GFMF: Abu Dhabi provides enormous opportunities for all
- United Arab Emirates: Saturday, March 02 - 2013 at 11:37
- PRESS RELEASE
The 2013 Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF) concluded today with record number of attendees.
Michael Tomalin, the Group Chief Executive of National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) outlined the economic strengths and prospects of the UAE for investors. Mr. Tomalin said Abu investment to diversifying its economy and transition the contribution of petroleum from 60% of Emirate's GDP to 40% offers substantial opportunities to investors. He said Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 would develop Abu Dhabi to a global financial.
"Abu Dhabi is an enormous opportunity for all," said Mr. Tomalin. "Abu Dhabi is a city that is open to investors, open to you."
Mr. Tomalin said NBAD will continue to focus on expanding its products and services to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). "SMEs are the backbone of any economy".
Mr. Tomalin also said NBAD would continue to expand its global network, including launching a branch in Brazil, one of the world's fastest growing economies as well as Lebanon and South Sudan this year. The Bank has revealed earlier that it plans to expand its international network to 41 countries by 2021.
He said NBAD's strategic international expansion aims to capitalize on UAE's growing trade.
NBAD has the largest international network among UAE banks with operations in 15 countries on four continues from the Far East to Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and Americas.
Mr. Tomalin also said the further development of a domestic bond market is critical to support Abu Dhabi's growth plans, as balance sheets alone can't support the ambitious plans of the Emirate.
Following Mr. Tomalin's speech, James A. Baker III, former US Secretary of Treasury and State and a global statesman, analyzed global economy.
"World economy is recovering from the global recession," said Mr. Baker.
The United States, he said, is growing, however, at a slow rate. "At current growth rate, it will take (the US) years to achieve full employment.
Mr. Baker called the United States a "ticking bomb." "The US is broke, if we didn't have the dollar, we would be Greece," Mr. Baker said.
To bring the debt under control, the US political parties must agree on a "grand bargain" on taxes and spending cuts. The economic and political "dysfunction" has prevented 'achieving the grand bargain," he said.
Noting that Europe has deeper economic difficulties than the US, Mr. Baker said, "Emerging economies are the bright spots."
Leading bankers and economists participated in panel discussions on financial markets and banking.
The two-day Forum kicked off yesterday by speeches from H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research; H.E. Sultan Bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, the Governor of the Central Bank of the UAE, H.E. Nasser Ahmed Alsowaidi, the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development who and the Chairman of NBAD; and David Milliband, former British Foreign Secretary.
Since the first GFMF in 2009, the forum has been an unrivaled event in bringing prestigious thinkers and policy-makers to Abu Dhabi to analyze and debate the most critical issues impacting economy and allow investors to benefit from the most effective evaluation of the fundamentals.
"This annual forum continues to provide a very effective and dynamic medium to discuss, analyze and debate the most critical financial issues of our times," Mr. Alsowaidi said. "We aim to achieve these goals, by inviting investors, policy-makers and thinkers from around the globe to come and share with us their outlook on global financial markets and their outlook on their economies."
Sameh Abdulla Al Qubaisi, the General Manager of Corporate Coverage Group at NBAD's Global Financial Markets, said: "In addition to delivering great value to attendees, GFMF continues to raise Abu Dhabi's standing and promote it as a global hub and an attractive destination."
The 2013 Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF) will be available virtually via the state-of-the-art AvayaLiveTM Engage, an interactive virtual conferencing that allows delegates who are unable to attend the forum in person to do instead through a virtual conferencing program. This is the first time in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) such a program is offered.
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