For the 7th straight year, the 2015 Global Financial Markets Forum was held in Abu Dhabi in the beginning of March. Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates capital, acts as the central economic hub where bright-minded leaders from around the globe discuss the major challenges and opportunities regarding the world economy. The GFMF conference is sponsored and organized by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and calls upon politicians, asset managers, regulators, sovereign wealth funds and bankers to give their perspective on where the world economy is headed.
During the conference, many discussions took place with topics varying from the industrialization of the UAE to the economic climate of financial institutions. The conference opened with prestigious keynote speakers like H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan – the UAE Minister of Culture, Youth, and Social Development; Hussain Al Nowais – the chairman of The General Holding Corporation; and General Colin L. Powell – the former US National Security Advisor and Secretary of State.
After opening speeches, the conference focused on key markets around the world like retailers, energy, transportation and more. Some specifics dived into the emerging small and medium enterprises sector throughout the UAE because innovative programs are fueling Emirati entrepreneurs. This went hand-in-hand with the industrialization throughout the UAE because Hussain Al Nowais stressed the importance of Abu Dhabi SME investments. By shifting financial resources to the booming sector, the UAE could become the newest market of innovative products and services.
The GFMF conference also touched upon the important of socio-economic development throughout the globe and the role of Asia within the West-Each corridor. Just to note some of the most recent enterprise developments throughout the UAE, the President enacted more pressure on SMEs to contribute 70% to the nation’s economy by 2020, upping it from the current 60%. This has led to open opportunities for investors to help fund SMEs which some funding has already stemmed from Hussain Al Nowais. SMEs in Abu Dhabi and others throughout the region have started to produce some early signs of benefits – giving the UAE the potential to see large growth within the next few years.
As the GFMF wrapped up, conference attendees were able to benefit from the collaborative discussions and take new ideas from the UAE and apply them to their own economic strategies.