Posted on March 25, 2011

The 10th Banking Conference for GCC Countries, the most influential and important banking and finance event in the Gulf region, has been opened in Doha under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al-Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The two-day conference at the Ritz Carlton Hotel is organized by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) in cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretariat General. Attracting over 100 high-level international speakers and delegates, the theme of the event is ‘GCC Banking and its role in development in light of current updates - Reality and Ambition’.

The 10th Banking Conference for GCC Countries provided a platform for participants to discuss the crucial challenges affecting GCC financial markets, encouragement of practices to face global competition, promotion of corporate governance principles, and application of recommendations on combating money laundering and terrorist financing, are other topics being tackled by conference delegates.

In his welcoming remarks, HE Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Attiya, GCC Secretary General, told delegates “we are confident that the 10th GCC Banking Conference will enable Gulf banks and financial institutions to even hold a more dominant place in the world financial map.”

After the Gala Dinner on March 23, Day 2 of the conference is divided into four Panel Sessions. Chaired by Qatar Credit Bureau CEO Sheikh Bandar Bin Mohammed Al-Thani, the first panel session entitled ‘Credit Bureau Centers – Ambitions & Challenges’ attracted eminent speakers Dr. Nabil Abdullah Al-Mubarak (Chief Executive Officer, Saudi Credit Bureau), Dr. Waleed Mohammad Hussain Benhassan (Deputy General Manager, Credit Information Network (Ci-Net)) and Dr. AbdulWahed Al-Janahi (CEO, The BENEFIT Company).

Following a speech by H. E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al-Thani, the second panel session ‘GCC Monetary Union – Reality & Future’ chaired by Dr. Nasser I. Al-Kaud (Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs, GCC Secretariat General) featured guest speakers Dr. Said A. Al-Shaikh (Chief Economist –The National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia (Al-Ahli), Dr. Ahmed Alkholifey (Executive Director for Saudi Arabia at the International Monetary Fund) and Dr. Michael Sturm (Principal Economist, European Central Bank).

Panel Session 3 ‘Global Financial Crisis and Reflection on the GCC Banking Sector – Lessons Learned’, chaired by Mr. Ali Shareef Al-Emadi (Group Chief Executive Officer, QNB), attracted an impressive list of panelists including Ibrahim S. Dabdoub (Group CEO, National Bank of Kuwait), Abdulkareem Abu Alnasr (Chief Executive Officer, The National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia) and Mr. Prasad (Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund).

The conference concludes with a Closing Panel Session conducted by their Highnesses/Excellencies, the GCC Central Banks Governors and chaired by QCB Governor H. E. Sheikh Abdulla Bin Saoud Al-Thani, who was joined by H.E. Dr. Mohammed Bin Suleiman Al-Jasser (Governor – Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency), H.E. Salem Bin AbdulAziz Al-Subah (Governor – Central Bank of Kuwait), H.E. Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj (Governor – Central Bank of Bahrain), H.E. Hamoud Bin Sanjour Al-Zadjali (Governor - Central Bank of Oman) and H.E. Sultan Bin Nasser Al-Suwaidi (Governor - Central Bank of United Arab Emirates).