BY OUR BUSINESS BUREAU
DUBAI: Finance and trade delegates from World Bank, WTO and major development banks as well as representatives of strategic local banks, financial institutions and ICC UAE converged at the ICC Banking Commission Conference in Dubai.
Organised by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC-Paris), the three-day Conference entitled '2009 -- Crossroads for Trade and Technology', with a major local participation.
Hosted by Dubai Chamber and sponsored by Mashreqbank and China Systems, the Conference is expected to attract a larger audience that will discuss the challenges facing the sector in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Besides a presentation on Islamic Trade Finance, the topics of discussion are Rethinking Trade 2009, Tales from the Trenches, Trade Risk Mitigation and Management. "No doubt banks in the UAE had a direct impact of the financial turmoil but they are identifying challenges and finding proper solutions.
"As an immediate response, the Central Bank offered overdraft facilities of up to Dhs50 billion in September to the banks which could also be used in dirham-dollar peg adjustment as well," UAE Central Bank, Deputy Governor, Mohammed Ali Bin Zayed Al Falasi said.
Falasi also informed that a central committee, set up in December, deals with the situation. He further said the team is monitoring the repercussions of the global financial crisis on the banks and preparing reports and giving proposals in meeting the challenges of the economic downturn.
"The global economic crisis clearly demands innovative thinking and concerted effort on our part. We must all work together to create and preserve a world order that promotes peace, hope, understanding, stability, cooperation and prosperity," Dubai Chamber, Director General, Eng Hamad Buamim said.
"Our Government and Central Bank has taken many steps to address the challenges through different policy responses and initiatives which have kept our country in reasonably good shape in the face of the crisis. The authorities have floated sufficient funds to meet their financial commitments for the short and medium terms," Buamim added.
Buamim informed the gathering that Dubai is the hub and gateway to the lucrative Middle Eastern, African and Indian Sub-continent markets with population of 1.5 billion consumers and that trade and commerce has always been the backbone of the emirate's economy as the size of Dubai's trade is more than three times its GDP.
"The UAE, under its wise leadership, plays a pioneering role in international trade and as the world today has turned into a global village, the country has to withstand the challenges of the time and be on its guard against sustained blows from fraudulent and unscrupulous trading practices. The ICC has taken several steps in rebuilding confidence and dispute resolutions and we have to follow them closely," ICC UAE, Chairman, Ahmed Saif Belhasa said.
"Firstly, to promote the interest in the region because most of the members of the ICC are from the developed countries and he wanted the new partners to develop objectives. The second major objective is to address the financial crisis and mobilise all the efforts of the bankers, banks, regulators and business leaders on this issue," ICC, Policy Manager, Thierry Senechal said.