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Sharjah to host first Gulf-Iraq Business Forum 26–27 September 23

SHARJAH, 28th August, 2023 — The emirate of Sharjah is gearing up to host the first-ever Gulf-Iraq Business Forum on 26th and 27th September, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.

This landmark event is an initiative of the Federation of GCC Chambers and is being organised in partnership with the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce, and the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). Furthermore, the forum has received significant endorsement from the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Gulf-Iraq Business Forum Program

Day One Program – 25 September, 2023

Dignitaries and Partners arrival

Day Two Program – 26 September, 2023

  • Keynote Address
    08:00 – 09:00 Registration Opens
  • 09:10 –09:15 Recitation of the Holy Quran – UAE National Anthem
  • 09:10 – 09:40 Opening Ceremony: Keynote Address
  • Prospects for strategic partnership between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Republic of Iraq

Confirmed Speakers

Patronage Speech – His Excellency Abdullah Sultan Al Owais Chairman, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce
His Excellency Mr. Abdullah Mohammed Al MazroueiChairman of Federation of UAE Chambers, Abu Dhabi Chambers
His Excellency Mr. Hassan Al HuwaiziChairman of Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry
His Excellency Mr. Abdul Razzaq Al-ZuhairiPresident of the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce
His Excellency Mr. Jasem Al Budaiwi, Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
His Excellency Dr. Hameed Naim Al-GhaziSecretary-General of the Iraqi Council of Ministers
Strategic Partner Speech
09:40 – 10:00 Appreciation Awards to Sponsors

Panel Discussion & Presentation

10:00 – 11:00 Track 1: Presentations

Investment in food security and agriculture

The session will highlight ambitious policy agendas that will create future public-private partnerships and enable investment and innovation in agriculture and food production. Discussions will drive the future of food agenda, while aligning with GCC and Iraqi capabilities.

Suggested Speakers

Eng. Saleh Al Shanfari, CEO of Oman Food Investment Holding Company, OMAN
Dr. Yasser Al-Jubouri, Director General of Planning, Ministry of Agriculture, IRAQ
H.E. Dr. Khalifa Musabeh Ahmed Al Teneiji, Chairman of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Sharjaj
Representative from FAO
Eng. Haidar Al Adary, Agriculture Investor, IRAQ
Representative of the World Bank
Suggested Moderator

H.E. Mr. Mohammed bin Obaid Al Mazrouei, President of the Arab Authority for Agricultural Investment and Development, UAE

Track 2: Presentations & Panel Discussion

Cooperation in Banking, Finance, and Investments

The session highlights various aspects of financing including project financing through various schemes such as PPPs, risk allocation and project structures as they evolve to mitigate risks. The economists and the banking sector will share their outlook on the economy and exchanges will discuss bullish opportunities in GCC and in Iraq.

Suggested speakers

H.E. Wissam Fattouh, Secretary General, Union of Arab Banks
Mr. Adel Al-Masoudi, Director General of Relations, Ministry of Commerce, IRAQ
Mr. Houssem Ben Haj Amor, Acting Group CEO, Al Baraka Bank, BAHRAIN
H.E. Mr. Yazid Abdulaziz Rashed Abunayan, CEO, Al Ahli Bank, KSA
Mr. Taha Ahmed Abdulsalam, Chief Executive Officer, Iraq Stock Exchange, IRAQ
Representative of Emirates Development Bank

Suggested Moderator

Mr. Salem Chalabi, Director General, Trade Bank of Iraq, IRAQ

11:00 – 11:15 Networking & Prayer Break

Panel Discussion
11:15 – 12:15 Panel Discussion

Building public-private partnerships in Renewable Energy, Electricity & Water

This session puts a spotlight on the latest project opportunities and advancements in power projects while addressing the future of alternative energy to deliver more efficient and effective power systems.

Suggested speakers

H.E. Eng. Ahmed Al Ibrahim, CEO of GCC Interconnection Authority, KSA
Representative, Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, KUWAIT
Representative from Desert Technologies , KSA
Representative, Qatar Solar Technologies , QATAR
Mr. Ahmad Ismail, Electricity Investor, IRAQ
Mr. Saadi Wuhayb, Electricity Investor, IRAQ
Mr. Nael Mithat Ismail, Director General, National Investment Authority, IRAQ

Suggested Moderator

Dr. Mustafa Al Jaboori, Ambassador of Embassy of Iraq in the UAE & Representative of IRENA

12:15 – 13:15 Panel Discussion

Construction, Infrastructure & Housing Opportunities

As regional economies recover from the pandemic, there has been emphasis on the recovery of material costs and stretched supply chains. This session highlights growth in mixed-use projects along with real estate opportunities presented across the GCC. This will underpin a regional push to build sustainable infrastructure for the future.

Suggested Speakers

H.E Sameer Abdulla Nass, Chairman, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce, BAHRIAN

Mr. Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar, UAE

Representative, Ministry of Planning, IRAQ

Representative, Ministry of Construction & Housing, IRAQ

Mr. Nael Mithat Ismail, Director General, National Investment Authority, IRAQ

Suggested Moderator

H.E. Mr. Ahmad Mohamad Al Mohamad, Secretary General, GOIC

13:15 – 13:30 Closing Remarks and End of Day One

13:30 – 14:30 Networking Lunch for VIPs and delegates

14:30 – 17:30 B2B Meeting Program Continues

20:00 – 22:00 Networking Gala Dinner Program (by invitation only)

Day Three Program
The Breakdown

27 September, 2023

Panel Discussions
Panel Discussions

11:15 – 12:15 Presentations & Panel Discussions

Youth development, higher education and vocational training

This panel discussion looks at different ways the GCC and Iraq can collaborate in the field of academics, capacity building, and skills development. The session will explore how youth development and education systems, higher education, vocational training is changing in response to challenges faced by a growing population.

Suggested speakers

Dr. Samah Al Fatlawi, Head of Supervisory Authority & Scientific Research, Ministry of Higher Education, IRAQ
Dr. Hussain Ali Hamid, Director General of Private Education, Ministry of Education, IRAQ
Prof. Dr. Hamed Al Nuaimi, Dean, University of Sharjah, UAE
Representative from the Prince Mohammed Bin Fahad University, KSA

Suggested Moderator

Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hamad, Executive Vice President of Khalifa University, UAE

12:15-12:30 Closing remarks by the Host

12:30-14:30 Networking Lunch

Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Vice Chairman of FCCI and Chairman of SCCI, emphasised that the forum’s main objective is to delve into investment prospects from both regions and foster these opportunities, aiming to establish robust economic ties between Gulf and Iraqi entities.

“All the organisers of the forum are enthusiastic about amplifying trade exchanges between the two regionsand rolling out innovative strategies for economic diversification and growth. Additionally, we look forward to creating a platform for the exchange of expertise, particularly in education and training, as these areas are fundamental in shaping and refining individuals’ skills.”

Al Owais noted that the forum, hosted by the SCCI, marks a significant addition to the longstanding bilateral ties between the GCC countries and Iraq, which are rapidly evolving across various sectors. Notably, the GCC nations stand out as some of Iraq’s paramount trading allies in the broader Arab region and the Middle East specifically.

“The value of this forum cannot be overstated. It presents unparalleled opportunities for companies and investment entities, especially with influential decision-makers from both sides actively participating. The forum benefits immensely from the unwavering support of the GCC General Secretariat, various chambers of commerce, and other governmental departments within the GCC.”

Al Owais concluded his statement by saying, “Given the extensive experience and vast investment possibilities that Gulf countries bring to the table, there’s no doubt that we’ll see increased avenues for cooperation and investment. We are hopeful and optimistic that this forum will not only achieve tremendous success this year but will also become an annual beacon for the Gulf and Iraqi business communities to explore mutual investment prospects and strengthen collaborative efforts.”


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