The Ajman Free Zone Authority, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Member of Supreme Council, Ruler of Ajman, hosted the “Ajman International Economic Conference”, which concluded today at the Ajman Kempinski Hotel, in Ajman, UAE.
The conference was graced by the presence of His Highness Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, and H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Humid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Ajman Free Zone Authority, along with the participation of a large number of business leaders, economists, businessmen and international analysts, government officials and policy makers, banks and financial institution managers, under the auspices of various regional and global media.
Presentations were delivered by Keynote VIP speakers, namely,Hon. Dominique de Villepin, Former Prime Minister of France, Hon. Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, and H.E. Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor, Dubai International Financial Centre.
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Humid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Ajman Free zone Authorityformally opened the conference by welcoming all participants and speakers and commended the efforts exerted by the Ajman Free Zone Authority in organizing this remarkable event and wished them luck and success in the achievement of positive results and recommendations which will be utilized in the development of future plans to attract more investments.
His Highness also noted the importance of the continued development of relations between institutions and organizations working in the field of development and their counterparts in the region. He thanked His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for their leadership and guidance for moving UAE towards exceptional progress and prosperity.
He said, "The United Arab Emirates has achieved great success in all areas of economic and social development, through the National Strategic Development, which focused on the efficient and rational exploitation of oil resources, and the provision of necessary infrastructure for development, in other economic sectors, especially agriculture and industry trade and services, in order to diversify income sources and expand the production base and avoid reliance on oil as the sole source of income. It has also focused on the development of institutions and national leaders to achieve global competitiveness and put the name of the state on the regional and global economic map.
He also stressed on the need to pursue such conferences to take advantage of field studies and learn from the expertise provided by the participants and speakers in the successful strategic planning, growth and development of economic and financial institutions and in keeping abreast of modern management and technical knowledge for economic developments.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Ajman Free Zone Authority thanked and appreciated His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, for extended his support and commended the participation of regional and international speakers and government leaders, wishing them a pleasant stay in the Emirate of Ajman and the success of the conference.
He said, "Based on the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, and in line with the aspirations of His Highness Sheikh Ammar Bin Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, the vision of the emirate of Ajman has always been to participate in the development of the national economy. It has always strived to develop new strategies to keep pace with the region's economic growth and investment, and establish an economic climate that works to attract various investments to achieve global economic competitiveness.
“As the Emirate of Ajman is on the verge of a new phase of economic recovery, the Ajman Free Zone Authority has organized the Ajman international Economic Conference to discuss the global economic developments and to shed light on the opportunities and challenges for future national economic development and its impact on opportunities for international investment. It will also focus on the critical issues and relevant strategic aspirations of the State and the Emirate of Ajman by providing a meaningful and positive economic program which would consolidate and strengthen the overall pace of development in the emirate.
“Over the past years the Ajman Free Zone Authority has provided proposals for various economic issues and taken initiatives to strengthen the investment climate and business environment, and develop economic legislation and laws and how to face the repercussions of the global financial crisis to the Government of Ajman.”
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdullah Bin Sultan Al Nuaimi, Director Department of Ports and Customs Ajman, Ajman Free Zone conveyed his deepest thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman and Patron of the Conference, His Highness Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Naimi to honor their Highnesses. Likewise, he expressed commendation to all the speakers, corporate sponsors and the media in playing their significant role for the success of the conference.
He added, "The Ajman International Economic Conference was organized to develop an effective framework for free zones and corporate governance in the region which includes the transformation of its resources and capabilities to become one of the largest markets for attracting investments. The conference aspires to build a sustainable economy and establish a mutually beneficial cooperation and support to keep pace with the variables of global competitiveness. This conference is a learning and knowledge sharing platform for all of us to identify economic trends and formulate a concrete vision through which the region can respond to developments. It will help enhance our ability to manage regional and global economic challenges and position our economy’s competitive edge to confront all the challenges of economic globalization.”
The conference agenda included discussion of key topics such as the management of the economy after the crisis, confidence-building in financial institutions, policies to protect trade and investment, the consequences of the global financial crisis, global economic transformations and strategies to achieve long term sustainable economic development.
The presentation of H.E. Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre, focused on the devising expansion strategies for banks and Islamic institutions to diversify sources of income globally. He said, “During the crisis UAE has experienced a sharp decline in oil prices from record highs in 2008, as well as a decline in the flow of foreign capital. But in general, the region was able to resist the" tsunami” of the financial crisis because of vigilant economic policy measures and limited exposure of our banking sector to global financial markets.
“In response to the crisis and lessons learned, the government should take the initiative and play a leading role in stimulating reforms, including strengthening the rules and practices of corporate governance, emphasizing transparency and disclosure, enhancing the visibility and efficiency of regulations, and providing the appropriate legal framework for new activities in the field of "knowledge-based economy.”
Hon. Dominique de Villepin, Former Prime Minister of France focused his views on analyzing the regional and global economic opportunities and challenges facing the business sector. He said, “History has changed and accelerated since the last decade. We have seen a huge change in the balance of power and are now witnessing the reshaping of the world where everyone is trying to adjust to the regional and global challenges. But the key to success of any reshaping strategy is having the right perspective which can be achieved through planned governance and reinforcing a common vision of economic growth and success in the minds of the entire society. We need to have the ability to create new situations which will monitor diplomatic situations and avoid future crisis and reoccurrence of such crisis.”
He also supported the concept of having a single currency at a regional and national level. He said, “A solid single currency is an element of credibility for a region and country. It facilitates trade and supports growth for the regional and national economy. By developing a single currency, greater stability and solidarity can be assured for the economy, which will thereby support the emergence of our economies from the current crisis.”
Hon. Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Former Deputy Prime Minister expressed his views, saying that, “On a macroeconomic perspective, a country can achieve global competitiveness if the leaders will place greater emphasis on good governance and promote suitable education to rebuild the economy. It should encourage the ability to innovate, adopt reforms and drive change in order to keep pace with globalization. It is crucial to elevate human capacity development, enhance better trade opportunities and work beyond what is profitable to boost sustainable development."
He went on to explain that, "Every country should acknowledge competition and respond to the next wave of challenges posed by economic uncertainties. It should take its position to complement different ways of innovating while seeking the highest perspective of growth and development. The whole principle of sharing should be exercised to generate a wider base of economic gain to benefit not only the rich but the general masses."
The session ended with an interactive panel discussion and question and answers session, with participants showing an active interest and improved understanding of the knowledge shared at the conference.
Conclusions which were obtained from the Ajman International Economic Conference, for specific implementation in the GCC and the UAE, were as follows:-