Infrastructure investment ‘key to growth’
Manama, March 6, 2014
More investment in infrastructure, education and healthcare is essential for the region's sustainable economic growth, a thought leader has said.
PineBridge Investments chairman Mervyn Davies said this was key to development of human capital and meet the aspirations of youngsters, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"The overall signs from the US, GCC and Asia are generally positive. The opportunities in the region, in particular, continue to be very exciting."
Davies said this in his keynote address at the Euromoney GCC Financial Forum co-hosted with the Economic Development Board (EDB). The two-day event held at the Ritz Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa concluded yesterday (March 5).
More than 450 delegates from 21 countries across North America, Europe, and the Middle East participated in discussions focusing on key issues and trends, including the role of financial services in regional development and capital flows across borders in the GCC.
"In the GCC we have a growing population and, thanks to economic growth, that population is increasingly affluent," Transportation Minister and EDB acting chief executive Kamal Ahmed said.
"With those trends comes a desire for more sophisticated ways of managing that wealth - whether that is in life insurance, pensions or private banking, which is why the financial sector is so important to our region, and is a sector that can help drive growth and diversification," he added.
According to the minister, emerging opportunities in the region would impact the way the financial sector operated in the GCC, with the businesses that took advantage of these opportunities becoming the most successful in creating a sizeable long term presence in the region.
PineBridge Investments Middle East chief executive Talal Alzain said regional economies continue to experience sustained economic growth and provide strong fundamental conditions for business. "A young growing population, high oil revenues, and increased government spending have led to a faster pace in economic activities and increased consumption," Mr Alzain added.
The shift in trade dynamics between East and West and the outlook for the world economy were assessed by major industry players.
"China is currently the biggest exporter and a large lender in the world economy and will likely take over the US as the largest economy by 2020," Standard Chartered global head of research Marios Maratheftis said.
Tiger Hedge Fund managing director and former director for economic policy at the White House Todd Buchholz also discussed the current world economy during his speech, which focussed on the significance of demographics and education in stimulating the economy.
Other leading regional and international experts joined the panel discussions on the global, regional, and local economic outlook, regional prospects for financial services post crisis, and asset and wealth management.
Various speakers, sponsors, and supporters are participating in the Euromoney GCC Forum including BBK, NBB, Bahrain Bourse, Bank Alkhair, Bahrain Development Bank, Mumtalakat, Alba, Baker & McKenzie, Citi, Tamkeen, PineBridge Investments Middle East, and Standard Chartered. – TradeArabia News Service