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Sharjah Ruler to inaugurate MENA Economic Forum at AUS
Under the patronage and with the presence of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and Founder and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), the university will host the MENA Economic Forum February 3 and 4 on campus. The forum brings together prominent European and Arab government officials, decision-makers, investors, industry leaders and members of the media who will share their expertise and vision. The event also represents an important dimension of the collaboration between the City of Marseille and the Emirate of Sharjah within the private, educational and cultural sectors. His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah will give the welcome remarks followed by a speech to be delivered by His Highness Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
The speech will be followed by the inaugural session, which will comprise two panel sessions entitled "Transitions: How Can the West and the GCC Cooperate and Meet Future Challenges?" One of the sessions will be addressed by senior government officials from the region and beyond including H.E. Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, UAE; H.E. Cherif Rahmani, Minister of Industry, Algeria; H.E. Philippe Douste-Blazy, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, France; H.E. Jack Lang, President of the Arab World Institute, and Former Minister of Culture, France; H.E. Homaid Al Shemmari, Executive Director, Mubadala Aerospace, UAE; and H.E. Bariza Khiari, Vice President, French Senate, France, will also be present on the occasion.
The second panel session will comprise prominent expert speakers including H.E. Miguel Àngel Moratinos, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Spain; Anne Lauvergeon, CEO, Areva, France; H.E. Sheikh Khalid Bin Jaber Al Thani, Chairman, Qatar National Cancer Society, Qatar; Fouad Makhzoumi, CEO, Future Pipe Industries, UAE; Simon Henderson, Baker Fellow and Director, Gulf and Energy Policy Program, Washington Institute, USA; H.E. Saeed Fadhel Al Mazrouei, President and CEO, Emirates Aluminum, UAE; Lionel Zinsou, Chairman and CEO, PAI, France; and Ahmed Tibaoui, General Manager & CEO , World Trade Center, Algeria. The panel will discuss the role the West can play in facilitating both positive and long-lasting economic changes in the region as well as focus on the kind of cooperation that could benefit the region.
The second day of the forum will see eminent speakers comprising the Opening Keynote Panel, which will look at the topic "Challenges and Opportunities in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring." The panelists include Pr. Gilles Kepel, Professor of Middle East Studies at Sciences Po, along with H.E. Fahad Al Raqbani, Director General, Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, UAE; Badr Jafar, President, Crescent Petroleum, UAE; Faizal Kottikollon, Founder and Chairman, KEF Holdings, UAE; Pr. Jean-Louis Reiffers, President, FEMISE, France; Jay Footlik, Founding President and CEO, Global Policy Initiatives, USA; Khaldoun Tabari, Vice Chairman and CEO, Drake & Scull International (DPI) PJSC; Jose A. Lopez-Monis Plaza, CEO and Managing Director, Habtoor Leighton Group; Sultan Abu Sultan, CEO, Barclays Bank, UAE; Varouj Nerguizian, CEO, Bank of Sharjah; and Fahad Al Othman,
Other plenary sessions will also feature a roster of prominent international panelists who will take a look at a wide variety of topics, including "Infrastructure and Utilities: How to Meet the Needs;" "Finance: Looking for Innovative Solutions to Help the Real Economy;" "The Role of Medias in Building Bridges Between the West and MENA Countries;" "Green Business and Smarter Water: Building Resources for the Future;" and "Education and Healthcare: Meeting Higher Standards."
On behalf of the hosting institution and sponsors, Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor of AUS; Dr. Nada Mourtada-Sabbah, Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs, AUS; Mr. Salem Yousef Al Qaseer, Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs, AUS; Dr. Hashem Dezhbakhsh, Dean of the School of Business and Management, AUS; Mr. François-Aïssa Touazi, President of CapMena; and Mr. Bernard Belletante, Dean of EuroMed Management; wish to welcome all distinguished guests to a fruitful discussion and creative exchange.
A gala dinner will be hosted by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry at their premises on the second day of the forum.
Sponsors include Mubadala Aerospace, Mubadala STRATA, AXA Insurance, Emirates Aluminium, ATIC, Petrofac, Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons, Bee'ah, Total, Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development, KEF Holding, Sharjah Holding, Global Energy Holding Company, and Veolia Environment.
AUS Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath stated, "It is an honor that AUS was selected to host this significant forum and to support its initiatives. This forum constitutes the finest global expertise from the most prominent governmental officials and business leaders, to diplomats, economists and academics."
Vice Chancellor Mourtada-Sabbah remarked, "The ultimate goal of the MENA Economic Forum is to work hand-in-hand to strategize about how to cement long-term relationships to most wisely boost human infrastructure in an increasingly natural resources-constrained world through the importance of providing youth in the Gulf and the Middle East and North Africa the basic skills, training and expertise required to build their competencies and national cadres required by the labor market. This forum aims to find the necessary number of jobs to meet any of the challenges arising from unemployment in order to find ways to develop competencies in various fields to prepare the next generation of youth."
Vice Chancellor Al Qaseer stated that it is a pleasure for AUS to host this forum as it strengthens the efforts of cultural, economic and scientific fields at various levels. "This emphasizes the university's interaction with the global talent and the Arab world as well as forges solid international bonds, especially with a number of prominent figures, to strengthen the relationship and exchanges between the university and the community to endorse the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah," he said.
The various sessions of the forum will also be attended by government and corporate officials, senior AUS officials and faculty members, students, and members of the media.