‘Reconnect the Silk Route’ was the call given by Victor Chu, Chairman, First Eastern Investment Bank Limited, at The DIFC Forum – the second major business conference that forms part of DIFC week, the Dubai International Financial Centre’s prestigious annual series of business events. .
‘The quickest revival of the economy can be achieved by reconnecting the Silk Route. This will enable China and the GCC region to combine their liquidity and resources to rebuild markets and restore confidence in the global economy. The reconnection is made easier by the fact that China and the GCC region can create economic and cultural synergies. Arab and Asian markets are connected by their high emphasis on trust and their cultural affinities. We are a bigger voice representing emerging markets,’ he said. ‘The reconnection is already happening,’ Chu pointed out. ‘Chinese investments are already coming to the region and China is inviting Saudi oil companies to invest in China,’ he said.
The DIFC Forum, held on 24 and 25 November 2008, discussed critical issues like the impact of the global financial crisis on the region, the next generation of Islamic Finance, emerging markets in and after the financial crisis, and energy geopolitics in an era of structural change.
With over 70 speakers from the world’s major international markets, 21 separate sessions, and a televised debate on how to get confidence back in the global financial markets, DIFC Week will address the most important issues faced by businesses in the region both in the current financial climate and in the future. Topics to be discussed at the four-day event include growth strategies, opportunities and major challenges for family businesses both locally and internationally, the economic outlook for the world and the GCC in 2009, attracting foreign investment and human capital in the Arab world, and the practicalities of establishing operations in Dubai.
Closing DIFC Week will be a Conference on 26 November titled: ‘The Inside Track on Dubai’, which will involve a series of commercial, regulatory and teaching streams that discuss the practicalities of establishing operations in Dubai covering issues such as raising capital and understanding cultural aspects of living and working in the Emirate.