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FT Business Regulation Forum - Dubai

Dubai |
Speakers include:
Robert  Armstrong

Robert Armstrong

Financial Times

Raed Safadi

Raed Safadi

Department of Economic Development Dubai

Faisal Naru

Faisal Naru



The second FT Business Regulation Forum taking place in Dubai will bring together regulators, policy makers and senior industry leaders to discuss the role of regulatory policy as a driver for development, business innovation and inclusive growth in the Gulf Region.  

fallback Add to my Calendar 10/24/2017 08:00:0010/24/2017 12:40:00falseFT Business Regulation Forum - Dubai The second FT Business Regulation Forum taking place in Dubai will bring together regulators, policy makers and senior industry leaders to discuss the role of regulatory policy as a driver for development, business innovation and inclusive growth in the Gulf Region.  FT-Business-Regulation-Forum---Dubai-6c31a812bcbd92edc549c6a39a267432MM/DD/YYYY

Full Overview

Modern economies need sound regulatory frameworks that are conducive to development, innovation, investment and economic growth. Applied effectively, regulation contributes to a thriving, competitive and smooth functioning marketplace. Carried out poorly and regulation undermines business innovation, competitiveness and citizens’ trust in government.

Today, progressive governments and policy makers around the world are concentrating their efforts in delivering “better regulation” – coherent, proportionate rules that are well-targeted and fit for purpose. In this process, they are aiming at reducing regulatory burden and opening up policy and regulation to make it more transparent, evidence based and backed up by the perspectives of citizens and stakeholders.

As countries in the Gulf region develop their own set of regulations, how can they ensure their frameworks contribute to improved regulatory outcomes, enhanced productivity, growth and inclusiveness? What are the “better regulation” principles and best practices in regulatory governance and where are the opportunities to leapfrog by learning from the experience of others? How best to ensure that regulatory approaches are in line with an innovative economy and what are the key strategies to support innovation and development in a fast-paced, technology-driven environment? Where are the opportunities for collaboration between key stakeholders at all stages of the regulatory process?


Agenda - 24th Oct

  • 8:00am
    Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:00am
    Chair's Opening Remarks

    Robert Armstrong, Chief Editorial Writer, Financial Times


  • 9:10am
    Keynote Address

    Raed Safadi, Chief Economic Adviser, Department of Economic Development Dubai

  • 9:40am
    Better Regulation in the Gulf Region: Current State of Play, Opportunities and Challenges

    Pre-panel Special Presentation

    Salaheddin Al-Bashir, Founder and Managing Partner, International Business Legal Associates- IBLAW

    • What are the guiding principles for better regulation and how can they be applied to the developing regulatory frameworks in the Gulf Region?
    • What are the mechanisms and institutional set-ups to develop and improve regulatory structures and how can experiences from other countries be adapted?
    • What new approaches to the management of regulation have emerged in recent years and what international best practices have been implemented in areas like transparency and open government, quantification of  regulatory costs, simplification and one-stop shops?
    • In which key ways can transparency, proportionality and consistency be achieved in institutional frameworks and regulatory practices? How to build capacity? How can a strong and sound regulatory framework contribute to delivering productivity, competitiveness, economic growth and social innovation?
    • What is the status of regulatory frameworks and convergence among countries in the Gulf region and what measures can be taken to further enhance regional policy dialogue and implementation?
    • What are the most recent initiatives to improve the efficiency, efficacy and openness and coherence of regulation and how these contribute to an enhanced business environment? Are there enough mechanisms available to review the impact and effectiveness of regulation and address potential unintended consequences? What are the mechanisms to ensure that innovation is not stifled by regulation and that it instead enables transformation and disruption? How to avoid “regulatory inflation”?
    • How do Gulf countries’ regulatory environment and standards compare to those of advanced economies? What do corporations need to do to ensure compliance at local, regional and global levels? Is this reasonable and achievable?
    • What are the best tools and methods of engagement that ensure stakeholders’ views are effectively taken into account? How can stakeholders’ contribution ensure better policy outcomes? Is there enough dialogue and collaboration with business at all stages of the regulation process? What role should business play and in which key ways can they be engaged during the consultation process?
    • What are the prospects for regulatory reform in the Gulf Region in the coming years?

    Salaheddin Al-Bashir, Founder and Managing Partner, International Business Legal Associates- IBLAW

    Ebtesam Al-Ketbi, Founder and President, Emirates Policy Centre

    Khalid Mohamed Rashid Al-Ruwaihi, Chief Executive Officer, Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI)

    Faisal Naru, Senior Economic Adviser, Directorate for Public Governance, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

    Graeme Sandell, Senior Consultant, Hume Brophy and former Assistant Director of the UK Government’s Better Regulation Executive

    Moderated by:

    Robert Armstrong, Chief Editorial Writer, Financial Times


  • 10:55am
    Networking Break
  • 11:15am
    Panel Discussion: Regulatory Demands Shaping Business Priorities
    • Where are businesses focusing attention with respect to health, consumer and environmentally driven regulation? What are the main regulatory challenges for companies operating in the Gulf Region? Are there cases of “over regulation”?
    • What can corporations do to better understand exposure to regulatory change, prioritise investment and engage with consumers and regulators in a fast-moving regulatory landscape? How can they shift from a reactive to a proactive stance on regulation?
    • Where are the opportunities for multi-stakeholder collaboration in the design and implementation of regulation? How can business effectively contribute to consultation processes when preparing new initiatives and evaluating existing policies? How can these processes be improved?  What role can standards, self-regulation and voluntary agreements play in achieving environmental, health, security and other public policy goals?
    •   How can different industries work together and pool their common knowledge to analyse and measure the impact of proposed regulations?

    Graham Gibbons, Vice President, General Manager Middle East, JTI (Japan Tobacco International)

    Yann Mrazek, Managing Partner, M/Advocates of Law

    Thomas Pletscher, Secretary General, ICC Switzerland; Member of the Executive Board and Head of Regulatory and Competition Policy, economiesuisse

    Ali Wanas, Senior Regulatory Manager, Middle East Region, Procter & Gamble

    Moderated by:

    Robert Armstrong, Chief Editorial Writer, Financial Times


  • 12:15pm
    Chair's Closing Remarks

    Robert Armstrong, Chief Editorial Writer, Financial Times


  • 12:20pm

Chair (1)

Robert  Armstrong

Robert Armstrong

US Finance Editor
Financial Times

Robert Armstrong is US finance editor at the Financial Times, having previously been the FT’s chief editorial writer and prior to that, head of the FT’s Lex column, which has been dispensing pithy, pungent and analytically informed financial commentary for nearly 80 years. Before joining the FT, Robert was a columnist at Dow Jones and an analyst at Seminole Capital, a long/short hedge equity fund. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has a PhD in Philosophy from Columbia University.

Speakers (10)

Raed Safadi

Raed Safadi

Chief Economic Adviser
Department of Economic Development Dubai

Raed Safadi is the Chief Economic Adviser at Dubai’s Department of Economic Development where he leads a team of experts entrusted with the implementation of Dubai’s Strategic Plan 2021, and promoting the diversification and sustainable growth of Dubai’s economy.

Dr Safadi is a leading expert on development economics and has extensive experience advising governments on economic policy and management. He has published an extensive array of books and articles covering such areas as economic development, regional trading arrangements and the world trading system, tariffs and non-tariff barriers, special and differential treatment, trade and environment, services trade, and global value chains. His most recent publication Inclusive Global Value Chains together with World Bank colleagues focuses on making GVCs more inclusive by overcoming participation constrainsts for SMEs and facilitating access for low income developing countries. Dr Safadi has previously worked for the OECD, World Bank, ESCWA and as a consultant for numerous governments, regional development banks and UN agencies.

Faisal Naru

Faisal Naru

Senior Economic Advisor, Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate

Faisal Naru is Senior Economic Advisor in the Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate of the OECD.  He manages a team that has a wide portfolio that works with public administrations internationally including on regulatory policy and governance, behavioural insights, digital government and ICT, institutional change, regulatory impact assessments and ex-post evaluation. Mr. Naru is also responsible for work in Southeast Asia, MENA and Africa and is responsible for a number of OECD publications and guidelines. He established and is the lead for the OECD Network of Economic Regulators which works with CEOs and Commissioners of regulatory agencies to define a “world class regulator”. The latest work includes how to be an independent body and protect from undue influence.

Mr. Naru is a former member of the UK Cabinet Office and also worked in other Government Departments for several years. Before joining the OECD, Mr. Naru was the Chief Regulatory Advisor with the Government of Vietnam on economic and regulatory reforms. Prior to Vietnam, he set up and was Head of the Policy and Regulatory Reform Practice as well as on the Leadership Board for a global development consultancy working in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe to improve government structures and economic performance. He graduated from the University of Oxford in Mathematics.

Ebtesam  Al-Ketbi

Ebtesam Al-Ketbi

Founder and President
Emirates Policy Centre

Ebtesam Al-Ketbi is a founder and president of Emirates Policy Center and the first Arab woman to lead a think tank. She is also professor of Political Science at UAE University and a member of Consultative Body of GCC Council. She attained her PhD in Political Science at the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Cairo University. She served as a Secretary General of Gulf Development forum and Board member of Association of political sciences beside she was a trustee’s board member of Arab Unity Studies Center and trustee’s board member of Arabic Organization for Transparency plus a Consultative board Member of Arabic Thought Foundation and a trustee’s board member of Arabic council for social sciences. She served as a member of Consultative committee of the UAE Center for Strategic Studies, and Member of core team of Arabic Human Development Report 2006. She is a founding member of the Emirates Human Rights Association. She has been a Member of many committees:

 Demographic Composition Committee in the Federal National Council, 2002

 Member of the committee to prepare the document of the national education curriculum at the Ministry of Education, 2004

 Head of the committee to write the national education textbook for the 9th grade at the Ministry of Education, 2005

 The scientific proofreader of the national education textbook for the 11th at the Ministry of Education, 2006

 Head of the committee to prepare the document of human rights curriculum at the Ministry of Education, 2007

 Political committee of National security council 2012

Thomas  Pletscher

Thomas Pletscher

Secretary General, ICC Switzerland;
Member of the Executive Board and Head of Regulatory and Competition Policy, economiesuisse



Thomas Pletscher


Thomas Pletscher acts as Secretary General of ICC Switzerland in addition to his function as Member of the Executive Board of economiesuisse.


He was nominated Secretary General of ICC Switzerland, the bridge for international active business in Switzerland to the World Business Organisation ICC, in 2004. He is Vice-Chair of the Swiss Arbitration Commission of ICC Switzerland and one of the two Swiss representatives in the ICC World Council. Further, he acts as Focal Point of the Global Compact Network Switzerland, hosted by ICC Switzerland.


Since 1988, he leads the Department for Regulatory and Competition Policy of economiesuisse, the Swiss Business Federation. His main responsibilities include in addition to all fields of economic law issues related to multinational enterprises incl. business ethics. Further, he deals with bilateral relations to North America, British islands, Australia/New Zealand and Sub-Saharan Africa. He is member of numerous Commissions and Working Groups at national and international level, notably within BUSINESSEUROPE, BIAC  (Business and Industrial Advisory Committee to the OECD) and ICC international Chamber of Commerce. At Federal Level, he was Member of the Swiss Competition Commission and is Member of the Federal Expertgroup on Data Policy.


Mr Pletscher studied law at the University of Zurich. He worked in a global audit company, in an international bank, in a trading company and in an export promotion institution before joining the Swiss Business Federation.



Ali  Wanas

Ali Wanas

Senior Regulatory Manager, Middle East Region
Procter & Gamble

Ali Wanas is the Senior Regulatory Manager for Procter & Gamble in the Middle East region. Since joining P&G in 2012, Mr Wanas has worked with the Regulatory Authorities of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Several GCC countries on key regulatory convergence projects with best in class global regulatory frameworks and practices on the Cosmetics, Detergents and Paper Categories.

Mr Wanas is the Vice Chair of Cosmetics Europe IPG MENA as well as a member of several Middle East Technical Committees. Ali holds a BSc in Pharmacy and Biotechnology from the German University in Cairo.

Graeme Sandell

Graeme Sandell

Senior Consultant, Hume Brophy and former Assistant Director
UK Government’s Better Regulation Executive

Graeme Sandell is a Senior Consultant and Whitehall expert having previously been Assistant Director of the UK Government’s Better Regulation Executive, part of the Cabinet Office. His role involved advising Ministerial teams on responses to regulatory change and working to ensure Government departments made a positive contribution to reducing the costs and burdens of regulation on business. This meant working to find solutions across Government departments including HM Treasury, Department for Work and Pensions, Ministry of Justice, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department of Health.

Salaheddin  Al-Bashir

Salaheddin Al-Bashir

Founder and Managing Partner
International Business Legal Associates- IBLAW

Dr Salaheddin Al-Bashir is the Founder and Senior Partner of the International Business Legal Associates- IBLAW, one of the largest and leading law firms in Jordan. IBLAW specializes in Intellectual Property rights, policy work, project finance and Privatizations, and Corporate and commercial work.


Dr Al-Bashir represented private companies and sovereign states in a wide range of arbitration matters including BOT contracts, telecommunications regulatory structures, construction and development contracts before Jordanian and regional arbitration fora, the International Chamber of Commerce - International Court of Arbitration (ICC), and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in addition to being named by the Government of Jordan as a conciliator to the ICSID.


Dr Al- Bashir had previously served as a minister in the Government of Jordan; He was the Foreign Minister, Minister of Government Performance, Minister of Justice, Minister of Prime Ministry Affairs, and Minister of Industry and Trade. During his Service in Government, Dr. Al-Bashir presided the Economic committee of Government, legal Committee and Public Sector Reform Committee. Furth more, during his government service he championed the program of justice Sector Reform and Economic legislation reform including the IPR legislative Package. Furthermore, Dr. Al-Bashir was appointed by H.M King Abdullah II as a Member of the House of Senates from Nov. 2010 until Oct. 2011. In addition, Dr Al-Bashir is currently a member of Board of King Abdullah II Fund for Development and recently appointed by H.M King Abdullah II as a Member of Economic Policy Council and a member of the Judicial Reform Committee for Developing the Judiciary and Enhancing the Rule of Law in Jordan on Oct. 2016.


Furthermore, Dr Al-Bashir served a member of His Majesty's Economic Consultative Council and the Executive Committee of Kuluna al-Urdun.


Dr Al-Bashir, taught Private international law, Intellectual Property Rights, and Commercial law for undergraduate and graduate students as professor of law at Jordan University for few years.

Dr Al-Bashir holds a Bachelor’s in Law from Jordan University, an LL.M from Harvard University and a Doctorate from McGill University.


Yann Mrazek

Yann Mrazek

Managing Partner
M / Advocates of Law


Yann Mrazek is the Managing Partner of M/HQ, a Dubai based multi-services platform primarily providing for the needs of successful individuals and wealthy international families. He chiefly focuses on private wealth, tax and immigration practice and is regularly solicited as a speaker on these themes.

He has vast experience advising successful individuals and entrepreneurial families with Middle Eastern exposure on implementing inter-generational wealth transfer strategies and structuring their operational assets and global wealth. He notably advises on mitigating exposure to mandatory local ownership rules in Middle East corporate vehicles and complying with Shariah succession principles.

Mr Mrazek is the Chair of STEP Arabia and the sole Attorney in the Middle East referenced on the Who’s Who’s Private clients list. In this capacity he has been involved in a number of initiatives for regulatory reforms in the UAE (legacy planning, corporate migration).

Khalid Mohamed Rashid  Al-Ruwaihi

Khalid Mohamed Rashid Al-Ruwaihi

Chief Executive Officer
Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI)

Dr Al-Ruwaihi has earned his BSc Degree in Microelectronics Engineering from University of Bahrain in 1988, his MSc Degree in Electronic Communications from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia in January 1992, and his PhD degree in Artificial Intelligence from Bradford University-UK in 1995.


He was the Chairman of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering at University of Bahrain during the period 2000-2004. In 2002, he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.


During the period 2004-2011 he has served as the Dean of the College of Information Technology at University of Bahrain. He has also been appointed as The Director General for International Relations and Centers of Excellence in 2010-2012.


Dr Al-Ruwaihi was the first Executive Director for the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT), the first national think tank in Bahrain. He served in this post during the period 2013-2016.


Since January 2017, Dr. Al-Ruwaihi became the CEO of BCCI.  Dr. Al-Ruwaihi has been appointed as chairman and/or member of many national and regional committees. He has also worked as a consultant to many national, regional, and international industrial and academic organizations, and worked closely with many organizations as an external expert to develop the ICT industry.

He has published tens of articles in international refereed journals and conferences, and has been keynote speaker in many forums and conferences.


Dr Al-Ruwaihi published the first national book entitled Bahraini Women in Science and Technology for the Supreme Council for Women. He was also awarded the Fifth Crown Prince Award for Scientific Research in recognition to his outstanding research work in the area of hardware implementation of artificial intelligence.


Dr Al-Ruwaihi was selected as a Fellow for the Eisenhower Fellowship Program, State Department, USA

Graham  Gibbons

Graham Gibbons

Vice President and General Manager Middle East
JTI (Japan Tobacco International)

Graham Gibbons joined JTI to lead the Jordanian market in 2007. In 2011 he was appointed to lead the Levant markets before assuming his current role as Vice President for the Middle East, based in Dubai, in November 2016.

 Prior to joining JTI, Mr Gibbons commenced his career in the tobacco industry in 1993, holding various Regional Financial and General Management roles for multi-national Companies across the Middle East and Africa.

 Mr Gibbons is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Degree in Accounting from Glasgow University.


Who attends?

This event has been produced to meet the needs of senior representatives and thought leaders of forward-thinking corporations and organisations including:

  • Banking 
  • Insurance
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Media
  • Energy
  • FMCG
  • Think tanks
  • Business assocations

Within these areas complimentary places are available to the following professionals:

  • Senior regulators and policymakers
  • Chief regulatory officers
  • CEOs/CIOs/CTOs
  • Heads of strategy, investor relations, corporate affairs, regulation, policy and marketing
  • Opinion makers and academics
  • Journalists

If this fits your company/business profile, please register now for your complimentary place.

*Complimentary places are strictly limited and subject to approval of the Publisher. 


Why attend?

  • Discuss better regulation principles and best practices in regulatory governance 
  • Explore regulatory frameworks and their convergence in the Gulf Region and debate on key measures to further enhance policy dialogue
  • Debate on the role of business and its contribution in the design and implementation of regulation  
  • Find out how different industries can work together and pool their common knowledge to analyse and measure the impact of proposed regulations 
  • Network with senior government officials and corporate leaders


The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre
Gate Village, DIFC

United Arab Emirates

Tel: +971 4 372 2222


Organised by (1)

Financial Times Live (FT Live) is the global conferences and events division of the Financial Times Group. Chaired by senior journalists from the Financial Times Group, the summits, conferences, awards and strategic forums organised by FT Live gather the world’s brightest minds and most influential decision-makers.

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