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Recognising the growing importance of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region to the global economy, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is hosting the inaugural MENASA Forum, a high-level finance and business conference focused on this vast and unique region, in Dubai on 23-24 May 2010.
Under the theme of ‘Finance for the Next Decade of Growth’, the Forum has attracted strong interest and support from local, regional and international business and financial sector participants. The event is being held in association with Abraaj Capital and Deutsche Bank, and supported by Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Shuaa Capital. The invitation-only forum will bring together 250 members of the regional and international banking and financial services industry, regulators and senior business executives to participate in the discussions including via live polling and Q&A.
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.
With an esteemed line-up of participants, the MENASA Forum promises to stimulate thought-provoking debate from an emerging markets perspective, while addressing such issues 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.
Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre said, “Over the past decade, the MENASA region has played an increasingly important role in the global economy. The region is at the centre of an eastward shift of the world’s economic geography, a shift that has accelerated following the global crisis”.
Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO, DIFC Authority said, “The MENASA forum is focused on identifying real opportunities for business, as well as inward and outward investment flows in the region. This is particularly significant given the relatively mild impact the global recession has had on the MENASA region and the strength with which some of its major economies are moving ahead.”
Ahmed Al Tayer, will welcome the high-level delegation with a keynote address at the MENASA Forum. The day’s agenda will then 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, a position he held at a time when he was tasked with leading New York’s dramatic economic resurgence following the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
Other speakers whose visionary leadership will establish the MENASA Forum as the region’s leading platform for thought leadership dialogue and theidentification of opportunities for inward and outward investment include:
Michael Dorrell, Senior Managing Director and Founding Partner of Blackstone Infrastructure Partners. Widely regarded as leading authority on infrastructure investments, Mr Dorrell will share his views on direct investment opportunities in the MENASA region and address the private equity and infrastructure opportunities in a post-crisis world.
Nader Sultan, Senior Advisor and former Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Petroleum Company. Mr Sultan is an acknowledged authority in providing high-level strategic advice in relation to the energy industry and will address the challenges of MENASA’s already substantial energy needs and how demand is going to grow markedly over the next 20-30 years.
Michael Cardona, Deputy Secretary General of ACP (Prudential Supervisory Authority) and former financial sector expert with the World Bank in Washington, DC, will provide insight into the balance sheet on global financial re-regulation as the world’s financial authorities hammer out a new global order for how banks and markets work.
Rushdi Siddiqui, Global Head Islamic Finance, Thomson Reuters, where he works closely with Islamic finance and banking professionals, including Shariah scholars, to address the challenges of developing Islamic capital markets and the likely trajectory of the sector going mainstream.
The MENASA Forum will draw to a close with a dialogue between His Excellency Sultan Al Suweidi, Governor UAE Central Bank, Masood Ahmed, Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund, and Kito de Boer, Director, Middle East, McKinsey, who will debate the importance as well as the challenges of building and sustaining MENASA partnerships to ensure continued growth in the region.