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Georgetown Center for Financial Markets and Policy Hosts Conference on the Leadership Role of the Gulf Countries in the Global Economy

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On Tuesday, April 9, the Georgetown Center for Financial Markets and Policy in partnership with the Financial Times hosted a conference on the potential leadership role of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the global economy. The event was co-hosted by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and took place at the DIFC Conference and Exhibition Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Keynote speakers included Mustafa Abdel-Wadood (MBA ‘96), partner and chair of the Executive Committee of The Abraaj Group, and Sheikh Saleh Ali Al-Turki, chairman and president of Nesma Holding Co. Ltd. In addition to the keynote addresses, two panel discussions addressed the growth of the financial sector and the GCC’s competitive advantages, as well as the role of financial markets and financial institutions in economic development.

Many Georgetown alumni participated as speakers and attended the conference, including McDonough School of Business Board of Advisors members Hossam Radwan (BS ‘92), CEO of Abraaj Partners Holding Co. KSA, and John Vitalo (BSBA ‘90), CEO, MENA, Barclays. Karim El Solh (MBA ‘91), CEO & co-founder of Gulf Capital, served with Radwan and Vitalo as panelists, providing industry and regional expertise.

Throughout the afternoon, the conversation addressed the diversification of the GCC economies away from oil, the role of private equity firms in the region’s development, and the numerous opportunities for investment in emerging markets. The panelists examined the need for increased transparency, uniform and clear regulations, and investments in infrastructure, as well as the possibility of a single currency in the region.