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Top investors to attend Arab Microfinance symposium

Dubai, November 27, 2008

The First Arab Microfinance Investment Symposium is expected to attract more than 100 investors, leading financial experts and representatives from investment-ready Arab microfinance institutions (MFIs).

Experts are to discuss how this industry can provide a new class of investment vehicles, which are uncorrelated to market trends, while improving living conditions of poor communities in the region.

The event is being held under the patronage of Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of vice-president and prime minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai and chairperson of the International Humanitarian City Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The symposium is co-hosted by Grameen-Jameel, the first social business in the Arab World, which was established as a joint venture between Grameen Foundation and Abdul Latif Jameel Group of Saudi Arabia, and Blue Orchard, a Geneva-based microfinance investment manager.

It aims at highlighting the opportunities and challenges both from the investors’ perspective and from that of the institutions lending to Arab micro-entrepreneurs in poor communities. 

High profile delegates, including representatives from the UAE Ministry of Economy, the UAE Central Bank, Arab Family Offices and institutional investors, will attend the symposium.

The top investment-ready MFIs from Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia and Pakistan will be showcased at the event which is sponsored by Aramex, one of the leading logistics & transportation companies in the Middle East and South Asia and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which has a programme to develop micro and small business banking investments in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

“We would like to see more Arab investors tap into the potential of microfinance. This will serve two objectives; it will allow more MFIs in the Arab World to reach more small, unbanked entrepreneurs living in poverty to access capital and other financial services, allowing them to generate income, begin to build wealth and exit poverty,” said general manager of Grameen-Jameel Heather Henyon.

As the UAE Ministry of Economy  has been assigned the task of launching a federal strategy to develop a programme to support and finance micro and small businesses to be set up in the UAE, The Ministry has taken special interest in the Arab Microfinance Investment Symposium to be held in Dubai on November 30.

The task, which  has been assigned by the cabinet and is to be executed in cooperation with the Central Bank, aims to improve the livelihood of many Emirati families across the country with a focus on supporting women, youth, and pensioners who are eager to improve their economic and social environment. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: arab | symposium | Microfinance |

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