Wharton MENA Conference 2016

MENA Emerging: Resilience Amidst Uncertainty

Saturday, April 9, 2016 - Wharton Campus

Keynotes & Panels

Opening Keynote Address
Bold Reforms to Withstand the Oil Price Slump

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM

Keynote Speaker


Private Equity Keynote
MENA: A Tale of Two Regions

9:45 AM – 10:30 AM

Keynote Speaker


Youth & Employment Panel
How Can We Help MENA Millennials Succeed in a New Global Economy?

10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

A combination of political instability and a global downturn in energy prices have created a new climate of economic uncertainty in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the future growth and stability of the region depends on creating gainful employment for millions of young people – men and women – who enter the labor force each year. How can countries in the region best prepare their young citizens for the kinds of jobs demanded of them in a 21st century economy? And what can private companies, both large and small, do to help achieve this goal? Our panel will explore the solutions to these important questions based on their own experience in the region, with a particular focus on solutions involving vocational education and technology.

Panelists


Energy Panel
Rising after a Fall: The New Realities of Energy in the Middle East

10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

For long, energy resources have been an important catalyst for socio-economic development in the MENA region. Recently, however, the energy sector has raised more concerns than opportunities. At the forefront of this has been the recent slump in oil prices, which has placed significant fiscal pressure on many oil-exporting countries in the region, making the need for diversification more pressing than ever before. This panel will discuss some of the key themes facing the energy sector in the MENA region, including: the crash of oil prices and its effect on national oil companies and the public sector, sovereign wealth and outward investment, and the advent of renewable energy.

Panelists


Real Estate Panel
MENA Real Estate: Arising Challenges Leading to New Opportunities

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Real Estate plays a strategic role in governments’ efforts to diversify their economies away from the oil sector. On one hand, political and economic instability in the region may potentially disrupt investment inflow to the real estate sector. On the other hand, current market uncertainties can lead to new trends and opportunities, bringing dynamism to the real estate sector in the region. Join our speaker, Karim Abdallah, Principal with Strategy& and a member of the firm’s Family Business, Investments, and Real Estate practice, in discussing how challenges faced by the real estate sector in the Middle East could be transformed into new opportunities.

Speaker


Entrepreneurship Panel
Entrepreneurship Opportunities During Unprecedented Times of Challenges

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

At a time when the Middle East faces unprecedented challenges, given the decline in oil prices, geopolitical instability and conflict, and increasing unemployment across the region, entrepreneurship provides an important path forward in driving economic growth and diversification. Thousands of talented, successful, and intrepid entrepreneurs are willing to face cultural, legal, and societal impediments inherent in their worlds, while major PE firms, venture capitalists, and tech companies have made significant bets, despite uncertainty across the region. At the same time, entrepreneurs in the Middle East continue to encounter a myriad of challenges, including regulatory and governmental hurdles, limited access to financing, and management skills gaps. Join us for a unique perspective on the key opportunities and challenges faced by these entrepreneurs today and how the landscape for new business ventures in the Middle East continues to evolve.

Panelists


Afternoon Remarks

2:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Speaker


Afternoon Keynote Address
Impact of Current Political Challenges on Trade and Investments in the MENA

2:45 PM – 3:30 PM

Keynote Speaker


Healthcare Keynote
How Global Partnerships are Transforming Healthcare Models

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Keynote Speakers


Logistics Keynote
The Role of Logistics in Enabling Regional and Global Growth

4:45 PM – 5:45 PM

Keynote Speakers