Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The eighth Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF) kicks off on Wednesday, 2nd March 2016 at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace. The 2-day event, which is now regarded as the premier annual financial markets conference in the MENA region, will feature speeches by renowned decision makers as well as robust discussions on the most pressing issues impacting today’s world economies.
This year, the forum will host a number of influential international guest speakers, including Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Yanis Varoufakis, Former Greece Finance Minister, and influential economist Dr Mohamed El-Erian, the Chairman of President Obama’s Global Development Council and Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz. Prominent UAE decision makers will also share their thoughts on the region’s outlook, including H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and H.E. Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Managing Director of the Dubai Expo 2020 Higher Committee.
GFMF 2016 will address some of the big issues facing not just the region but the world including Energy, Renewables, Sovereign Wealth Funds, China’s economic outlook, the impact of European debt crises and challenges in the region, the Aviation industry, the changing financial regulatory environment, and Abu Dhabi’s plans for development.
Mahmood Al Aradi, the Co-Head of Global Wholesale Banking, Senior Managing Director & Head of Global Markets at NBAD said: “In an environment global market volatility and declining commodity prices, Global Financial Markets Forum comes at an opportune time for influential market players, policy makers and investors to get together to discuss and debate these important issues.”
The Forum commences tomorrow Wednesday 2 March with a welcome address from H.E. Nasser Ahmed AlSowaidi, Chairman of NBAD and Etihad Rail, followed by speeches by prominent Emirati political and business leaders. Then, a series of panel discussions and interactive interviews will cover various topics and industries, including Air transportation, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Abu Dhabi’s development strategy, as well as challenges and investment opportunities in Global Markets for 2016.
One of the most anticipated panels of the forum will be focused on discussing the outlooks of two Asian superpowers, China and India. The panel for this session will include Xiaodong Tang CEO of China AMC, one of the leading asset management companies in China; Rana Mitter Deutsche Bank Director of the University China Centre at the University of Oxford; Zia Mody Founding and Managing Partner of AZB Partners and top Indian business player Alok Agarwa from Reliance Industries.
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair will then answer a series of questions on key international challenges affecting the region and the world.
Alex Thursby, NBAD’s Group CEO, will deliver the opening address on the second day of the conference on Thursday, 3 March 2016. Day two discussions will focus largely on energy, in a region still heavily dependent on oil and gas. Two charismatic energy gurus, A Pulitzer Prize- winner Dr Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of IHS and Michael Liebreich, Founder and Chairman of the Advisory Board of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, will address the Age of energy insecurity and the Relevance of renewable energy.
Renewables generated a lot of optimism recently after COP21 climate talks prompted various governments to announce a total of US$20 billion investments in clean-energy research. The segment is also of particular interest to NBAD, as the bank recently announced a ‘10×10’ commitment to facilitate US$10 billion of financing within the next 10 years to projects focussed on environmentally sustainable activities. GFMF 2016 will also offer an opportunity for the bank to launch a follow-up edition of its Financing the Future of Energy Report.
One of the most prominent European personalities, Former Greek Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis will drive the audience through European debt crises and structural economic challenges, followed by Vikram Mansharamani, Lecturer at Yale University, who will make “16 predictions for 2016” on global economy.
Dr Mohamed El-Erian, the Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz, chairman of President Obama’s Global Development Council, will close the two-day conference with his insights on the world’s economic trends and take questions from the audience.
A virtual conferencing facility will enable investors and decision makers from other parts of the world to participate in the forum and interact online.