ICC UAE International Trade & Finance Conference launches

 ICC UAE International Trade & Finance Conference launches a new Trade & Investment Policy Commission in the UAE

The ‘Road to Recovery’ themed event highlighted how UAE is turning challenges into opportunities 

The ICC UAE International Trade & Finance Conference themed “The Road to Recovery – Turning Challenges Into Opportunities” took place as a high-level blended event that attracted 120 physical delegates and 256 virtual delegates from over 30 countries around the world.

The conference, which occurred at the Ritz Carlton, DIFC, on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, took an innovative approach of blending physical presentations, panels with virtual speakers joining for focused debate and discussion. The programme was driven by initiatives to propel trade to higher levels than has ever been achieved before.

The Chairman of ICC UAE, Humaid Ben Salem, encouraged ICC UAE members to “continue to push forward with initiatives to streamline trade and open up new trade corridors”. He highlighted that 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, ICC UAE, emphasised the significance of the conference’s timing. “International Trade & Finance has always been important to the UAE but the status and importance of expanding international trade have now taken a much greater priority role for the UAE and especially Dubai”.

The morning session featured a presentation by Mahmood Al Bastaki, Chief Operating Officer, 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, regionally and globally.

An engaging panel explored the benefits of streamlining. The panellists agreed on an approach that could lift trade to new levels while releasing billions of dollars into the local economy, which in turn stimulates further trade and investment.

Jamal Saleh, UBF Director-General 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 shows how this guaranteed issue is an old challenge for which we are jointly working towards a new solution and substantial progress has been made.”

The afternoon session started with a dialogue with two of the leading multilateral development banks. Yousra El Sayed, of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, outlined the expanding role of the EBRD in trade finance in the region and considered that this aligns well with the UAE’s vision of becoming the fastest growing trade hub in the World. She commented, “It is interesting that even though the bank is a European bank, one of the most active countries under the EBRD trade facilitation programme, is Egypt.”

Nadia Abdul Aziz, Chair of the ICC Commission on Customs & Trade Facilitation, moderated two key sessions looking at trends in logistics, supply chain, and the expanding role of the UAE as a trade and digital hub for emerging markets. A highlight of this session included a simulation of the workings of the World Logistics Passport by Abdulrahman Bin Haider, Head of the World Logistics Passport.

One panel looked at the increasing role of digitalisation in arbitration proceedings and a second panel took a deep dive into the changes and updates in ICC rules that facilitate dispute resolution.

The grand finale involved the launch of a fourth a new Trade & Investment Policy Commission under ICC UAE. Hassan Al Hashemi formally launched the Commission on Trade & Investment and welcomed the founding members on this initiative. He said “The launch of Commission on Trade & Investment has come at the perfect time given the increased importance of expanding trade and investment by the United Arab Emirates.  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”.

About International Chamber of Commerce, United Arab Emirates (ICC UAE):

The International Chamber of Commerce, United Arab Emirates (ICC UAE) was established in 2004 under the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry. ICC UAE represents commercial, industrial and business enterprises in the UAE at the global level while promoting the UAE business community around the world.

The ICC UAE also hosts international events and business meetings for exchange of experiences and knowledge. It regularly organises briefing sessions, training workshops and seminars on banking, arbitration, customs and trade facilitation for business owners, managers and representatives from the export, logistics, legal and arbitration sectors.