ICC-ESCWA Regional Economic Forum

08-09 Dec 2021

Online English
13:00 CET (GMT+2)

What are the biggest trends shaping entrepreneurship and innovation in the Arab region?

How can the region rebuild trust, resilience and economic growth after Covid-19?

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) will bring together a line-up of international development experts and practitioners, SME representatives, policymakers, corporate leaders and chambers of commerce to share their sector expertise and first-hand experience in the Arab region in a two-day digital event taking place on 8-9 December 2021. 

The first in a series of Regional Economic Fora - focused specifically on the Arab region - this event will offer a unique platform to provide SMEs with the tools to succeed. If you are looking for all the latest regional developments and entrepreneurial trends - this forum is not to be missed!

The main topics will include:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Technology
  • Trade Finance
  • Rebuilding Fragile Economies

Who should attend?

  • MSMEs, start-up founders and aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Public sector and policymakers
  • Private sector, academic institutions and universities
  • International organisations and local NGOs
8 December: Day 1
9 December: Day 2

14.00-14.30

Beirut time GMT+2; CET+1

Opening Ceremony

  • Dr Rola Dashti, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
  • John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
  • Wissam Fattouh, Secretary General, The Union of Arab Banks

Guest Speaker

  • Gaby Tayoun, Founder & Executive Chairman, EUROPTIMA

14.30-15.20

Beirut time GMT+2; CET+1

Panel Discussion – Key Trends Shaping the Businesses of the Future

The pandemic has accelerated many trends that existed long before the first COVID-19 outbreak occurred. It's also likely that 2022 will bring with it some unexpected market changes. In this track, we are going to identify business trends and industry insights, and help entrepreneurs understand how SMEs can take advantage of them, to stay ahead of the curve and continue to innovate. The track will also tackle the investment and funding opportunities for startups and SMEs, as they expand into the region, and will offer a closeup at the new forms of funding as well as the top performing sectors to help lay out the direction for the coming year.

Panelists:

  • Naji Antoun, VP of Data, Anghami
  • Yusr Sabra, Co-Founder & CEO, Wakilni
  • Jad El Boustani, Managing Director, Middle East Venture Partners
  • Nadine Zeitoun, Media and Digital Marketing Specialist, Nestlé Middle East

Moderator:

  • Joelle Yazbeck, Executive Coordinator, ICC-UNESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship

15.20-15.25

Beirut time GMT+2; CET+1

Break

15.25-15.45

Beirut time

GMT+2; CET+1

Presentation – WIPO IP Diagnostics

  • Danny Grajales Pérez-y-Soto, IP Knowledge Manager – ICC Global Policy
  • Talia Bally, Representative, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

16.25-16.30

Beirut time

GMT+2; CET+1

Closing

14.00-14.05

Beirut time GMT+2; CET+1

Welcome

14.05-14.55

Beirut time GMT+2; CET+1


Panel Discussion – Addressing the Trade Finance Gap in the Region: Challenges and Opportunities for SMEs

This track will analyze the trade finance gap in the Middle East and offer a comprehensive overview of the challenges SMEs face when looking for trade finance options. The track will serve as a platform to building a collective approach to address the trade finance gap in the Middle East and identifying potential synergies between current and prospective initiatives and solutions. ICC Trade Now partners will showcase relevant initiatives and present solutions aimed at empowering SMEs in the Middle East.

Panelists:

  • Zina Bdeir Dajani, Founder & CEO, Antwork
  • Dr. Iain MacLennan, Head of Trade and Supply Chain Finance, Finastra

Moderator:

  • Vincent O’Brien, Director, ICC United Arab Emirates

14.55-15.15

Beirut time GMT+2; CET+1

Presentation – The Future of Work in the Arab Region: Evidence from ESCWA Skills Monitor

  • Dr. Salim Araji, Economic Affairs Officer, UNESCWA

15.15-15.20

Beirut time GMT+2; CET+1

Break

15.20-16.10

Beirut time GMT+2; CET+1

Panel Discussion – Building Back Better: Empowering SMEs in the Context of Recovery

Business has a key role on helping fragile or fractured nations to build peace and prosperity. A functioning market economy creates opportunities that will ultimately address the roots of societal and economic divide. This track will bring together international development experts that are leading by example by building in concrete business cases that outlines the role of entrepreneurship on creating the foundations of political and economic stability. The track will also address the challenges to rebuild the Lebanese economy after the port explosion and mobilize private sector leaders and governments around a long-term vision for the country and the region.

Panelists:

  • Ramy Boujawdeh, Deputy General Manager, Berytech
  • Neal El-Jor, Executive Director, Jobs for Lebanon
  • Nisrine Barakeh, Managing Director, AIM Research & Consulting
  • Elie Akhrass, Program Coordinator, The B5 Fund and iSME Programme

Moderator:

  • Gabriel Petrus, Deputy Director, Global Partnerships & Development, ICC

16.10-16.15

Beirut time GMT+2; CET+1

Closing and Way Forward

  • Catherine Foster, Lead, ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship
  • Joelle Yazbeck, Executive Coordinator, ICC-UNESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship

Elie Akhrass

Program Coordinator, The B5 Fund and iSME Programme

Naji Antoun

VP of Data, Anghami

Dr. Dia-Eddin Arafah

Secretary General, The Higher Council for Science & Technology

Dr. Salim Araji

Economic Affairs Officer, UNESCWA

Talia Bally

Representative, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Nisrine Barakeh

Managing Director, AIM Research & Consulting

Zina Bdeir Dajani

Founder & CEO, Antwork

Ramy Boujawdeh

Deputy General Manager, Berytech

Dr Rola Dashti

Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

John W.H. Denton AO

Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Nada El Agizy

Sustainable Development and International Cooperation, League of Arab States

Neal El-Jor

Executive Director, Jobs for Lebanon

Jad El Boustani

Executive Director, Middle East Venture Partners

Wissam Fattouh

Secretary General, The Union of Arab Banks

Danny Grajales Pérez-y-Soto

IP Knowledge Manager – ICC Global Policy

Kareem Hassan

Executive Director, ESCWA Technology Centre for Development

Dr. Wei Liu

Coordinator, UN Inter-agency Task Team on STI for the SDGs (IATT), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Dr. Iain MacLennan

Head of Trade and Supply Chain Finance, Finastra

Vincent O’Brien

Director, ICC United Arab Emirates

Gabriel Petrus

Deputy Director, Global Partnerships & Development, ICC

Yusr Sabra

Co-Founder & CEO, Wakilni

Dr. Omar Shoukry Sakr

Founder & CEO, Nawah Scientific

Gaby Tayoun

Founder & Executive Chairman, EUROPTIMA

Joelle Yazbeck

Executive Coordinator, ICC-ESCWA Centre of Entrepreneurship

Nadine Zeitoun

Media and Digital Marketing Specialist, Nestlé Middle East

Date and venue

8-9 November 2021

Online

Disclaimer

The photos and audiovisual recordings taken during this webinar may be used and published by ICC, its subsidiaries or affiliates, for informational or promotional purposes in printed materials or online, including on ICC websites and in social media.

For further information, please contact:

Paulina Martinez

Project Manager, ICC Centre of Entrepreneurship

ICC Global Partnerships and Development

Organisers

Partner

Registration