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9th Annual Middle East Trade & Export Finance Conference
Jumeirah Emirates Towers
Dubai provided the venue for the 9th Annual Middle East Trade & Export Finance Conference, which took place at the Jumeriah Emirates Towers on February 14-15, 2012.
The longest running Exporta conference, and widely recognised as the leading gathering of its kind for the region, the event welcomed over 250 senior decision makers from the corporate, banking and financial services sectors to discuss a range of leading issues within the trade, export, commodity and supply chain finance market.
Fully utilising one of the region's premier venues, delegates were able to break out into various workshops and stream sessions to listen to detailed case studies and participate in involved panel discussions, as well as meeting during various networking sessions to partake in high level business discussion.
Benefitting from a programme that provided the opportunity to hear from many of the region's leading companies as well as their financiers, discussions centred on key themes such as the dominance of the letter of credit as a trading instrument, new trade facilitation initiatives, the role of Africa and Asia in providing opportunities, what companies need to consider when looking for a bank partner, electronic processing systems and benefits in reducing costs, political risk assessment within specific countries, assessing demand within the commodities market and the growth of Islamic finance.
Enjoying outstanding support from an impressive range of sponsors including the likes of HSBC, J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank, ABC International Bank, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), RBS, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Noor Islamic Bank, China Systems, Bolero, Coface Emirates Services, RFIB, ICIEC and DHL Express, and partners such as ICC UAE, IFC, Berne Union and Swift, the success of the conference further cemented itself as the leading trade and finance event for what is still one of the world's most important regions.
"The conference was definitely a success. From my perspective the conference was most useful. The seminars and presentations were informative and interesting and I came away from every session, learning something new. With the mix of personnel from all walks of the trade finance industry being present, the conference proved to be a great networking opportunity."
Hufriz Wadia, Al Tamimi & Company
"I thought the conference was a great success given the turnout and interactive participation of the delegates on some very topical and useful themes within the trade space. Also very well managed by Exporta team. Congratulations!"
Ehsaan Ahmed, Noor Islamic Bank
Following the momentous events of 2011, Exporta returns to the MENA region for its longest running and flagship event, the 9th Annual Middle East Trade & Export Finance Conference, which will take place at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers on February 14-15. Now firmly established as the only event to bring all of the leading trade and export finance professionals together under one roof, the conference enjoys unrivalled support from the region's key private and public sector institutions.
An extensive range of subjects will be covered over the course of the two days, including:
•Changing corporate financing priorities: Are banks still providing sufficient coverage for their clients?
•Has the shift towards open account trade continued or is the letter of credit still dominant?
•To what extend have companies embraced the opportunities provided by continuing growth in Africa and Asia?
•Examining whether the local banking sector is meeting the demand for SME financing and the role of internationals
•Discussing the impact of fluctuating commodity prices and opportunities provided for financiers and traders alike
•What is the current demand for supply chain finance across MENA and how has this evolved?
•Assessing the uptake in use of Islamic finance products as a result of capital constraints
•Changes in the political risk environment and subsequent demand for trade credit and PR insurance
•Facilitating inter-regional trade for corporates and increasing access to trade finance coverage
•Which countries are most on the radar of banks and ECAs in terms of export finance opportunities?
"Every Exporta event is a library, a know-how centre for trade finance people. Interacting with different sides of the sector is crucial for everyone. Exporta provides that."
Burak Kurtbay, Aktifbank
"A good insight on the market, risk, economic outlook, systems, etc. A very good place for networking."
Albert Soosay, Noor Islamic Bank
"Excellent opportunity to learn, refresh and network with professionals from trade/export finance in the region."
Shelton Pieris, Commercial Bank of Qatar
"Very well organised event. Excellent platform for regional networking and discussing relevant trade finance-related issues."
Sripad Murth, HSBC Bank
"Bridge between bankers, traders and insurers to surpass difficulties, mitigate risks to enchance trade and profitability."
Ramakanthi Harsah Hegde, Sony
"Remarkable event! Surely not to be missed."
Carlos Treixeina, Misys
From the sovereign debt crisis of 2009 (the impact of which is still being felt in some quarters) to the still undefined implications of social and political change across the region, the Middle East and North Africa market has continued to be one of the hottest topics in global commerce, with concerns expressed over potential commodity price increases, the geographical importance of the region in the global supply chain and the overall risk appetite for doing business in such a thriving global market.
With so much to discuss during this comprehensive event, delegates will be able to choose from a range of breakout sessions to attend, providing the opportunity for more informal and detailed discussion on the key issues impacting on the MENA trade landscape and beyond, as well as the chance to network with new potential business partners and old friends.
Who should attend?
•Local and international banks
•Multinationals and SMEs
•Commodity brokers and traders
•Insurance brokers and underwriters
•Export credit agencies
•Lawyers and consultants
•Market analysts and policy advisors
Day One of the conference will be followed by a special evening reception, allowing delegates to network informally and continue the day's discussions.
09.00 Chairman’s opening remarks
Farrukh Siddiqui, Managing Director, Head of Trade Middle East & Africa, J.P. Morgan
09.10 Keynote opening speech
Ahmed Sultan Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCC)
•Enhancing trade flows throughout the UAE and the wider MENA region
•Strategic initiatives for establishing the ideal business infrastructure
•The role of increased bilateral trading relations in aiding corporate growth
•Highlighting the importance of Dubai as a global gateway to trade
09.35 Energising the region’s economic development
Mahmood Al Bastaki, Director, Dubai Trade
•Offering a macroeconomic overview of trade growth and its wider implications
•Highlighting work in key industries and projects to aid regional economic expansion
•Providing a roadmap for expanding available trade services and solutions for corporates
•Responding to the evolving needs of customers and developing systems to support business
10.00 Panel Discussion: Corporate priorities and concerns
Moderator: Ian Rogers, Regional Manager, Business Development, Trade & Supply Chain, MENA, HSBC
V.P. Nagarajan, Executive Director, ETA Group
George Wilson, Credit Manager, Goodyear Middle East
Damien Sheehan, Commercial Manager, UAE, DHL Express
Manish Joshi, Chief Financial Officer, RAK Ceramics
•Considering changes to corporate financing priorities: Are banks still lending or has growth slowed?
•Are companies still dependent on LCs or has there been a shift towards more open account transactions?
•Highlighting the significance of Basel III and discussing when its impact is likely to be felt in the Middle East
•To what extent have corporates embraced the opportunities provided by continuing growth in Asia and Africa?
•Discussing to what extent attempts to diversify exports away from the energy sector have been successful
10.50 Networking break
11.30 Local and regional corporate financing challenges
Paul Blair, Head of Finance & Control, Sony Professional Solutions MEA
•Outlining current strategies employed for financing exports across the region
•How companies are working with their suppliers across the supply chain
•Leveraging relationships with banks to provide LCs and guarantees
11.55 Panel discussion: SME financing and the role of local and international banks
Moderator: Rebecca Spong, Editor, Global Trade Review
Neil Armitage, Vice President, Head of Corporate Trade Sales, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank
Laxmanan Sankaran, Head of Trade Finance, Commercial Bank of Dubai
Svitlana Skrypnyk, Sales Director, Safin Gulf
Ron Pilnik, Managing Director, Emirates Snack Foods
Anand C.K., Finance Manager, Emirates Snack Foods
•How can the local banking sector meet the increasing demand for trade finance in the region?
•Improving interaction between financial institutions to provide greater choice for clients
•Is structured finance a viable alternative when looking to finance SMEs?
•What role do international banks have to play in providing additional liquidity?
12.40 Corporate case study: Working capital and cash management
Arif Choksy, Chief Financial Officer, Dubai Cables Company
•Assessing the latest treasury challenges faced for companies and differing approaches
•What are the current approaches being adopted to protect access to corporate funding?
•Implementing new technology platforms and improving process efficiencies
•Considering the current regulatory landscape for the corporate financier
Choose between Stream A or Stream B
14.15 Stream A: Working capital, trade services and commodity financing (14.15-17.05)
Chairman: Tim Evans, Regional Head of Trade & Supply Chain, MENA, HSBC
14.15 Automating payables financing programmes
Digby Bennett, Regional Director, Middle East, Africa & Australia, China Systems
•Assessing the importance of real-life visibility and invoice data integrity in SCF
•With a plethora of systems being used by buyers and suppliers how can you ensure a successful solution?
•Are light processing requirements the measure of success?
•What's happening with ERP vendors, X.12 and data standards?
14.35 Panel discussion: Trade services and innovations in trade processing
Moderator: Amr El Haddad, Executive Director, Head of Product, MENA, J.P. Morgan
Louis Robinson, Managing Director, EMEA Trade Sales Head, RBS
Hermann Purr, Director, Trade & Cash Solutions, Deutsche Bank
Sukirat Kochar, Chief Operating Officer, Encore Technology Solutions
Urs Kern, Senior Manager, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Swift
•Discussing the evolving role of banks in providing additional trade facilities
•Developing automated platforms for collaboration in support of global trade
•Improving infrastructure and streamlining processes to optimise liquidity
•What is the current demand for supply chain finance and how has this evolved?
15.20 ePresentation: Game changing and proven
Claire Buchanan, Senior Vice President, Global Operations, Bolero
•Increased speed and efficiency
•Benefits provided in reducing risk
•Reducing the time to cash
•From pre-check to full ePresentation
15.35 Networking break
16.05 Panel discussion: The challenges ahead in commodity finance
Moderator: Malcolm Wall Morris, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
Andrew Robison, Senior Business Develoment Manager, Commodity and Structured Trade Finance, HSBC
Sudhakar Tomar, Managing Director, Hakan Agro
Ravi Kashyap, General Manager, Steinweg Sharaf
Samir Sahu, Deputy General Manager, Head of Transaction Banking Services, Emirates NBD
•Is the perception that commodity prices are on an upward trend a reality?
•Discussing the impact of fluctuating prices and opportunities provided for financiers and traders alike
•Are traders being provided with sufficient credit lines to ride the wave of the commodity boom?
•How the recent expansion of CF and SCF teams at FIs is likely to help meet such demand
•The increasing role of Asian operators as lead arrangers for high profile syndications and the impact on competition
17.05 Close of Day One followed by evening networking reception
Stream B: ‘Islamic finance in trade’ workshop (14.15-17.05)
Chairman: Ehsaan Ahmed, Global Transaction Services Head, Noor Islamic Bank
14.15 Islamic finance: The global macroeconomic outlook
Muddassir Sidiqqui, Partner & Head, Islamic Finance, Middle East, SNR Denton & Co
• Are there concerns that Islamic finance is overlapping too much with conventional finance?
• Reviewing the continuing expansion of the industry in terms of assets under management
• Opportunities provided for new entrants into the market and the regulatory challenges faced
•Accessing alternative sources of liquidity that are otherwise being underutilised
•Considering the impact of expansion across Africa and Asia on the growth of Islamic finance business volumes
14.55 The role and benefits of using Islamic finance within trade
Romy Buchari, Senior Manager, Global Amanah Commercial Banking, HSBC
•Assessing increased appetite for Islamic finance within trade as a result of increased liquidity constraints
•Considering the outlook for Islamic trade finance in terms of percentage of overall global trade finance
•Debating the technical attractions of the Islamic trade finance product in terms of funding
•Is improved awareness the key factor in increasing the use of trade finance products from Islamic sources?
15.35 Networking break
16.05 Going mainstream: Increasing use of shariah-compliant financing in the Middle East
Moderator: K. Nizardeen, Head of Trade Services, Al Hilal Bank
Ehsaan Ahmed, Global Transaction Services Head, Noor Islamic Bank
Zahoor Dattu, Principle Consultant, Bastaki Management Consultancy
•Providing examples of the growth of Islamic trade financing and the products available
•What has the growth of Islamic finance in thriving markets such as Africa and Asia meant in terms of expanding reach?
•Tracking the increased use of Islamic finance instruments in financing exports to core markets such as Europe and the US
•With increased regional trade and continuing capital constraints, should Islamic finance be used more widely?
17.05 Close of Day One followed by evening networking reception
Stream A: Country focuses and risk profiling (09.00-11.25)
Chairman: Ian Rogers, Regional Manager, Business Development, Trade & Supply Chain, MENA, HSBC
09.00 A new world: Changes in political risk following the Arab Spring
Zaineb Al-Assam, Head of MENA Forecasting, Exclusive Analysis
•Debating what the events of 2011 really mean for the MENA region in terms of market appeal
•Similarities and differences: Assessing just much common ground there is between countries
•How does this impact on the broader gtrade landscape in light of the region’s role as a global hub?
09.25 Panel discussion: Assessing the demand for trade credit and political risk insurance
Moderator: Gregory Lehenand, Regional Business Development Manager, Coface Emirates Services
Khemais El-Gazzah, Director of Operations, Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investments & Export Credit (ICIEC)
Toby Heppel, Divisional Director, Political, Credit & Financial Risks, RFIB
Abhishek Chhajer, Senior Underwriter & Head of Trade Credit Division, Asia Pacific, Markel International
•How important is political risk cover for doing business in the market at present?
•Are insurers meeting bank demand and what has been the impact on pricing?
•Reducing risk through provision of accurate information and increasing demand for such services
•Comparing and contrasting coverage policies across different providers post-Arab Spring
•Are some countries now off the table for insurers and if so how has this impacted on local companies?
10.00 Doing business in Libya: What do you need to know?
Moderator: Peter Gubbins, Managing Director, Exporta Group
Philip Patterson, Senior Research Analyst, ABC International Bank
•Providing an ‘on the ground’ update on why corporates and banks should be ‘looking to Libya’
•Highlighting business and reconstruction opportunities available in various industry sectors
•What steps have been taken to keep Libya open for business and how are things likely to change?
•Debating the potential for increasing bilateral trade relationships with other emerging markets
10.40 Saudi Arabia: Getting in on the ground
Moderator: Saadat Khan, Executive Director, Head of Trade, Saudi Arabia, J.P. Morgan
Arup Roy, Head of Transaction Banking, Saudi Arabia British Bank (SABB)
Syed-Kamran Zaidi, Director, Head of Trade Finance & Cash Management Corporates, MENA, GTS, Deutsche Bank
•Highlighting the increased international bank presence in The Kingdom: What does it mean?
•Tracking the progress of recovery of trade flows and comparing with pre-recession levels
•Improving diversification of national income through increased financing of non-oil exports
•What role do ECAs and multilaterals have to play in helping meet demand for large scale exports?
Stream B: Increasing international and intra-regional trade (09.00-11.25)
09.00 Leveraging the region's commodity strengths
Paul Boots, Director, Tradeflow Project, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
•Focusing on the strategic initiatives underway to increase commodity trade flows
•Discussing the need to increase provision of secure financing facilities
•Prioritising offering corporates greater access to liquidity from banks
09.25 Structured trade finance within the steel industry
Rowley Brown, Head of Finance, Adpico Steel
•Outlining key financing challenges faced for the industry across the region
•Creating additional means for financing trade flows other than traditional borrowing
•Assessing the respective merits of various pre-export financing facilities available
09.45 Panel discussion: Facilitating intra-regional trade for corporates
Moderator: Karim Nasrallah, Managing Director, The Lebanese Credit Insurer (LCI)
Vicken Sarkissian, Finance Director, Obegi Chemicals Group
Roger Tanios, Legal Department Manager, Indevco Group
Shehzad Sharjeel, Regional Head of Trade, Middle East & North Africa, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
•Increasing access to trade finance coverage for regional corporates in line with market appetite
•Promoting further expansion of business lines across the wider GCC region and beyond
•Are countries such as Lebanon and Jordan seen as the gateway to more lucrative markets?
•How has the recent unrest in neighbouring Syria impacted on risk appetites and market appeal?
10.35 Panel discussion: Has the balance shifted in Asia-MENA trade?
Moderator: Maninder Bhandari, Managing Director, Encore Solutions
Dilip Hiramath, Head of Trade and Supply Chain; Global Transaction Services, Mashreq Bank
Ranjit Roy, Head of Financial Instituions, Middle East, ANZ Bank
Mayank Upadhyaya, Regional Head, Global Transaction Services, Middle East, DBS Bank
•Profiling increased trade flows between Asia and MENA and future predictions
•Getting a foot in the door: Establishing a presence on the ground
•Opportunities provided for local companies to supply Asian overseas investment projects
•Is Asia the new emerging market trade hub and if so where does this leave the Middle East?
11.25 Networking break
11.55 Case study: Corporate financing in the telecoms sector
Philippe Vogeleer, Executive, External Affairs, Vodafone
•Examining the increasing use of IPO as a means of alternative financing
•What are the latest challenges faced by industry operators?
•Difficulties faced in developing achievable growth strategies
•Is it always necessary to have "a story to tell" to investors?
12.20 Export credit support for large industrial projects
James Finucane, Manager, Project Finance, Emirates Steel
•Corporate case study: Meeting growing regional infrastructural requirements
•How are companies presently meeting financing requirements for phase 1 & 2 expansion?
•The increasing use of ECA financing: lessons learned and outlining future plans
12.45 Export and agency finance: Are banks and ECAs now seeing the full potential?
Moderator: Zeeshan Khan, Vice President, Treasury Services, J.P. Morgan
Andreas Klasen, Partner, Head of Export Credit Gaurantees, PricewaterhouseCoopers Piers Constable, Director, Head of Coverage, Middle East & Africa, GTS, Deutsche Bank
Owais Diyan, Head of Operations, Dubai Office, Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investments & Export Credit (ICIEC)
Faruq Muhammad, Regional Head, Middle East & Africa, Structured Export Finance, Standard Chartered Bank
James Finucane, Manager, Project Finance, Emirates Steel
•Highlighting export opportunities as a result of increased capital projects and subsequent demand for finance
•Has the primary objective of such projects changed from export diversification to social development?
•What are the primary sectors requiring financing and has there been a change post-Arab Spring?
•With the impact of 2009 still being felt by the local market are new export finance opportunities primarily for international banks?
•Which countries are most on the radar of banks and ECAs for providing export finance opportunities?
•Considering what the increased presence of development institutions means in terms of banks being able to meet demand with capacity
13.35 Close of conference followed by networking lunch
Jumeirah Emirates TowersPO Box 72127 Sheikh Zayed Road
United Arab Emirates
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