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ABLF showcase of leadership excellence and future-focused dialogues opens in Dubai

DUBAI, 23rd November, 2017 (WAM) -- Conversations around the great Asian growth narrative were in top gear at the 10th Anniversary Edition of the spectacular Asian Business Leadership Forum in Dubai. Burj Khalifa was a fitting venue to host the assembly of tall leaders and extraordinary visionaries of the region who were honoured at this influential leadership platform, under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance, and in association with the UAE Ministry of Economy.

The ABLF Leadership Day 2017, with its presenting partners, National Petroleum Construction Company and Senaat, key contributors to the UAE’s economic growth, and with Dubai FDI, Hinduja Group and IndusInd Bank as its Associate Partners, rolled out with a forum that featured six compelling sessions focusing on the key sectors that influence the future of the global economy.

Speaking at the ABLF Leadership Day, Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said, "In the past few years, renewable energy has been witnessing a remarkable growth due to the spread of renewable energy solutions, as well as the availability of necessary technologies and decline in their prices. In the UAE, renewable energy is a principle pillar in our National Vision 2021 and Green Growth Strategy, bolstering the country's leading position as a global hub for the latest economic, environmental and technological practices.

"It is highly important to strengthen public-private partnership to achieve the strategic goals of the National Climate Change Plan 2017-2050, the Green Development Agenda 2015-2030, as well as to set priorities and make proposals to support national climate adaptation efforts. Leading companies in the UAE play a vital role in supporting economic growth across all sectors and in spreading advanced technologies, employing sustainable resources and seeking innovative solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change," he added.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi opened the session on a note that is both relevant and timely, addressing the protection and conservation of our planet, in a session entitled, ‘The Earth and Us’, followed by an engaging address by Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, CEO and MD, DEWA, the facilitator of the Dubai’s sustainability narrative.

Joining Mr. Al Tayer in a panel session were technology experts, Tsuyoshi Nakai, CEO, JCCP, Japan and Dr. Chunyuan Gu, President AMEA, ABB, who emphasised the significance of innovation in combatting global energy constraints.

A session entitled, ‘The Global Humanitarian’, rallied around the values of compassion and social responsibility. Highlighting the need for a global network of change-makers to collectively work towards building a society based on humanism, equality and economic growth, was Raza Jafar, Founder of Global Sustainability Network. Bringing in the perspective of women's empowerment and the role of government and individuals in this regard, was Diana Hamade, a leading Sharia Law expert in the region.

A keynote address by Dr. Mohammed Al-Mualla, Under-Secretary for Academic Affairs of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education opened another session entitled, ‘The Economics of Education and Healthcare in Asia’. Highlighting the need and the role of collaborations between connected technology and government strategies was Dr. Arjen Radder, CEO Middle East and Turkey, Philips. Throwing light on the studies and research as well as the innovative approach to inclusive healthcare, Dr. Radder spoke convincingly on the impact of using connected technology to achieve this goal. Bringing in the perspective of ensuring quality and inclusive education and healthcare for a country of 1.3 billion people was Adil Zainulbhai, the Chairman of Quality Council of India, a pioneering initiative by the Indian Government to adopt and adhere to quality standards in different industry sectors, primarily promoting and protecting the interests of citizens.

Debating the ethics and effectiveness of the new media landscape in the session, ‘The Responsibility Protocol for New Media’, was an advocate for using new media in diplomacy and international relations, Navdeep Suri, India’s Ambassador to the UAE. Highlighting the powerful influence and reach of the new media houses as tools for achieving government goals of growth and development was LinkedIn’s Rajai El Khadem. Suhel Seth, Indian marketing guru, commented on the impact and behaviour of markets, consumers as well as private companies on the changing dynamics of the new communication landscape. Spinning the legal perspective of free speech, strategic and responsible communication was lawyer Rajiv K. Luthra, Founder and Managing Partner of Luthra and Luthra Law Offices.

The technology revolution is leading to ‘The Disruption of Financial Ecosystem’. This panel session featured the banking doyens, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Former Chairperson, State Bank of India, P.S. Jayakumar, Chairman, Bank of Baroda, and Sunil Kaushal, Regional Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank for Africa and the Middle East. Highlighting the role of FinTech in secure investments in the region was the Chief Executive of DIFC Courts, Mark Beer.

The final session focused on the backbone of all economies, ‘The Edge of Entrepreneurship’, which opened with a keynote address by Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director, Expo2020 Dubai Bureau. This was followed by a compelling conversation between Hussain J. Al Nowais, Chairman of Waha Capital and Chairman of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Shaukat Aziz, Former Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Gopichand Hinduja, Co-Chairman of the Hinduja Group, UK, wherein the leaders addressed the challenges in the entrepreneurial sphere and the supporting the current and future generations of the enterprising youth capital in the region.

The ABL Forum culminated on a high note with a closing address by Kamal Nath, Member of the Indian Parliament, and an avid supporter of the leadership platform.

Addressing the audience at the ABLF Awards Ceremony and Gala that followed the day's events, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan said, "It is fitting that the ABLF conversations today concentrated on global issues. It is further fitting that the recipients of awards tonight come from five different countries. The global nature of this forum calls to mind the global society that this country, the UAE, has become."

The ABLF trophies were presented by Sheikh Nahyan and H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Emirates Group.

Receiving the ABLF Stateswoman Award, Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of the Federal National Council, commented, "The awarding of a distinguished prize takes on a vital additional dimension if it is linked to the progress of the coming generations towards a better future, and this is what you are doing here. I emphasise to you that my successes have been achieved by virtue of the unbounded support of the "Mother of the Nation", Her Highness Sheikh Fatima bint Mubarak. The support of our wise leadership supplies us with opportunities for success, excellence, and creativity in our various fields of work.

I look upon myself as an ambassador for the values, principles, ideals and identity of the Emirates. I do all that I can to support the dreams and ambitions of the daughters of the Emirates, and I am proud of the ABLF prize because of its link to a forum that discusses vital issues of the utmost importance for the future of coming generations. I also see it as an acknowledgement of the progress of women, and women’s role in achieving the Emirates’ dream.

I am confident that the ABLF Award promotes noble values and I am pleased to receive this recognition and proud of the Emirati people’s confidence, the leadership vision, and of being an Emirati woman, embracing and applying the UAE values, principles and identity through my parliamentary work and seeking to play an effective role in the efforts made by my country in spreading the culture of peace and welfare.

Accepting the ABLF Global Asian Award, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC, said, "I thank the Asian Business Leaders Forum for this award. It is a tangible recognition of the impact and contribution ADNOC has on the global economy, and in particular across Asia. We take great pride in contributing to the socio-economic development across our markets by being a reliable and responsible supplier of energy. At the same time, ADNOC is dedicated to creating more opportunities for our youth to develop the skills necessary to fulfil their potential and support our nation’s progress."

The ABLF Leadership Day 2017 also witnessed the presence of some of the brightest minds and success stories of the region, including Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shurooq, Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI, Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of DMCC, Dr. Maitha Salem AlShamsi, Minister of State, and Ashok P. Hinduja, Chairman of the Hinduja Group, among others.

[Image credit: Asian Business Leadership Forum, ABLF Twitter: @ablf]


WAM/Chris Moran