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Global Financial Markets Forum to kick off next week

Abu Dhabi: The sixth Global Financial Markets Forum (GFMF) is set to kick off on March 4 at Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace where national and global policymakers will congregate to discuss various issues impacting the world economy.

Among the main topics on the agenda is the global financial crisis and how to avoid a repeat of what happened in 2008.

This year’s edition of the forum will include more focus on global markets, and on the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, organisers said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“One of the key objectives of the event is to showcase Abu Dhabi and what we’re doing here, and to educate people overseas about opportunities for investment here,” said Chavan Bhogaita, head of Markets Strategy at the National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s (NBAD) Global Markets.

The two-day forum will start with an opening speech by Nasser Al Suwaidi, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and chairman of NBAD. This will be followed by the keynote speech titled, “Establishing Abu Dhabi as a Financial Centre,” which will be delivered by Ahmad Al Sayegh, chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Marketplace.

The first day also includes speeches by global statesmen such as James A. Baker III, former US Secretary of Treasury and State, Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth, and Social Development, as well as Lawrence Summers, former US Secretary of Treasury.

Other prominent speakers include Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, and Jean-Claude Trichet, former president of the European Central Bank.

“We have chosen a select group of distinguished experts who will provide balanced and thorough analysis of the world economy with a particular emphasis on the increasing importance and influence of the West-East Corridor, which stretches from west Africa to east Asia,” said Mahmoud Al Aradi, senior managing director and head of global markets at NBAD.

The second day of the forum starts with opening remarks by Alex Thursby, Group CEO of NBAD. The day will see discussion of topics such as the aerospace industry, which has been growing rapidly in the UAE, and the lessons from the 2008 financial crisis.

“GFMF’s success reflects the continued rising influence of the Gulf in the global economy and solidifies Abu Dhabi as a global financial hub,” Al Aradi said.

Last year’s edition of the forum saw participation from more than 1,300 delegates from across the world. Speakers included Nicolas Sarkozy, former President of the French Republic, and David Miliband, former UK Foreign Secretary, among others.