The 2nd Middle East Asia Leadership Forum (MEALF), a prestigious annual gathering of key business leaders from the Middle East and Asia has opened at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Dubai, UAE.H.E. Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, who has been selected as the Forum Chair, delivered the welcoming address where she lauded the phenomenal economic progress of the Middle East and Asia and emphasized the important role of the two regions in the global economy.
Organised under the theme “The CEO Challenge: Sustaining Growth, Expanding the Boundaries,” the Forum gathers prominent members of the Middle Eastern and Asian private and public sectors to discuss both the sustainability of the two region’s rapid economic growth and the exploration of new areas of progress. Al Qasimi, who will also deliver a speech during the event’s closing keynote dialogue, spoke of the unique situation of the two regions, considering the current volatile international financial markets.
“Recent market turbulence has left companies and economies across the world reeling from the impact. Looking ahead, it is difficult to assess what the future holds, but one thing seems certain—the Middle East and Asia are moving fast along the path of economic growth. The two regions are integrating more closely with the global economy, and the rise in their domestic consumption and investment are providing a counter-balance to the global slowdown,” said Al Qasimi.
The event’s other distinguished keynote speakers include H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, UAE; Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra, Chairman, Manchester City Football Club, and Former Prime Minister of Thailand; and The Honorable Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General, Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Forty Featured Speakers including Mark Daniell, Chairman, The Cuscaden Group; Ambassador Edward Djerejian, Founding Director, James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy; and Sameer Al Ansari, Executive Chairman and CEO, Dubai International Capital, will also grace the Forum.
“The UAE government is actively seeking to solidify its economic ties with all Asian nations. The rapid growth of our economy and the attractive investment opportunities in my country have enticed many companies in Asia to do business with local firms. The UAE - China Business and Economic Cooperation Forum, which was held in Shanghai on the 2nd of April under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, was a huge success. UAE and Chinese business leaders met face to face and discovered various investment opportunities in both countries. Six business agreements were signed in that event, which was attended by more than 70 top UAE business leaders and over 600 leading Chinese entrepreneurs,” concluded Al Qasimi.
The 2nd Middle East Asia Leadership Forum will feature eight high-profile plenary sessions titled “Looking Ahead: Decoupling Debunked, Drivers for Economic Expansion;” “Global Champions from Emerging Markets: Cross-Border Strategies for Growth;” “Beyond the Innovation Buzzword: Transforming Hype to Bottomline Results;” “Making Talent a Real Priority: Winning the Battle for Brainpower;” “The End of Oil? Managing Demand, Developing Alternative Energy Sources;” “Challenges from New Media: Branding and Marketing in the Digital World;” “The Future of Family Business: Leveraging Vision, Creating Competitiveness;” and “The Power of Sovereign Funds: Transforming Markets, Redefining Boundaries.”