Past event

Conference

MENA Economies

Diversification, Growth and Employment

8 Jun 2015 - 09:30 to 9 Jun 2015 - 13:00

Chatham House, London

Economies in Transition

How can countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) diversify economies, create new employment opportunities, and unleash the potential of an increasing number of young, educated and underemployed citizens?

Amid political instability and conflict in parts of the MENA region, falling oil prices, uncertain growth prospects, high levels of youth unemployment and societal demands for change, the issue of economic diversification has come back into focus. The pressure on leaders to enact reforms is increasing.

This conference will bring together policy and business leaders to address critical issues on the MENA economic reform agenda, including:

  • Political risks, security issues and the impetus behind economic reforms
  • The balance of public and private sector-driven economic growth
  • Diversification strategies in oil exporting and oil importing countries
  • Development of local skills and local capacity
  • The reform process and established social contracts

The Chatham House Rule 
To enable as open a debate as possible, this conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule.

Twitter 
Suggested hashtag: #CHMena

Pricing

For any questions about which rate applies to you, please call +44 (0)20 7314 2782.

                       FULL RATE
 EXCL. VATINCL. VAT
Major corporate member rates  
All organizations£625£750
Corporate member rates  
Commercial organizations£1,360£1,632
Government departments£795£954
NGOs and academics£525£630
Standard rates  
Commercial organizations£1,495£1,794 
Government departments£895£1,074
NGOs and academics£580£696
 

Monday 8 June

Overview | Political and Social Climate for Economic Reforms
09:30–10:45 

Chair’s opening remarks 
Jane Kinninmont, Deputy Head and Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House 

Moderated panel discussion 
This session will focus on the impact of economic reforms and assess policy actions intended to increase diversification, investment and job creation in MENA economies. 

  • What motivation is there for economic reforms in the current political and security climate?
  • Can policy-makers overcome structural barriers to deliver politically difficult economic changes? How can subsidies be reformed to deliver better targeted and more cost-effective support?
  • What impact is political risk having on investor confidence? How can economic reforms attract inward investment?
  • How can young people and women be supported to play a more active economic role?

Moderator 
Jane Kinninmont, Deputy Head and Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House 

Panellists
Dr Steffen Hertog, Associate Professor, Department of Government and Political Science, LSE
Majid Jafar, CEO, Crescent Petroleum
Dr Florence Eid, Chief Economist, Arabia Monitor
Frank Hagemann, Deputy Regional Director, ILO Regional Office for Arab States

Questions and discussion

10:45–11:10 Refreshments 

Session One | MENA Economies in Focus
11:10-13:15 

This session will highlight economic diversification strategies in countries within the Gulf Cooperation Council as global demand for oil weakens and oil revenues decline, and explore the challenges and opportunities for industrial development and diversification in North Africa.

Chair
William Danvers, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD  

Keynote addresses
HE Anas Khaled Al-Saleh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Kuwait 
Questions and discussion 

HE Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance, Kingdom of Bahrain 
Questions and discussion

HE Dr Saleh bin Mohammad Al Nabit, Minister of Development Planning and Statistics, Qatar
Questions and discussion

HE Hany Kadry Dimian, Minister of Finance, Arab Republic of Egypt 
Questions and discussion 

Nizar Baraka, President, Economic, Social, and Environmental Council, Kingdom of Morocco
Questions and discussion

13:15-14:15 Lunch

Session Two | Budgets, Investment and Growth
14:15-15:30 

This session will examine how countries in the region can meet spending commitments on public and social projects, intensify diversification efforts, and attract long term financing to provide the capital for sustainable economic growth.

  • How can the region attract a wider, diverse base of funding from international investors? Which sectors and types of projects represent opportunities for investors looking for growth?
  • How can countries facing declining oil revenue manage their deficits? What are the implications for public spending, borrowing and fiscal reserves?
  • How can local government bond markets and non-sovereign debt markets attract investors and capitalize on liquidity in international capital markets?

Chair
Professor Paul Stevens, Distinguished Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources, Chatham House

Speakers
Selim Kervancı, Head of Capital Financing, MENA and Turkey, HSBC
Dr Fahad Alturki, Chief Economist and Head of Research, Jadwa Investment

Questions and discussion 

15:30–16:00 Refreshments

Session Three | Enhancing Competitiveness and Resilience
16:00–17:30 

This session will examine the challenge of reducing economy-wide inefficiencies and the measures needed to increase the economic competitiveness of countries in the MENA region. 

  • How will the MENA region compete in an increasingly competitive global market?
  • How can businesses across the region generate new growth and revenue opportunities?
  • What measures are needed to help improve labour and capital productivity?
  • How can the benefits of greater regional integration and trade be maximized?

Chair
Professor Martin Hvidt, College of Sustainability Sciences and Humanities, Zayed University

Speakers
Dr Shanta Devarajan, Chief Economist, Middle East and North Africa Region, The World Bank 
Suhail Bin Tarraf, Chief Executive Officer, Tanfeeth 
Nabil Habayeb, President and CEO, GE Middle East, North Africa &Turkey
Mohamed Lahouel, Chief Economist, Department of Economic Development, Government of Dubai

Questions and discussion

17:30 End of day one and drinks reception hosted by Chatham House

Tuesday 9 June
09:30-11:30

Session Four | Employment, Education and Unlocking Potential

This session will analyse labour market dynamics, the role of the public and private sectors in creating new employment, and how to foster innovation and new business ideas.

  • What has been the economic impact of increased implementation of labour nationalization policies?
  • How will women playing a more active economic role affect societies in the MENA region? How can young people be supported to develop the necessary skills in a competitive labour market?
  • Can a ‘social compact’ based on government support for individuals and state intervention in the economy be changed?
  • In what ways can a culture of innovation be fostered in order to provide a platform for greater entrepreneurship?
  • What finance tools can stimulate sustainable economic growth in the region’s SME sector?

Chair
Sara Bazoobandi, Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

Speakers 
HE Dr Shaikha Al Maskar, Chairperson, Al Maskari Holding
Habib Haddad, CEO, Wamda 
Rami Khoury, Managing Director, Middle East Investment Initiative

Questions and discussion

11:30–12:00 Refreshments 


Session Five | Policy Actions for Prosperity
12:00-13:00 

Closing panel discussion on economic policies and market-based measures that can deliver increased growth, create jobs, improve macroeconomic stability and increase confidence in political systems.

Moderator 
Dr Steffen Hertog, Associate Professor, Department of Government and Political Science, LSE 

Panellists
Dr Khalid Al Yahya, Senior Visiting Fellow, The Center for Innovative Government Management, Saudi Arabia
Professor Martin Hvidt, College of Sustainability Sciences and Humanities, Zayed University 
Tim Callen, Mission Chief to Saudi Arabia, International Monetary Fund

Questions and discussion
 

13:00 End of conference and lunch


© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2015

 

Keynote Speakers

Speakers

Dr Fahad Alturki

Chief Economist and Head of Research, Jadwa Investment

Sara Bazoobandi, Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

Sara Bazoobandi

Associate Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

Tim Callen speaking at Chatham House MENA Economies 2015 conference

Tim Callen

Mission Chief to Saudi Arabia, International Monetary Fund

William Danvers to speak at Chatham House MENA Economies 2015 conference

William Danvers

Deputy Secretary-General, OECD

Dr Shanta Devarajan

Chief Economist, Middle East and North Africa Region, The World Bank

Dr Florence Eid

Chief Economist, Arabia Monitor

Nabil Habayeb speaking at Chatham House MENA Economies 2015 conference

Nabil Habayeb

President and CEO, GE Middle East, North Africa & Turkey

Habib Haddad to speak at Chatham House MENA Economies conference

Habib Haddad

Chief Executive Officer, Wamda

Frank Hagemann to speak at Chatham House MENA Economies conference

Frank Hagemann

Deputy Regional Director, ILO Regional Office for Arab States

Dr Steffen Hertog

Associate Professor, Comparative Politics, London School of Economics and Political Science

Dr Martin Hvidt

College of Sustainability Sciences and Humanities, Zayed University

Majid Jafar

Chief Executive Officer, Crescent Petroleum

Selim Kervancı

Head of Capital Financing, MENA and Turkey, HSBC

Rami Khoury

Managing Director, Middle East Investment Initiative

Jane Kinninmont

Deputy Head and Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House

Mohamed Lahouel to speak at Chatham House MENA Economies 2015 conference

Mohamed Lahouel

Chief Economist, Department of Economic Development, Government of Dubai

HE Dr Shaikha Al Maskari speaking at Chatham House MENA Economies conference

HE Dr Shaikha Al Maskari

Chairperson, Al Maskari Holding

Professor Paul Stevens

Professor Paul Stevens

Distinguished Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources, Chatham House

Suhail Bin Tarraf

Chief Executive Officer, Tanfeeth

Dr Khalid Al Yahya

Senior Visiting Fellow, The Center for Innovative Government Management, Saudi Arabia

 

Sponsors

 

 

 

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, please contact Kamil Hussain on +44 (0)20 7314 2783 or email khussain@chathamhouse.org.

Media Partners

Venue

Chatham House
10 St James's Square
London
SW1Y 4LE
UK
conferences@chathamhouse.org

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7957 5729
Fax: +44 (0)20 7957 5710

If you wish to book the venue for your event please phone +44 (0)20 7314 2764
 

Directions

The nearest tube station is Piccadilly Circus which is on the Piccadilly and the Bakerloo Underground lines. From Piccadilly follow Regent Street southwards towards Pall Mall and take the first road on the right called Jermyn Street. Duke of York Street is the second road on the left and leads to St James's Square. Chatham House is immediately on your right.

Map


Accommodation

Although we cannot book accommodation for delegates, we have arranged a reduced rate at some nearby hotels, where you can book your own accommodation. Please inform the hotel that you will be attending a conference at Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) to qualify for the Institute's reduced rate.

Please note all rates are subject to availability.

Flemings Mayfair
Half Moon Street
Mayfair
London W1J 7BH
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7499 2964
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7499 1817
Standard Single from £199 + VAT

The Cavendish London
81 Jermyn Street
London
SW1Y 6JF
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7930 2111
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7839 2125
Standard Single £205 + VAT

To book The Cavendish online

The Stafford London by Kempinski
St James's Place
London
SW1A 1NJ
Tel: 020 7518 1125
Fax: 020 7493 7121
Standard Single £230 +VAT

This conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Information for journalists

Press can request a press pass.