The Arab Economic Forum started in the 90s, as the Arab Investment and Capital Markets Conference (ACM), since then it has been held annually in Beirut. Amongst the forum’s traditional proceedings is an awards’ ceremony in honoring the lifetime achievements of prominent figures who have influenced the Arab world’s economy, by presenting them with the “Lifetime Achievement Award”.
In the year 2005, the Arab Economic Forum - AEF 2005 was dedicated to the memory of the late Rafic Hariri, the key founder and honorary chairman of AEF, since its very beginning. His remarkable contribution to the reconstruction and recovery of Lebanon and his staunch support to economic development and free trade in the region was duly acknowledged and honored during the Forum. “The Rafic Harriri Leadership Award” was designated to his memory and has been presented yearly to prominent Arab figures.
Furthermore, the Arab Economic Forum 2005 also launched a yearly award in honor of the late Bassel Fleihan, entitled: “The Bassel Fleihan Young Arab Leaders Award”.