The 2nd GCC-British Economic Forum took place on 21st July 2016 in Lancaster House, London, with some 250 delegates from the Gulf countries, Britain and around the world in attendance. The high-level forum was widely hailed as a success and the Chamber’s role as organiser was highly praised. The day-long event provided a unique platform for British and Gulf decision makers to discuss common challenges and topical issues such as the economic vision of the GCC countries and the UK’s decision to withdraw from the European Union.
Formally opening the Forum, Dr Al-Shuaiby expressed gratitude to all the supporters, sponsors and partners who had contributed to making the event a success. The Forum built on the success of the 1st GCC-British Economic Forum held in December 2014. The Chamber’s main commercial partner for the event was PepsiCo.
HRH The Duke of York and HE Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, were the opening speakers. They were followed by HE Dr Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, Minister of Commerce and Investment, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and HE Mr Zayed Rashid Al Zayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Kingdom of Bahrain. The final keynote speaker was the Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, the newly appointed Secretary of State for International Trade.
The programme, “Vision, Challenges and Ambitions: Integration Prospects for a Better Future”, consisted of five sessions on economic reform, social and economic development, entrepreneurship, the role of public-private partnerships and the implications of “Brexit”. The timeliness and relevance of the programme was appreciated. The Forum’s speakers were drawn from the UK and the Gulf to pool their knowledge and expertise. The sessions were moderated and chaired by senior members of the House of Lords, namely the Rt Hon Baroness Morris of Bolton OBE, the Rt Hon Lord Howell of Guildford, the Rt Hon Lord King of Bridgwater, Lord Clement-Jones CBE and Rt Hon Lord West of Spithead. The high-level panel speakers came from business, law, banking, universities and the media. The Forum was attended by many Arab Ambassadors, senior business executives and many of the Chamber’s corporate members. The event attracted notable delegations from across the GCC.