Mr. Raouf Abou Zaki is the CEO of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal, Editor in Chief of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Magazine and Secretary General of the Arab Union of Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Forum affiliated with the Council of Arab Economic Unity and the League of Arab States.
He Founded “Al-Aamal” Magazine in 1985, a joint project between “Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal” magazine and the Financial Times. Before establishing the Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group in 1979, Mr. Abou Zaki was the business editor of Al-Nahar newspaper in Beirut from 1965 to 1979.
He is a member of the Lebanese private sector to the Arab Economic and Social Council of the League of Arab States, Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon and Chairman of the Chamber’s Investment Committee, and Board of Directors of the Swiss-Arab Chamber of Commerce.
He is also Vice Chairman of the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) – a public institution attached to the office of the Prime Minister of Lebanon-until December 2001.
Dr. Joseph Torbey is the Chairman of the Association of Banks in Lebanon (ABL), where he had previously served the same position for two consecutive mandates (Nov. 2001-Nov. 2005).
Dr. Torbey is the Chairman General Manager of the Banking Group Credit Libanais, and Chairman of the World Union of Arab Bankers (WUAB), an organization for Arab Bankers and finance professionals, or those of Arab origin who assume an active role in the finance and banking communities, locally, regionally and internationally. WUAB aims at weaving a network of communication and establishing solid relations among Arab bankers and finance professionals. He is also Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) since May 2007, which Board he chaired for two consecutive mandates from April 2001-2007.
Before chairing Credit Libanais Group, Dr. Joseph Torbey held numerous public functions, as he served as a Controller at the Lebanese Audit Court, a Financial Controller at the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Head of the Tax Department, Ministry of Finance.
Dr. Torbey holds a Ph.D degree in Law from the University of Lyon (France) and has followed extensive studies in Public Administration and Business Taxation at the University of Southern California, L.A. (USA). He was also awarded an Honorary Professor status at the University of Vienna and has a number of publications on various banking, financial and taxation issues.
H.E. Mr. Riad Salamé is the Governor of Banque du Liban (Central Bank of Lebanon) since August 1, 1993. H.E. Salamé was reappointed for three consecutive terms in 1999, 2005 and 2011.
He chairs the following bodies: the BDL Central Council, the Higher Banking Commission, the Special Investigation Commission fighting money laundering and terrorist financing and the Financial Markets Authority. H.E. is member of the Board of Governors at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF).
In 2012, Governor Salamé represented his country as Chairman of the IMF and World Bank Boards of Governors.
Between 1973 and 1985, H.E. acquired an extensive experience at Merrill Lynch (Beirut and Paris) that led to his designation from 1985 through 1993 as Vice-President and Financial Advisor, a position that he occupied till his appointment as BDL Governor.
The main objective of H.E. monetary policy has always been to safeguard the Lebanese currency, in order to ensure the basis of a continuous economic and social growth.
H.E. Mr. Salamé has received numerous awards including Best Central Bank Governor in the world for 2006- Euromoney award, and has received Knight of the Legion of Honor- bestowed upon him by French President Jacques Chirac on May 31, 1997.
H.E. Mr. Najib Mikati is the Lebanese Caretaker Prime Minister. H.E. Mr. Mikati began his political career in 1998 as the Minister of Public Works and Transport, and remained in post until 2004, under three consecutive cabinets. In 2000, he was elected for the first time as a Member of Parliament representing Tripoli. In 2005, he became Prime Minister of Lebanon and during his mandate, he steered the country towards what was qualified as notable democratic elections. In 2009, he was re-elected Member of Parliament representing Tripoli for a mandate of four years.
H.E. is the Co-Founder of M1 Group, a family-owned holding with interests in various sectors such as telecom, real estate, aircraft financing, fashion and energy.
H.E. Mr. Mikati graduated from the American University of Beirut with an MBA; he also followed advanced management programs at INSEAD, and Harvard University. A philanthropist, H.E. is engaged in a number of social activities, spanning Lebanese and international medical, academic, and charitable associations and organizations which he founded with his family.
What has changed in the Arab World since the eruption of the Arab Spring? How is the political transformation going to affect the economic stability and prosperity in the Arab countries, and how will growth prospects cope with this change? Are upcoming governments ready to undertake the economic transformations that respond to the aspirations of their citizens in terms of fairness, equity and prosperity?
Chairman: Dr. Shafic Al Masri, Professor of International Law, Lebanon
In order to respond to people aspirations and address socio-economic root causes of the Arab Spring, harmony between the ongoing political transition and a “citizen-centric” economic agenda looks crucial. The Arab countries political leaderships and emerging governments need to rethink more thoroughly their growth model and implement more equitable social contracts, while preserving macro-financial stability.
Chairman: H.E. Bader Al Humaidi, Former Minister of Finance, Kuwait
H.E. Riadh Bettaieb is the Minister Advisor to the Prime Minister in Charge of Government Investment in Tunisia.
H.E. Bettaieb is the Former Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation in Tunisia.
H.E. Dr. Jihad Azour is Managing Director of Inventis Partners - a Private Equity Firm, with investments in MENA and Europe. Until recently, H.E. Azour was a V.P. - Senior Executive Advisor at Booz & Company, actively involved in consulting governments, public sector organizations, central banks, financial sector and institutions, and large international corporations.
He was recently appointed by the Board of the World Bank, member of the Independent Panel of Experts to review a broad range of issues around the Doing Business and Global Competitiveness.
He was previously Minister Finance of Lebanon for three years (2005 - 2008), where he spearheaded the economic and financial program of the Lebanese Government, and coordinated the implementation of the various policies and reform initiatives, led the preparation and the implementation of the Paris III International Conference for Lebanon, gathered more than 45 countries and IFIs, and raised USD 7.6 billion of support.
H.E. Dr. Jihad Azour also conducted a comprehensive modernization and reform agenda in the Ministry of Finance which was granted in 2007 the prestigious “United Nations Public Service Award”.
He occupied senior positions in government, UNDP, and in leading private sector companies (including McKinsey and Company, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Compagnie de Saint-Gobain). He also consulted for the IMF, the World Bank and the EU. He published more than five books and several articles on economic and financial issues in international publications and academic journals, and has a long teaching experience at the American University of Beirut.
H.E. Dr. Jihad Azour obtained his PhD in International Finance from Harvard University and the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, France. H.E. Dr. Azour also holds an M.Phil. (DEA) in International Finance.
Leader at an international level in strategy, economics and technology, Ghassan has more than 19 years of experience in the telecom industry in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and Africa. He is currently a member of the Global Agenda Council on Competitiveness with the World Economic Forum and a fellow of the Aspen institute Global Leadership Network.
Ghassan held several leadership positions, such as the Chief Executive Officer of the International Operations of Saudi Telecom Company (STC). He was the deputy Chairman of the investment committee of STC ventures, a VC fund created to encourage digital economy investments in the Middle East.
He joined STC from the global management consulting firm Booz & Company. He held several non-executive board positions in large organizations such as Maxis (Malaysia), Turk Telecom, Viva Kuwai and Viva Bahrain where he was the Deputy Chairman of the Board. He also Chaired the Board of Commissioners for Axis in Indonesia.
Ghassan is also a Chartered Engineer and a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in the U.K.
He holds an MBA and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering with first class honors from the U.K.
Dr. Mazen Soueid is the Chief Economist at BankMed. He was also Economic Advisor to the Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, and from January 2010 onward, he has been advising PM Siniora in his capacity as head of the Future Parliamentary Block. Prior to joining BankMed, Dr. Soueid worked as an Economist at the International Monetary Fund, particularly in the Asian, Middle Eastern Departments as well as the Capital Markets Department. At the IMF he worked on a range of issues and countries like Venezuela, Korea, Mexico, and the Philippines. He had also worked in Deutsche Bank in London and New York covering the Middle East. He taught Finance and Economics at Brown University and the American University of Beirut. Dr. Soueid is the author of the best-selling book “The Lebanese Economic Project” which won an award for “Best Book on the Lebanese Economy” published in 2010 by Capital Issues.
Chairman: Mr. Tarek Zahnan, Senior Editor, Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal group
While monetary authorities and central banks in the Arab world are still in the process of confronting the implications of the global economic and financial crisis, the region is witnessing tremendous political movements with broaden economic scopes which are posing additional challenges to the banking industries which need to put more focus on funding growth while maintaining financial health. This session will discuss the following issues:
Chairman: Dr. Makram Sader, Secretary General, Association of Banks in Lebanon
H.E. Dr. Jihad Al Wazir has a doctorate in Business Administration, Al Wazir was appointed as the Governor and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Palestine Monetary Authority in 2008, in 2012 he was re-appointed for another term. H.E. Dr. Jihad Al Wazir has held several senior positions in the private and public sectors, he was the Deputy Governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, Acting Minister of Finance and a Secretary General of the Ministry of Planning.
H.E. Dr. Jihad Al Wazir is the Founder of the Palestinian Domain (.ps) and also the Chairman of the first Board of Directors of the Palestinian National Internet Naming Authority (PNINA). H.E. Dr. Jihad is the founder and the General Manager of the Palestine Trade Centre, H.E. was elected as a member of Board of Directors for the Palestinian Businessmen Association in Gaza Strip in 1991. H.E. Dr. Al Wazir serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Arab American University-Jenin.
Mr. Hamad Al Marzouq is currently the President of Kuwait Banking Association. He is the Board Director of Institute of Banking Studies and Board Director of Public Authority for Applied Education & Training.
He was Chairman and Managing Director of ahli united bank K.S.C. and was Ahli United Bank Group Deputy Chairman of Ahli United Bank (Bahrain - UK – Egypt), Ahli Bank (Oman, Qatar), United Bank for Commerce & Investment – Libya & Commercial Bank of Iraq.
He was previously the Member of the Board of Trustees at Arab Academy for Financial & Banking Services (AAFBS), Board Director of Union of Arab Banks (UAB), Deputy Chairman of Kuwait & Middle East Financial Investment Company, Deputy Chairman of Middle East Financial Investment Company (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and Manager Supervision Sector at Central Bank of Kuwait.
He holds a degree in Bachelor of Science in Industrial & System Engineering from the University of Southern California )USA( and MBA degree in Finance & International Business from Claremont Graduate School )USA(.
Mr. Saad Azhari is the Chairman and General Manager of BLOM BANK since 2008, and prior to that, between 2001 and 2007, he was the Vice-Chairman and General Manager of BLOM BANK. Mr. Saad Azhari also assumes several functions on the Board of Directors of BLOM BANK Group‘s entities. He is in addition the Vice President of the Association of Banks in Lebanon since 2001.
He joined BLOM BANK (Switzerland) in 1991, and was appointed its General Manager in 1997 and its Chairman in 2001.
He worked from 1986 to 1991 in PBZ Privatbank, an affiliate of UBS Group, in Zurich-Switzerland where he was promoted to run, from Zurich, the Bank’s operations in the Middle East and in its Hong Kong office.
Mr. Saad Azhari obtained a Master degree in Computer Engineering, and afterwards a Master degree in Business Administration (MBA), from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in the United States of America.
Small and Medium-sized enterprises, play a pivotal role in the integration of the economic cycle, by attracting investments and positively contributing to job generation and entrepreneurships initiatives.
Chairman: Dr. Leila Abboud, Director, Center for Entrepreneurship - Beirut Arab University, Lebanon
Chairman: H.E. Dr. Jihad Azour, Lebanon Former Minister of Finance, VP-Senior Executive Advisor, Booz&Co
H.E. Mr. Nahas is currently the minister of economy & trade; he is the founder of “EDAFI Value Partners”, a business development firm managing private equity investments focusing on several industries such as FMCG, construction material and clean energy in MENA region.
Mr. Nahas was the CEO of “Ciment de Sibline”, a prominent Lebanese cement factory and member of “Secil” Portuguese cement group, from 1980 until 2009 to become later a Board Member.
He has been appointed as the Chief Economical Counselor of the Prime Minister of Lebanon Mr. Najib Mikati during his mandate in 2005.
He has a degree in Civil Engineering from Saint-Joseph University in Lebanon (ESIB) .He joined the postgraduate ISMP program in Harvard Business School in 1992.
- Vice president of the Lebanese Industrialists Association
- Member, Dean's International Council, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago
- Chairman of Business Development Company (EDAFI)
- Chairman of Levant Beverage and Dairy holding (LBDH) with its affiliate
- Chairman of Saboun s.a.l
- Member of the Board of Directors of Ciment de Sibline s.a.l
- Member of the Board of the Middle East Prospect Forum (MEP)
- Member of the Board of the of “International Tube & Conduit Company” (ITCC ) (Jeddah - Saudi Arabia)
Born in 1953, Mr. Nabil A. Itani is Chairman and General Manager of Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL), Lebanon’s National Investment Promotion Agency. His career spans over three decades of professional achievement, significant contribution to the architectural profession, and diligent service to his native Lebanon. His valuable contributions in official committees and in the drafting of major proposals have had positive ramifications on architectural, investment, export, and administrative practice in Lebanon.
Throughout his career, Mr. Nabil Itani has actively been designing, overseeing and supporting new strategies to develop the architectural profession in Lebanon and to attract investments to the country in multiple sectors. He continues to seize every opportunity to highlight Lebanon’s assets and to urge investors to take advantage of the many opportunities emerging from its growing economy, noting how successful execution of important IDAL-supported projects will spur investments. His efforts stem from an unshakable faith in Lebanon as a capital and investment destination of choice.
Mr. Choucair is currently the President of the Federation of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Lebanon – FCCIAL. He is also President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut & Mount Lebanon – CCIA-BML, President of the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry – ASCAME, President of the Board of Trustees of the Lebanese Arbitration Center at the Beirut & Mount Lebanon Chamber, Vice President of the Office of Economic Cooperation for Mediterranean and Middle East – OCEMO, Vice President of the Franco – Lebanese Chamber of Commerce – CCFL.
He is the CEO & Board Member of Patchi International, President of Echtab Holding, President of Ekar Estate Capital, Founder & Board Member in Benchmark – Real Estate Company and Partner & Board Member of Star Brands spa – Algeria (Procter & Gamble and Nestlé). Also he is Founder & Board Member of Bader Young Entrepreneur Program, Founder of the Lebanese Franchise Association – LFA, Board Member of the International Chamber of Commerce – ICC.
Mr. Choucair was “Console a Disposizione”– of the Republic of San Marino, Board Member & President of the Industrial Committee – CCIA-BML. He was named “Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite’’ by the President of the French Republic, Mr. François Hollande.
He holds a degree in International Commercial Studies from Paris, France.
Dr. Bifani is the General Manager of the Ministry of Finance in Lebanon. He is a member of the Central Bank of Lebanon’s board and the Supreme Banking Court.
He is Lebanon’s Alternate Governor at the World Bank, at the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, and at the Agriculture Development Bank. In addition, he chairs the National Social Security fund’s financial committee.
Dr. Bifani holds a PhD in Economics from Sorbonne