ASEAN Finance Ministers Investor Seminar to Be Held in Dubai

The fifth ASEAN Finance Ministers Investor Seminar is due to take place today (8th October) in Dubai. The event, entitled "Dynamic Asean: Dependable Partners for Sustaining Growth", is supported by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and facilitated by Barclays.

This seminar, being held for the first time in Dubai at the Raffles hotel, will offer unparalleled access to policy makers from those countries belonging to ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which include Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao PDR.

The event will provide an exclusive forum for investors from Dubai and the Gulf region to discuss with key decision-makers the latest economic and capital market developments in each nation, as well as ongoing regional integration efforts. In particular, the forum will look at increasing business and investment opportunities in Southeast Asia, and the region's enormous growth potential, which is being spurred by improving macro economic conditions, increasing intra-regional trade, and greater economic integration.

His Excellency Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the DIFC said: "To Achieve economic success, it is essential to stimulate growth and integration through the close cooperation of all financial centres. Dubai is focused on building links with ASEAN's member states and enhancing these relationships to help achieve sustainable development and prosperity. We are confident that this event will provide regional businesses access to ASEAN's fast evolving markets as well as offering our esteemed guests an insight into the Gulf investor's view."

Ministers participating in the seminar include Dr. Sri Mulyani Indrawati Minister of Finance - Indonesia; H.E. Mr. Kong Vibol First Secretary of State - Cambodia; Suparat Kawatkul Permanent Secretary for Finance - Thailand; H.E Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop Minister of Finance II - Malaysia; His Excellency Dato Paduka Haji Ali Bin Apong, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance - Government of Brunei Darussalam; Tharman Shanmugaratnam Minister for Finance - Republic of Singapore; Somdy Douangdy Minister of Finance - Lao People's Democratic Republic; Ninh Vu Van Minister of Finance - Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Margarito B. Teves Secretary of Finance - Republic of the Philippines.

"Rapid economic growth of ASEAN provides an excellent opportunity for Ministers to highlight the strong investment case for the ASEAN region in Dubai. The region's integration into a variety of economic and political networks offers a wide spread of opportunities to investors from the Gulf and elsewhere in the Middle East. The DIFC is definitely the ideal platform for companies from ASEAN countries as they expand and diversify their investor base. Barclays Capital looks forward to cooperating with the DIFC in this endeavour" said Sir David Wright, Vice Chairman, Barclays Capital.

Speakers at the event will include Mr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary General of ASEAN, as well as a number of high profile Finance Ministers from ASEAN's member nations.

Today's one-day seminar will include panel discussions, country presentations, one-on-one meetings and small workshops with the Ministers of Finance from each of the ASEAN member nations. The panel discussions will be moderated by Sir David Wright, Vice Chairman of Barclays Capital.

Cyrus Ardalan, Vice Chairman at Barclays Capital, said: "We are delighted to be able to host this unique opportunity to have nine finance ministers from the Asean countries meet with Middle Eastern investors. Our strong and long standing franchise in the region provides us with an excellent opportunity to introduce the Asean finance ministers to middle east investors."

ASEAN was established in 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined in 1984, Vietnam in 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar in 1997 and Cambodia in 1999.

As of 2006, the ASEAN region has a population of about 560 million, a total area of 4.5 million square kilometres, a combined gross domestic product of almost US$ 1,100 billion and a total trade of about US$ 1,400 billion.

The main objectives of the Association are to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region, as well as to promote regional peace and stability.

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