MENASA Forum to discuss energy, financial issues

DUBAI — The inaugural edition of the MENASA Forum, a high-level finance and business conference focused on the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region, organised by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), will open in Dubai today.

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Published: Sun 23 May 2010, 11:05 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 11:09 AM

The two-day forum, an invitation-only event, will bring together 250 members of the regional and international banking and financial services industry, regulators and senior business executives. Under the theme of ‘Finance for the Next Decade of Growth’, economic and business leaders will discuss the critical opportunities and challenges confronting the region. The event is being held in association with Abraaj Capital and Deutsche Bank and supported by Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Shuaa Capital.

The MENASA Forum promises to stimulate thought-provoking debate from an emerging markets perspective on issues such as regional capital market development, international regulatory changes, infrastructure finance opportunities, Islamic finance challenges, regional energy needs and the changing role of oil in an increasingly diversified global energy mix.

Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the President of DIFC said: “The MENASA region has emerged as an important player in global economic growth and has a key role in the transformation of the world’s economy. By recognising our interdependence and shared interests and forging greater cooperation, the region can become an even more influential force on the world stage. Dubai and the UAE, by virtue of being a vital hub for financial and trade flows between countries in the region, can play a major part in promoting economic integration in MENASA. I look forward to the discussions at the MENASA Forum on how the region can work together to realise its tremendous economic potential.”

Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of DIFC said: “The strong economic fundamentals of the countries in the MENASA region have enabled them to be resilient to the impact of the global financial crisis. Closer cooperation among MENASA countries can help the region overcome the challenges standing in our way and enable us to take greater advantage of the opportunities arising from our growth. The discussions at the forum will contribute immensely towards creating a framework for enhancing greater capital flows and integration in trade, investment and finance between MENASA countries.”

The forum will address the major scenarios for short and medium term development of the MENASA region that is home to 29 per cent of the world’s population and produces a total GDP of more than $4.5 trillion. The forum will also look at some of the critical lessons learned by the economies of the region about regulations; governance; investor protection; financial intermediation and diversification; and the measures needed to renew investor confidence.

Speakers at the event will take a close look at the vast opportunities for private equity and infrastructure investment in a region, which has immense development needs. Discussions will focus on the challenges and impediments facing private capital and project finance.

The MENASA Forum will officially commence with a high-level keynote address at the welcome dinner, followed by a keynote dialogue with Arif Masood Naqvi, Founder and Group CEO, Abraaj Capital, and Juergen Fitschen, Member of the Management Board, Head of Regional Management Worldwide and CEO, Germany, Deutsche Bank. The dialogue will be moderated by David Gardner, International Affairs Editor, Financial Times, to set the scene for the main discussion forums that commence the following day.

Ahmed Al Tayer will welcome the high-level delegation. The day’s agenda will formally commence with a keynote address by Daniel L. Doctoroff, President of Bloomberg LP and former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding for the City of New York.—

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