16 - 17 April, 2019

Infrastructure Investment Middle East Forum Conference: Tuesday, 16 April 2019

9:20 am - 9:30 am ORGANISER: IQPC Opening Remarks

9:30 am - 9:35 am Chairperson Opening Remarks

9:35 am - 9:45 am VISIONARY LEAD

9:45 am - 10:10 am LEAD SPONSOR REMARKS


10:10 am - 10:30 am INDUSTRY SHOWCASE: THE GCC EDGE: Why Now Is The Right Time To Change – 2020 Vision And Journey Thus Far

Dr. Raed Safadi - Executive Director, Economic Research & Policy, Department of Economic Development Dubai
Since 2000, the GCC’s trade in goods and services grew at an averagereal rate of 7.5%, almost twice that of real GDP growth, compared with the global averages of 4.8% and 3.8%, respectively; as reported by IMF. Have you considered which markets and regions offer the greatest growth potential in the coming decade? Be a part of this informative panel to gain the know-how on how to navigate this market.

  • Capitalise on the hassle-free entrepreneurial scope in the GCC
  • How do GCC’s tax benefits, low external tariffs, and diversification plans improve the business climate?
  • Given the ever changing trade dynamics, how can your business build global market share by operating in the GCC?

Dr. Raed Safadi

Executive Director, Economic Research & Policy
Department of Economic Development Dubai

10:30 am - 11:00 am INDUSTRY PANEL DISCUSSION - DRIVING: Experience GCC’s Vision And Economic Strategies

Ian Williamson - Chief Development Officer, The Red Sea Development Company
Non-oil exports (including re-exports) have increased from 16% of non-oil GDP in 2000 to 32% in 2017, says IMF. With tech advancements making their way to infrastructure creation, projects such as NEOM, Saad Al-Abdullah City, King Abdullah Economic City, Dubai Silicon Park, etc. mark a diversion from industrial infrastructure to sustainable living. Join this discussion on how to bring about diversification in the GCC markets.

  • GCC’s Vision: Understand how GCC countries plan to expand trade beyond fuels, lubricants, metals, and related materials in the coming years by directing their focus on sustainable trade, community, and innovation
  • Bringing the future to the Middle East: how do smart city projects uplift regional businesses?

Ian Williamson

Chief Development Officer
The Red Sea Development Company

11:00 am - 11:40 am SPEED NETWORKING & BREAK

Swap business-cards and break the ice with your fellow participants to start making those valuable connections


11:40 am - 12:00 pm VALUE SHOWCASE: UNIFYING GCC APPROACH TO AFRICAN MARKETS: How To Clear The Path Towards Securing Valuable African Market Share

Intra GCC Trade, amounting to billions of dollars annually, has now been expanding to African regions accounting for over 10% of trade flows; GCC countries have invested approximately USD 30 billion into African companies between 2007 and 2017. Similarily, African governments are also working to encourage greater flows from the region and beyond.

  • Intra GCC Trade and its convergence in Africa: Have we secured this profitable trade route?
  • What criteria must businesses meet to join the GCC trade flow?
  • Gateway To Regional Trade: Insight on the GCC’s vital presence in the Global Infrastructure and Investment Value Chain

12:00 pm - 12:15 pm INDUSTRY SHOWCASE: FDI OPPORTUNITIES & INTANGIBLE INFRASTRUCTURE: Partnership, Investment & Risk Management Models

Abdul Salam - Director General, UAE India Business Council (UIBC)
Research says trade openness, economic growth, quality of legal systems, and human capital has improved in the GCC leasing to a significant impact on FDI inflows in the non-commodity exporters group. The GCC is estimated to hold potential for an additional 2% GDP growth instigated by FDI.

  • Exploit The GCC Advantage: How to ensure your investment fully reaps the benefits of this emerging market
  • What steps did GCC organisations take to enhance the return on their investment and how did that effect financial inclusion?

Abdul Salam

Director General
UAE India Business Council (UIBC)

12:15 pm - 12:30 pm INDUSTRY SHOWCASE: BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE: Creating The Ultimate Blended GCC-CHINA Market

Sultan Alsadoon - Chief Executive Officer, Makkah Investments
Can businesses benefit from the investment alliance with China and how will this initiative add to the region’s basket of economic diversification?

In July 2018, China pledged USD 20 billion in loans and USD 106 million in financial support to the Middle East. A Chinese consortium has materialised an investment of USD 10.7 billion for the port and industrial zone of Duqm, Oman. Fifteen Chinese businesses have joined the Abu Dhabi Economic Zone (KIZAD) with an investment of around USD 1 billion, since Cosco Shipping Ports have joined Abu Dhabi Khalifa Ports to expand and operate one of their terminals.

  • What opportunities can GCC market players access due to investment and trade alliances with China?
  • Does GCC’s presence as the cornerstone of China’s Belt and Road Initiative drive SME’s growth in the region?

Sultan Alsadoon

Chief Executive Officer
Makkah Investments

12:30 pm - 12:50 pm SPONSOR SESSION: STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT: Understanding The Benefits Of GCC’s Newly Integrated Trade Reforms And How The Same Can Help You Maximise Return On Your Infrastructure Investments

FDI in the GCC is expected to boost growth by triggering technology spillovers, promoting knowledge, creating a more competitive business environment, and enhancing national productivity; as reported by WEF. An excellent example is the entrance of Virgin Mobiles into UAE’s telecommunications market which previously included only two regional firms.

  • Reduced Barriers To Foreign Trade And Investments: How can your business capitalise on upgraded export bases?
  • How can you profit from the improved customs administration procedures and reduced clearance requirements?
  • The next decade focuses on GCC’s growth in business and non-oil exports. Has your firm joined the band wagon yet?


12:50 pm - 1:10 pm SPECIALITY SHOWCASE - OPPORTUNITY OR HAZARD: Is PPP The Evolving Solution To Growing Risks? What Business Models Are Most Well Suited To Infrastructure Investment?

Alberto Germani - Member of PPP Team of Specialists, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
As recommended by IMF, raising efficient public investment and focusing it on further upgrading key infrastructure that facilitates trade and investment will assist the GCC reduce the export – FDI gap. The upcoming public procurement based on transparency, accountability, and equitable treatment for potential suppliers will also cover the FDI gap. Are you equipped to capitalise on this opportunity?

  • High Returns & High Growth: Is the energy sector a key win for PPP models?
  • What is the appetite for PPP’s in Healthcare and IT sectors? At what pace are they expected to grow in the coming years
  • In the ever changing tech space, do PPP’s mitigate risks most efficiently?

Alberto Germani

Member of PPP Team of Specialists
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

1:10 pm - 1:25 pm SPONSOR SESSION - ORDER HAS BEEN PASSED: The Legislation Is Ready, Are You?

Kuwait has released a PPP law in 2008, expanding on it in 2014. UAE has introduced its own PPP law in 2015 and is looking to update it in the coming years. Oman has also announced that they are drafting a PPP law, while Saudi Arabia established the National Centre for Privatisation in 2017 and is thought to be drafting its own PPP law as well. Kuwait Authority for Partnership Projects (KAPP) invited local, national, and international companies to issue expressions of interest (EOIs) for two water and power projects Have you expressed your interests?

  • How do these legislations affect your business?
  • What does a business require to participate in a PPP?
  • Profit Correlated To Risk: Is this the ideal partnership model for you?


Swap business-cards and break the ice with your fellow participants to start making those valuable connections whilst enjoying buffet lunch


2:25 pm - 2:45 pm INDUSTRY PANEL DISCUSSION - FAST PACED MONETARY VEHICLES: Methods Of Finance Acquisition And Appropriation – Understanding The Region’s Best Performing Monetisation Model

Jacob Berman - Managing Director - Infrastructure and Transportation, Standard Chartered Bank
With major REITs such as the ENBD REIT and Emirates Capital REIT of market caps USD 261 million and USD 289 million respectively, can REITs be the most convenient source for publically funded developments? Watch this space to know more.

  • Boon And Drawback: A macro view of infrastructural financing markets
  • How can a real estate developer participate in REITs?
  • Financier’s Take: Is the ROI worth the effort?

Jacob Berman

Managing Director - Infrastructure and Transportation
Standard Chartered Bank

2:45 pm - 3:05 pm INDUSTRY PANEL DISCUSSION - INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERINGS IN THE GCC: Breakthrough Or The Newest Market Trend?

The UAE has announced plans for privatisation of much of their services while Oman declared that many state-owned energy companies are also slated for privatisation. In 2016, Kuwait announced that nearly 60% of public sector firms will be privatised while shares of up to USD 9 billion will be made available. KSA has also published a privatisation programme in 2018.

  • With several infrastructure giants going public soon, how can your investments help you affix your growth with theirs?
  • Can we repeat Emaar’s excellence?
  • Are the GCC financial markets ready to play with the big guns?

3:05 pm - 3:25 pm SPONSOR SESSION: Hear market leading advisories portray how they can assist you with your IPO plans.

  • Is your business structure ready for an IPO?
  • What is the risk involved?
  • How can a structured IPO benefit your company?


3:25 pm - 3:45 pm INDUSTRY PANEL DISCUSSION: ACCELERATING DIGITAL ECONOMY WITH FINTECH- Understanding The Importance Of Financial Technologies In The GCC’s Economic Diversification

Fintech is changing the face of the modern financial landscape, whether through cryptocurrencies, blockchain, or other services and activities. Countries across GCC continue to embrace these technologies; Dubai is the first city in the world to launch a blockchain strategy estimated to unlock $1.5bn in savings annually in document processing alone from 2020 onwards. The rest of GCC has also initiated blockchain projects to streamline their logistics. UAE and KSA together are working on digital currency to ease intra trade, leading to streamlined processes and lower transfer risks impacting billions of dollars worth of intra trade. While GCC is working hard to diversify economies away from a dependence on fossil fuels, what is the role of Fintech in this process?

  • Going Paperless: Smart cities that foster extreme transparency and speed of service through interconnectivity and integration of not just government entities but also utilities, identity, and private companies’ databases. Does your business fit the match?
  • From government implementation to an ecosystem creation introducing an enhanced capacity for “User-friendly” infrastructure through the utilisation of blockchain-based software. Monetise your knowledge by facilitating solutions
  • Blockchain: The answer to secure trade data transfer?
  • Is crypto currency the future of trade monetisation?
  • How best to mitigate the risks associated with crypto currencies?

3:45 pm - 3:45 pm END OF DAY SIP AND CHAT

Relax and reflect on the day’s excitement with a beautiful Dubai setting.