that's why Belgrade every year get about 45% increase in tourism year on year for the past four years so as you rightly said people want a decent life they just want to participate in something good but the issue with the Middle East which is much better than Serbia is that the Middle East 60 70 % are young people they look at their screens they want to be part of this I don't think they are involved in politics they want a better life we're gonna be that's why I'm optimistic about the gathering the young people in the region and what they want and what they are asking for and much of that will come out in the discussions tomorrow but when you look at that video which is only two minutes but a lot of transition taking place literally places which is seen as down but suddenly being trend translated I picked up on that having seen it before you mentioned to me about Serbia because of what you've just said about what can be achieved on the dramatic impact but look at North Egypt you know I've got a okay enough have a sixty million square feet square feet site and we've got one inside Cairo if you go into their sites and you say is this Beverly Hills or is this Cairo but look at the people on the street look at their faces look at the smile their pride they have something to lose something to is very important of all of us right we have a stake in this and other people follow investors follow other good people follow and I think you know it's our duty also it's not only the investment but to promote the concept to promote the purpose of what we are trying to do especially for us as our you know the Palestinian issue is the core of the part of our DNA the social catalysts there from investment even though some are so suspicious about what investment is about that social catalyst Steve about what can be achieved by investment and the transition in the minds of people particularly for the next generation who are hungry for opportunity well you know infrastructure is like a really important thing we were involved in Uganda providing 40% of the electricity there through a hydro project the ability to empower people by just having a simple thing things we don't even think about they're virtually invisible to us you know that that that's where you you start you know sort of like a great backbone for communications and internet and connecting people to the world you know there are all kinds of ways that you start but we did some interesting things in Poland probably around 15 years ago where you know you could just see the people who wanted to have better lives and they were quite focused on it and you know no government is perfect but from where they came from it was exciting to watch that one of the extraordinary hopes on page 17 we believe we can achieve a World Bank rating of 75 or better do you believe that is possible because when I look at the kind of language which I see on page four and I'm gonna quote here a thriving and integrated economy and empowered and prosperous people and accountable and agile government easy to put that in if you like a proposal document but do you believe something like that is really achievable well I wanted to say before you ask me this question I wanted to tell you that what made us really fly through some of these countries and especially in Serbia is that you should see how the government behaves I mean these people are like a driving one of those w12 machines they're fast they're efficient they're clean so I must say that not only we did a good job but but the government have have done an amazing work to make us to enable us to produce so I would say it's doable if you get a good partner we've got people on the ground who are really serious and I always vote for young government boys and girls to run the show and and really from the heart is important in this I like age because I don't a very large with my colleagues and e-commerce company that they were an amazing stuff in the region and they amaze me every single morning so yes young people they're educated they're smarter than all of us that's why I always travel with my son because I always need advice and I lean on him wait for the next question but thriving integrated economy empowered prosperous people accountable agile government these are very sound aspirational words well but that that's what you need everywhere in the world you know for example even a place like New York with with the mayor like Mike Bloomberg and you're still seeing what he's created with amazed over sities buildings going up there all over reinvigoration of the city one person so when I said earlier that one person is needed to drive this kind of reimagine ation of a country of a region one person can do it there there are people in this region itself in the Middle East the heads of a lot of the countries are driving you know to make their countries better a better life for people and everybody here knows you know what's going on in that regard and and it's that drive that there creates these big buildings and and then you know sort of museums and all kinds of remarkable things that have happened I mean since I've been coming here it's only been 30 years I guess a little less than 30 riad has grown seven times I mean people think it's just there it's seven times what what kind of place grows seven times that that's you know sort of people think it's been there for thousands of years and and you know you can you can do this with each country providing unique leadership which they do in this region it's a very dynamic here and there's no reason why that should not carry over now there's a particular point here on page eight about how you don't need a Marshall fund for this kind of thing to happen you need investing you need private investment and indeed much of the investment as we heard from mr. Kushner earlier it's gonna be significantly less than the amount of aid that's spent at the moment is that a good principle in your view that it doesn't require that kind of level of like the Marshall Fund after World War two this is 20 percent equity it's it's not that much money I mean I hate to say things like that they recorded and somebody says well you know seems like a lot of money to me as a person which it is as a person but but taken in in the context of a global economy 27 billion and you know putting up five to five and a half billion dollars is is you know that's that's a good size project that you'd be financing at the World Bank it's it's it's not that much money and and that's what surprised me about the plan there's so many applicants Asians of those funds because you've got 80% you know sort of soft money on top of it and and you you can you can you know because the base is so low you know there you can you can really you know put a lot of things in as as you know Jarrod's plan shows so so you know this is this type of transformation is financially doable it's a question of whether there's will to do it we've got five minutes left let me let me challenge you now what can fly fast what could move quickly if suddenly there was a significant breakthrough allowing this kind of open these kind of opportunities to emerge how quickly do you read believe that the private sector could act in a way which probably governments can't myself if get a green light we get people who are really facilitating the whole process I think you'll be shocked amount of interest and amount of money beside the numbers we were talking about because as I said as an Arab I know that every single Arab want to contribute and want to support so it will really fly fast but provide a good organized structure whatever that structure is that agreed on between all the parties I really am Telling You four hundred million Arabs there's a lot of different parts paid see if the speed at which this could be done like I think there's a proof of concept needed you know you you'd first have you know the inspirational entrepreneurs like Muhammad you you would need you know disproportionate money and guarantees you know from from the World Bank or IMF people would I think at least from the West be very cautious at the beginning and as they see it roll out they'd they they come in if the return is there and the safety first it would be safety you'd have to have somebody underwriting this this risk who of course thinks there's not much risk otherwise they wouldn't underwrite it what about two or three practical problems at the moment the fact that it's the the mobility between Gaza and the West Bank is very limited getting material into Gaza is particularly in almost impossible for most people as you've discovered what about the need for that to be overcome very speedily and secondly what is mentioned here in the document about creating growth opportunities by improving access to strong neighbouring economies strong neighbouring economies still that obstruction that limitation that friction that exists how much would that be critical in making judgments as a businessman I I think unless I have the point plan wrong Jared there's a road going between the two this is what happens when you read a hundred and forty pages and and so that's a mechanism and obviously you know it's really hard to have an economy that's completely bottled up you know economies like exports need imports and and so that would be over time I think something that that would need to occur you're probably you'll have to do the link which might take one or two years or three years but I think immediately if the parties they will have some type of an agreement then you can just open up Gus a little bit you know how you can open that is that through a port threat through Egypt and once you open that up and you know you release the pressure from the West Bank while you are building infrastructure you can still do work within these two territories ASAP but in your mind are these significant constraints which would act as a kind of anchor today I mean then for a structure between the two locations I don't think it's an issue today I think I think opening up the territories for people to come in and for for basically material to come in and out or opening Gaza across to Egypt for example you know 10 years ago I did the first master plan on the waterfront of Gaza you know my engineers they were sleeping on the border for two nights thank God there are Chinese Singaporean crazy guys who can sleep two nights on the border to get in and do the master plan but you need to facilitate facilitate all that while while you're doing the infrastructure between the e/m between the two parts right in the last minute your idea of where the Palestinians could be at high speed literally within a year or two if certainly things were to change dramatically based on the calculations you make as a leading investor I think the world would be overjoyed if things changed politically and and this issue could could just simply be normalized like the other places where you know we for the most part operate and and so you'll need a political change I think to make that happen to have that great inspirational leadership that that brings along population that that logically should want a better life for their children I mean if there is a positive change and again positive changes is a big word I think you will you'll maybe I'm just talking to mystic but you'll really be surprised because we're dealing with younger young young people who really would like to be part of the good life whatever that is but I'm sure it's positive and I think the velocity of change could surprise you good well thank you both very much indeed what we've done is we've opened the door to significant perceptions of what can happen if things move in the right direction let me tell you what's going to happen shortly there'll be dinner there'll be two dinners one for the main guests and officials over the other side of the corridor here and for the media it'll be downstairs in the kitchen bay restaurant two more morning we have met on the guard speaking on a panel in conversation with Tony Blair and and Jared Kushner as well session moderated by secretary Manoogian as well and Shaikh Salman featuring all the ministers of finance who are here but can I thank very much Steve Schwarzman and Muhammad al-abbas thanks thank you [Applause] you

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