Sunday 24, September 2017 by Georgina Enzer

DIFC’s Global Financial Forum will explore opportunities for emerging markets in the ‘New Order’

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading international financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has today announced the preliminary speaker list for its inaugural Global Financial Forum (GFF).

To be held on Tuesday 14 November 2017 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of DIFC, the Forum is set to convene an exclusive gathering of invited delegates to focus on ‘Navigating the New Order’.

With His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, set to deliver the welcome address and a speaker line-up that features Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered; Hafez Ghanem, Vice President (MENA), World Bank; and Arif Naqvi, Group Chief Executive Officer, The Abraaj Group, attendees will be uniquely positioned to thoughtfully identify and address the challenges and opportunities facing emerging markets today.

Through a series of deep-dive sessions, panel discussions and fireside chats, the GFF’s distinguished list of speakers will be exploring three main themes - Globalising Gulf Finance, Emerging Markets, and The Future of Finance. Speakers will take a broad view of global finance while focusing on the Gulf’s financial markets and exploring how the MEASA region plans to navigate shifts in the industry in the coming years.

Demola Sogunle, Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Bank, will guide attendees as they seek to identify why some ‘emerging’ countries and regions are able to keep pace, while others fall behind. Kevin Sneader, Chairman (Asia), McKinsey, will support the Forum as it identifies how the MEASA region plans to navigate shifts in the industry in the coming years. Sneader will discuss how the inward turn of the US and UK and the weakness of the WTO system indicate that regionally based trade and investment deals are becoming a more viable, if not a preferred, form of economic integration.

Confirmed speakers also include Cameron Murray, Head of Africa and Middle East, Lloyd’s; and Mohamed Damak, Global Head of Islamic Finance at Standard & Poor’s. Both speakers will guide Forum attendees through the role of the Islamic Economy in South-South investment. They will also be discussing the use of Islamic finance by non-Muslim consumers, the adoption of shariah-compliant tools by a broad array of investors, and the prospects for Islamic finance in non-Gulf markets.

Meanwhile, Khaled Talhouni, Managing Partner, Wamda Capital; and Walid Hanna, Chief Executive Officer, Middle East Venture Partners; will highlight Fintech’s latest trends and key players in emerging markets. A strategy session hosted by Leanne Kemp Chief Executive Officer, Everledger, will look to explore how major banks and financial institutions view blockchain, which mainstream financial institutions increasingly view as a viable tool.

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