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The fifth annual Knowledge Economy Forum (KEFV) on “Innovation and Technology Absorption for Growth” took place in Prague, Czech Republic on March 28-30, 2006. The event was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Finance and the Government Office of the Czech Republic and the World Bank Vice-Presidency for the Europe and Central Asia region. 

This is the fifth Knowledge Economy Forum that the World Bank is organizing to support countries in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) in their transition to becoming increasingly knowledge-based.  The first such Forum took place in 2002 in Paris and focused on the definition of national knowledge economy strategies, primarily in EU accession countries. The 2003 Helsinki Forum hosted discussions on issues related to the implementation of knowledge economy strategies and targeted both EU accession and EU candidate countries.  The 2004 Budapest Forum focused on the role of knowledge in enhancing countries’ competitiveness and included delegates from countries in the Balkans and Central Asia.  The 2005 Forum, held recently in Turkey, engaged 25 client countries, including first-time delegations from Belarus, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as youth participants, in a dialogue on improving the business environment and using knowledge to stimulate private sector growth.

The World Bank seeks the direct involvement of the European Union (EU), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the British Council, the European Training Foundation (ETF), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as well as business associations and other important civil society organizations in the Czech Republic that work on themes related to this year’s event.

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