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Central/East Europe: Second Annual Economic Summit Opens

Salzburg, Austria; 9 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - Hundreds of top political leaders and businesspeople are due to gather in Salzburg, Austria today for the World Economic Forum's (WEF) second Central and East European Economic Summit.

The WEF is the foremost international membership organization integrating leaders from business, government and academia. The three-day summit aims to help create an infrastructure for economic and business development in the region, which constitutes a major market of 120 to 130 million consumers.

Building on last year's response from the regional and international business communities, this year's summit will provide updates on economic progress and industry discussions. Our correspondent reports that it will also provide one of the first opportunities to assess the impact of the European Union and NATO Summits, held respectively in Amsterdam and Madrid.

Five hundred senior executives from 45 countries, 11 heads of state and government, 75 ministers and government officials and 35 independent experts are scheduled to attend.

The summit gets underway late today with an address by Klaus Schwab, President of the World Economic Forum. Schwab's address will be followed by a panel discussion on the European economy and engines of change.