At the dinner with media, communications and entertainment leaders

Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II

At the dinner with media, communications and entertainment leaders

30 January 2000

Thank you very much for your kind words.

Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is really a pleasure to be here tonight in the presence of such a distinguished crowd. Rania and I are very grateful for your participation and for this great honor. I have to admit that a year ago, I did not know how and when the annual meetings of the World Economic Forum take place. I was neither a businessman nor a world economic leader, and my interests lay in simply being the best soldier in the Jordanian Army that I could be. Well, ladies and gentlemen, let me break the news to you that I have now become a serious competitor to all in this room. Since our arrival yesterday, it has been a memorable experience, to be topped tonight with getting to know so many accomplished people who have pursued excellence and attained achievement in media, communications, and entertainment.

Distinguished Guests,

At this moment, many Jordanians are watching the nightly news carrying reports of our activities here in Davos and reflecting on how this exposure is going to affect their well-being in the final analysis. They were told in the last few years that peace is better than war and will bring with it economic prosperity. They were also told that private capital is a much better tool than government capital investment in achieving sustained growth in the economy. And they were also led to believe that privatization of key economic sectors is the way to improved services and utilities. They are still awaiting the proof, hoping for peace and prosperity and looking forward to economic opportunity. They have been the ones who sacrificed, aware that the outside world will not help them until they help themselves, and that the world will not impose a peace that they have to live with, unless they make it themselves. Tonight, as I salute the Jordanian people for their faith and belief that their sacrifices will eventually pay off, I turn to you, my friends, to say that people who sacrifice deserve to be given a chance, to participate in the benefits of the new world of communications, media, and information technology. We have laid an excellent foundation of liberalization, private enterprise and a market-led economy that complements our open and stable political system. We have made peace with our neighbors and built strong foundations to protect it. Now we turn to the global economic leaders in the East and in the West and ask them to come and have a look. You will witness the dawn of a new era that is full of hope and promise, and that is secure in its past achievements. You will meet a mostly young and talented generation that welcomes progress and embraces modernity at a remarkably fast pace. In fact, I can assure you that you will meet many who have already heard and read about you. They will definitely add their welcome to mine and will make your visit a rewarding experience.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have lately been asked many questions about the past year, how it has been and how I fared. In fact, it has been full of challenges and opportunities. But it has not provided the time to sit and reflect about how it has been. The guiding mission has been one that continuously reminds me that my duty is to make Jordan a better place to live for all Jordanians. They have a right to expect this and we have an obligation to deliver. Their faith and peace must be rewarded in a partnership that is global, that is sincere, and that is real.

I thank you for your presence, for your friendship, and for your partnership and I look forward to seeing each and every single one of you in my country.

God bless you all.