DIFC Governor Delivers the Opening Keynote Address at Leaders in Dubai Business Forum

DIFC set to become major channel for capital flows between emerging economies

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is all set to play a more prominent role in a changing global economy by developing itself into a major channel for capital flows between emerging economies, said HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of DIFC, the Vice Chairman of the UAE Central Bank and Chairman of Young Arab Leaders.

Delivering the key note address at the 'Leaders in Dubai Business Forum' today, HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman said: "Today we have reached a situation where capital flows between emerging economies can be channeled directly without the intermediation of financial centres in developed countries."

"DIFC is focusing on a project to develop a major node where companies from Egypt, India or Azerbaijan, basically, the Middle East North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region, could find capital from emerging markets through a listing or through private equity deals or any other convenient instrument. In other words, we are trying to bypass the old channels," he added.

HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman told the large international audience at the Forum that the current financial crisis is leading the way to a transformation in the global economic structure. "Over the last few years, capital flows have inverted their course: particularly from emerging economies to the US," he said "China, India, Japan, and Gulf countries are now net suppliers of capital to the world economy thanks to their large current account surpluses," he added.

"Emerging markets are no longer locked into fluctuations in developed countries. Structural reform and improved macroeconomic policy frameworks combined with strong growth have enabled emerging economies in China, India and the GCC region to shield themselves from the effects of the turmoil in western economies," he added.

The Leaders in Dubai Business Forum, taking place from 16 - 18 November, 2008, features some of the world's most powerful political, economic and thought leaders. The Forum is focused on discussing the world's key political and economic challenges and opportunities.

Apart from HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman, speakers at the event include Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City; James Wolfensohn, former president of the World Bank; Mohamed El Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Tom Peters, the internationally acclaimed strategist and business thinker; and Sir Winfried Bischoff, Chairman of the world's largest bank Citi.

HE Dr. Omar Bin Sulaiman further said that the financial crisis has given the GCC region many opportunities to redefine its role in the global economy. "We have the opportunity to play a more assertive stance on the international stage and get involved in top-level decision making processes. Stronger engagement in international affairs, primarily in international financial institutions like the IMF, World Bank, Bank of International Settlements and possibly, the OECD, will translate into greater visibility," he said However, he stressed that the establishment of a common GCC currency as a safe and sound global currency is critical to the region's ability to play a larger role in the world economy. The GCC currency has the potential to become a prominent global currency backed by the underlying natural and financial resources of the GCC countries, he pointed out.

The Leaders in Dubai Business Forum, which has been organized by 'Leaders Presents' for the past five years, is the region's largest conference for the local and international business community to learn from leading experts and network with successful, like-minded individuals.


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