Top delegates discuss GCC growth plans
Dubai, March 14, 2012
Around 100 senior-level delegates are collating industry data and discussing sustainable growth plans for the GCC at the second annual Financial Thought Leaders Summit, which opened today (March 14) in Dubai.
Organised by French business information group naseba, the event is concluding tomorrow at the Grosvenor House hotel.
Panel discussions and keynote presentations were led by industry specialists, and addressed subjects such as the need for investor relations and corporate governance.
Harun Kapetanovic, economic advisor at the Department of Economic Development for the Government of Dubai, gave the opening keynote address on the paradigm of the dynamic economic trends in the Mena region.
He began by examining the fiscal regulations in the GCC, before noting how the region's competiveness will be ensured by internalising its inherent wealth of knowledge and formulating strategies for growth.
All experts agreed on the need to resist factors typically employed by organisations in the face of adversity – namely, staff reduction and heedlessly following industry trends.
Ziad Makhzoumi, chief financial officer at Arabtec Holding, also talked of the positives of the economic recession, saying it is forcing organisations "to use more transparent practices and restructure businesses accordingly, so that what happens next will not depend on outsider markets.”
Dr Jarmo Kotilaine, chief economist at the National Commercial Bank, furthered the discussion by highlighting how the recession has created more opportunities then challenges, but warned that some opportunities are currently disguised.
He emphasised how the GCC needs to unleash its economic potential by bringing more young people into the workforce and taking advantage of the new recognition small to medium enterprises are enjoying.
Day one drew to a close with group debates that included panel discussions and workshop sessions on ‘stimulating sustainable growth in an emerging market’, and how to support regional and local employment. – TradeArabia News Service