Investment Prospects and Risk Take Center Stage at High-Level Forum Hosted by DIFC and MIGAPress Release27 May 2013 08:53 am
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank Group, hosted “Investment Prospects and Risk – MENA and Beyond,” a forum that took place in DIFC’s Conference Centre on Monday, May 20th. The high-level forum focused on global and regional prospects and the latest risk trends.
The event considered how uncertainty in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as the euro zone and the sovereign debt crises continue to have an impact on businesses across the world. The forum discussed the state of global investment and explored effective risk mitigants—including the role of development finance institutions.
Opening the conference, Chirag Shah, DIFC Authority’s Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer, said, “We are delighted to once again partner with MIGA to host this year’s Investment Prospects and Risk forum, an event that allows some of the region’s most highly regarded strategists and economists to discuss current economic and political issues. Over the last decade, DIFC has developed a secure and internationally recognised legal and regulatory platform for investment firms to access the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. In light of the uncertainty and challenges impacting the region, it is now more important than ever for businesses to function in an environment that offers both certainty and room for growth.”
Shantayanan Devarajan, the newly-appointed Chief Economist of the MENA region for the World Bank, said in a keynote address that in order for MENA countries to stimulate growth, they need to address three risks: macroeconomic fundamentals, political instability, and investment productivity. On the latter, he noted that in order to boost investment productivity, the region must look at constraints with respect to governance, labor markets, and finance.
On risk, MIGA’s Executive Vice President Izumi Kobayashi noted, “Risk as it affects investment is a topic that has certainly been at the forefront of people’s minds these past few years, as the global economy has reeled and the Arab Spring has taken place. For this reason, at this important moment when the region needed it most, MIGA was there to backstop investment: for example, in Jordan, Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt. In fact, we have agreed to mobilize $1 billion of MIGA’s capacity for the region in response to recent events and we’re more than half way towards that goal. But this is only MIGA’s capacity; in reality our insurance is mobilizing a much larger amount of investment by the private sector.”
The forum brought together approximately 40 senior executives from leading regional and international companies in a private dialogue to consider the most recent economic and risk trends, while sharing their experiences on these issues. This event is part of DIFC and MIGA’s continued focus on increasing the capacity of the private sector and development finance institutions to support shared prosperity in the region.
Panelists at the event included Moosa Al-Moosa, General Manager – UAE and Director of Finance MENA, Dow Chemical; Owais Diwan, Head, Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit – Dubai; Nabil Fawaz, Sector Manager, MIGA, World Bank Group; Mouayed Makhlouf, Director, International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group; Jonathan Robinson, Managing Director and Head of Project Finance – MENA, HSBC; Constantin Salameh, CEO, Al-Ghurair Group; Marcus Williams, Chief, Strategy, Communications, and Partnerships, MIGA, World Bank Group.