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MENA Economic Forum Sharjah 2013 concludes successfully
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), the MENA Economic Forum 2013 (MEF) concluded successfully with about 500 high ranking government and industry leaders, economists and educators attending the forum from about 25 countries and over about 70 top level speakers taking part in panel discussions on a variety of topics.
"MEF 2013 was a landmark event as it demonstrated the lead leading role that the emirate of Sharjah and UAE play in promoting dialogue and discussion between the Middle East and other regions of the world with a view to promoting stability and prosperity for its people and for securing their future', said Peter Heath, Chancellor of AUS.
He went on to comment "We are satisfied with the high level participation and ideas exchanged at MEF 2013 and were pleased to host it on our campus. It is a testament to our standing as a leading educator in the region and our appeal among key industry leaders and government officials. We thank Euromed and CAPMena for facilitating the forum and the enthusiastic support of our internal organizing team."
Dr. Nada Murtada-Sabbah, member of MEF 2013 Organizing Committee, said: "The brightest minds from our region and Europe have had a rare opportunity to share information and ideas on a variety of topics in an open and frank manner over the last two days. They have commented on the growing need for more engagement and exchange between our regions in an atmosphere of equality and openness, especially as in the changing world of today our futures seem to be increasingly intertwined. Our strengths complement each other, our cultures are now closer and our economies face the same challenges. The MEF 2013 will most probably be remembered as a conference where a new era in East-West cooperation began."
Highlights of the conference included the tripartite agreement between AUS, CAPMena and Le Groupe Euromed Management for the Euro MENA Chair of Management as a blueprint for East-West cooperation and a format for future partnerships. The partnership agreement, signed at the forum in the presence of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, creates a unique chair of training, research and exchange. This will benefit students, entrepreneurs, executives and managers of European and Arab companies wishing to develop their skills, expand their network of influence and contribute to better mutual understanding.
MEF 2013 hosted a series of panel discussions aimed at exploring areas for mutually beneficial partnerships between the MENA region and Europe. The discussions were in answer to His Highness' call for increased cultural and economic interaction and cooperation between the East and the West in infrastructure, energy, water, finance, education and healthcare. These included 'Challenges and Opportunities in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring,' 'Infrastructure and Energy: Building Resources for the Future,' 'Finance: In Support of Today's Massive MENA Requirements' and 'Education and Healthcare: Meeting Higher Standards.'
Panelists were of the opinion that high impact partnerships could be developed between the EU and MENA in the fields of finance, health and education that would bring long term benefit to their growing populations and economies.
Key attendees and speakers included His Highness Sheikh Sultan, His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Sheikhah Hour Bint Sultan Al Qassimi, President of the Sharjah Arts Foundation, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Abdullah Al Thani, Director General of the Sharjah Statistics Center, Sheikh Salem Bin Abdul Rahman Al Qassimi, Director of the Ruler's Office. Present were also Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development, Hamid Jafar Member of the AUS Board of Trustees and President of the Crescent Petroleum; Dr. Amr Abdul Hamid Advisor to His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah for Higher Education, Maroun Samaan, Member of the AUS Board of Trustees and President of Petrofac Jack Lang, President of Arab World Institute and Former Minister of Culture in France.
Sponsors included MubadalaAerospace, Mubadala STRATA, AXA Insurance, Emirates Aluminum, ATIC, Petrofac,Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons, Bee'ah, Total, Abu Dhabi Council for EconomicDevelopment, KEF Holding, Sharjah Holding, Global Energy Holding Company, and Veolia Environment.