(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE chapter of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC UAE) concluded the International Trade & Finance Conference, themed 'The Road to Recovery Turning Challenges Into Opportunities', which attracted 120 physical delegates and 256 virtual delegates from more than 30 countries around the world, through blending physical presentations and panels with virtual speakers joining for focused discussions.
The programme was driven by initiatives to propel trade to unprecedented levels.
Chairman of ICC UAE, Humaid Ben Salem, encouraged the members to "continue to push forward with initiatives to streamline trade and open up new trade corridors. Now is the time to reach out to other countries to promote trade and investment. It is not a time for distancing with our trade partners."
Hassan Al Hashemi, secretary-general of ICC UAE, emphasised the significance of the conference's timing, stating that international trade and finance have always been important to the UAE, but expanding international trade has now become a much higher priority for the UAE, and Dubai in particular.
The morning session featured a presentation by Mahmood Al Bastaki, COO at DT World, on pioneering and transformational technologies that are accelerating trade and bringing efficiency, transparency, and global connectivity to the trade finance ecosystem, while Hashim M Al Hussaini, a young entrepreneur and co-founder of Monimove, illustrated how technology can positively disrupt the traditional supply chain and trade finance model and help facilitate trade by mitigating operational risk, enhancing governance and increasing banks' appetite to lend SMEs locally and globally.
An engaging panel explored the benefits of streamlining, where panellists agreed on an approach that could drive trade, while releasing billions of dollars into the local economy, which in turn stimulates further trade and investment.
Jamal Saleh, director-general of UAE Banks Federation (UBF), said: "Compliance should ideally be integrated across all businesses and adapt to the changing business and regulatory environment."
UBF was also part of the panel 'The Guarantee Dilemma status and future of guarantee practice in the UAE', which showed how this guaranteed issue is an old challenge, and substantial progress has been made to overcome it through joint efforts.
Meanwhile, the afternoon session began with a dialogue between two of the leading multilateral development banks. Yousra El Sayed, of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), outlined the expanding role of the bank in trade finance in the region, noting how it aligns well with the UAE's vision of becoming the world's fastest growing trade hub.
She commented: "It is interesting that even though the bank is European, one of the most active countries under the EBRD trade facilitation programme is Egypt."
Nadia Abdul Aziz, chair of the ICC UAE Commission on Customs and Trade Facilitation, moderated two key sessions looking at trends in logistics, supply chain, and the UAE's expanding role as a trade and digital hub for emerging markets, featuring a simulation of the workings of the World Logistics Passport (WLP) by Abdulrahman Bin Haider, Head of the WLP.
One panel looked at the increasing role of digitalisation in arbitration proceedings, while the second took delved into the changes and updates in ICC rules that facilitate dispute resolution.
The grand finale involved Al Hashemi formally launching the fourth Trade and Investment Policy Commission under ICC UAE and welcoming the initiative's founding members.
He said: "The launch of Commission on Trade and Investment has come at the perfect time, given the increased importance of expanding trade and investment by the UAE. The ICC as the global rule-making body for trade rules between international contracting parties will play an even greater role in trade expansion for the UAE going forward."
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