Welcome Speech - Dr. Nasser Saidi, Executive Director, Hawkamah
Doing Business 2008 – UAE National Workshop
February 27, 2008
H.E. Mohammed Al Gergawi UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs, H.E. Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre, Your Excellencies, Honoured Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen:
I would like to welcome you to the Dubai International Financial Centre, and to the first workshop in the UAE to develop a reform agenda addressing some of the major challenges to Doing Business in the UAE, as identified by the World Bank and IFC.
The DIFC and Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance, are especially pleased to partner with the World Bank/IFC and the Prime Minister’s Office to bring together prominent representatives from the public and private sectors to identify a clear path for modernization & reform to improve the Ease of Doing Business in the UAE.
For Hawkamah, as an advocate for better corporate governance in the region, the Doing Business surveys provide practical indicators and benchmarks for key improvements to promote business in our region by lowering the cost, including time, of doing business transactions and complying with procedures and regulations.
Over the past two years, Hawkamah has been working on bringing together coalitions of regulators and market practitioners to strengthen corporate governance in family-owned businesses, state-owned enterprises, banks and financial institutions, and capital markets. We partner with governments and regulators to develop corporate governance frameworks and are active through our regional task forces, particularly our task forces on banks, state-owned enterprises, insurance, and insolvency and creditor rights.
Hawkamah is engaged in this work because we firmly believe that better governance and stronger institutions, including the rule of law, will allow our countries to sustain economic growth, use our national wealth wisely for future generations, and diversify our economies.
Building the core pillars of corporate governance: transparency and disclosure, fairness, accountability, and responsibility, improves the investment climate and attracts global capital and human talent to the UAE.
These core standards are also important for the Ease of Doing Business, and for the UAE to confirm its standing as an international hub and diversify its economy.
During the next few hours, we look forward to a vigorous debate on the way to further build on the UAE’s successes and build a more business-friendly environment where entrepreneurship thrives. Your participation is important in designing and implementing an agenda for modernization & reform in policies and procedures to improve and lower the cost of doing business in the UAE. Indeed it is part of Excellence in providing Government Services that H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has called for.
The World Bank Group team Thomas Moullier, Justin Yap and Dahlia Khalifa, and Jamile Ramadan will be facilitating some of the sessions later today.
Our next speaker is a reformer in his own right, having served in many positions, including the Secretary General of Dubai Executive Council, CEO of Dubai Holding Company, Chairman of Dubai Development and Investment Authority, and Managing Director of Dubai Media Corporation.
He has spearheaded the launch of several of Dubai's strategic initiatives, including Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Knowledge Village, Dubai Land, Dubai Medical City, Dubai Press Club, Mohammad bin Rashid bin Maktoum Award for Arab Management, Mohammad Bin Rashid Programme for Leadership Development, Government Excellence Programme, Arab Media Forum, and Arab Strategic Forum. Minister Al Gergawi is recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Moroccan Royal Order and US Business Award.
It is indeed my pleasure to introduce to you His Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi, UAE’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs.