Arab Banking Conference Sets Plans To Face Regional Challenges

The two-day Arab Banking Conference started today under the theme “Challenges of the Arab Economic Security”, at Rotana Beach Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

The conference organized by the Union of Arab Banks in collaboration with Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, Emirates Banks Association, World Union Of Arab Bankers and regional and international organizations, under the name of “Challenges of the Arab Economic Security”, under the sponsorship of Amwal Al Ghad, being attended by Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, Governor of UAE Central Bank, Mohammed Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, Adnan Ahmed Yousif, Chairman of the Union of Arab Banks, Dr. Joseph Tarabay, Chairman of the International Union of Arab Bankers, Tarek Amer, Chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Banks and Tamer Mansour, Ambassador of Arab Republic of Egypt to UAE along with a large number of CEO’s of local and other Arab banks.

The event is held amid the current problems Arab countries has been witnessing since the Arab spring events as well as the regional and international challenges Arab countries are facing including poverty, unemployment, modest standard of living, low bilateral trade and investment rates, migration of Arab funds and competencies, weak infrastructure and education levels, not keeping pace with development requirements and global competitiveness, in addition to the problems of food and water security, climate change, energy and non-optimal use and mobilization of resources, while adding to the mix the various international challenges particularly the global financial and economic crisis and its implications on the global financial markets, recession, and contraction in the various economies including the Arab economies.

The Conference came as part of UAB’s efforts in pointing out the new requirements of the Arab banking sector in the light of the new developments happened to traditional and Islamic banks. UAB works on developing and innovating new banking instruments, services and products as well as developing administrative and monitoring role over Arab banks. In addition UAB works on increasing cooperation among Arab banks through implementing new projects.

Adnan Youssef, chairman of Union of Arab Banks (UAB), affirmed that UAB is organizing the Arab Banking Conference to deepen Arab-Arab relations in a way to keep economic safety, create Arab economic solidarity, discuss required reforms for Arab banks, highlighting the experience of Gulf Cooperation Council countries and encouraging banks to finance small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and to adopt green economy system.

The current political and security turmoil Middle East and North Africa region is witnessing tops the agenda of the periodical economic symposiums and international experts are analyzing the case in a worry that it may extend across the world.

Youssef added that the Conference will be discussing many topic including implications and risks resulting from a deteriorating Arab economic security, strategies of the Gulf banking Sector in light of the Arab transitions and turbulences, convergence of banking frameworks, legislations and laws in the Arab world, the International economy’s new engineering, financing SMEs as a foundation for Arab economic security and Green Economy in a changing world.

The Conference coincides with the 39th ordinary meeting of Union of Arab Banks’ general assembly which will be held on 12th of April and with the announcement of opening a regional office for the Union in Abu Dhabi.

The participants in the Conference are Ministers of Economy, Trade & Finance, Central Bank Governors,
Leaders of Banks and Financial Institutions, Leaders of Economic Enterprises, Chairmen of Economic and Financial Organizations, Businessmen & Investors, Economists and Experts in Banking and Economic Fields, Representatives of international Financial Institutions, Representatives of Insurance companies, investment and Pension Funds and ICT Companies, Leaders of Arab Chambers and Leaders of Joint Arab – Foreign Chambers.

Union of Arab Banks held Arab Banking Conference in last November 2011 in Beirut, Lebanon. The Conference’s topics changed due to the Arab spring events making it under the name of “The Future of the Arab World in Light of Recent Transitions”. Nabil El Arabi, secretary general of Arab League; Naguib Najib Mikati, Lebanese prime minister; Adnan Youssef, chairman of Union of Arab Banks; Arab ministers; governors of Arab central banks; chairmen of banks and international organizations such as World Bank and  Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

This Conference came as part of UAB’s efforts in encouraging Arab banks and financial institutions to support their countries’ economies, developing bilateral trade, investment and technology relations, maintain that alliances and mergers between financial institutions to be sound and riskless.

Union of Arab Banks held last March a Conference on applying Basel accord in Arab banks, challenges and opportunities. Applying Basel regulations is guaranteeing avoiding mistakes and risks, raising high quality capital level gradually, supporting liquidity levels and decreasing dependence on unstable finance systems.

UAB’s board of directors is encompassing Adnan youssef as a chairman, Joseph Tarabay as head of executive committee, Mohamed Barakat as deputy chairman, Mohamed Abdel Kareem as deputy head of executive committee, Wissam Fattouh as secretary general and 16 members.

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