HE Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman Addresses Jordan Business Council

DIFC Governor highlights the important trade and investment links between the UAE and Jordan

HE Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Vice Chairman of the UAE Central Bank, discussed the many effective steps the UAE and other Gulf governments have taken in response to the global financial turmoil, during a speech on Monday to the Jordan Business Council (JBC) in Dubai.

The swift and effective measures taken by the regional governments and central banks combined with the region's strong macroeconomic fundamentals, the large financial reserves, coupled with the governments' commitment to continue with the vital infrastructure projects, all indicates a bright future for UAE, the Gulf and the wider Middle East region, he told the audience.

During his speech at a special JBC lunch forum held at the DIFC, HE Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman also highlighted the important trade and investment links between UAE and Jordan and his hope that they would continue to deepen and broaden.

"The strong fraternal links between our countries and the wise measures taken by leaders will strengthen both economies and ensure that they will be well positioned to thrive when the global economy starts to pick up again," Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman said. "It is a great pleasure to address this council which is considered a significant business partner to UAE."

The Total trade between the two countires has grown ten-fold since 1990, from US$73 million to US$734 million in 2007. Investment has grown substantially, including the initiation of the US$10 billion Marsa Zayed, real estate investment in Aqaba by Abu Dhabi-based Al Maabar International Investments; the recent launched operations of UAE mortgage lender Amlak Finance (Jordan)established in partnership between the public- and private-sector; The establishment of Jordan Dubai Capital; the initiation of Samara Dead Sea project by the Dubai-based real estate developer Emaar, and the establishment of Jordan Dubai Islamic Bank.

JBC President Ihsan Qatawneh commented, "We are glad to host HE Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, the prominent business leader who led the DIFC to become one of the world's leading financial centres, who addressed JBC members and friends on issues touching the lives of each one of us. We at JBC aim to promote dialogue at the highest levels, and we are committed to providing opportunities for our members to hear from distinguished leaders about their visions for the future."

"This event reflects the strong links between Jordan businessmen and the UAE. Since the establishment of JBC in 2000, it has acted as a networking forum hosting prominent speakers and business-focused lunches for the exchange of views with businessmen. JBC is a conduit to enhance investment relations and to foster business links between Jordan and UAE businessmen; to introduce opportunities, and to facilitate and channel direct investments to both countries in the public and private sectors," Qatawneh added.

Maha Al Fahoum, JBC board member, said, "We currently face challenges reflected in slower growth which raises doubt in the future ability to achieve sustained and steady growth; drop in oil prices; budget deficits and reduction in Governments expenditures on infrastructure includinghealth and education; unemployment and layoffs causing employees to return back home; Decline in business confidence and in its profitability; financial risks including liquidity, volatility and credit risks; the need to improve productivity; global fiscal imbalancesas well as drop in real estate, etc."

"Fortunately, the measures taken by the UAE and MENA governments to restore confidence, such as the stimulus packages and the increase in expenditures, were positively received and have proved to be effective. We believe that this region has the fundamentals to enable it rebound faster. Fostering corporate governance and regulatory systems that limit the future risks and vulnerabilities; supporting business relations and intra-trade within the MENA region; efficient use of talent, and self-reliance will help speed up recovery," she added. "Since UAE has always taken the lead, we at JBC were keen and happy to listen to HE Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman's objective views and valuable analysis on the crisis and means of recovery . He indeed inspired audience and reassured their belief in Dubai vision." Such an event is useful to exchange views between the business community and decision makers 

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