By The Nation
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is expected to deliver a keynote address.
The event will bring together heads of state, investors and company executives from Asean nations and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to identify bilateral investment opportunities in both regions.
The event is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani, prime minister of Qatar. Senior executives from more than 100 companies will attend the forum. More than 500 delegates are confirmed and 46 speakers are scheduled to discuss the latest investment trends, opportunities, partnerships and portfolio diversification strategies.
The forum is expecting a delegation of Thai businesspeople and senior officials and follows the landmark visit made by Yingluck in Bahrain and Qatar in May, as well as a delegation of Qatari businesspeople and officials who visited Bangkok in June to discuss potential investment opportunities in health, hotels and finance.
Trade between Qatar and Thailand grew from US$2.3 billion in 2007 to $2.8 billion (Bt87 billion) last year, with the pace expected to accelerate. Automotive products, iron and steel, air-conditioners and jewellery are among Thailand’s top exports to Qatar. The country on the Persian Gulf mainly exports petroleum, fertilisers and chemical products to Thailand.
The focus of the event will be investment opportunities, partnerships and technology and know-how transfers between the GCC and Southeast Asia, as well as private-equity opportunities and capital-market investments.
One special focus will be on healthcare and medical tourism, where Thailand has taken the global lead and with the GCC as the most important source market for health tourists.
Bilateral investment strategies in food security, green technology, real estate, education, transport and infrastructure will be other topics on the agenda. The event is being held with the Qatari Businessmen Association as a strategic partner and has the support of Thailand’s Board of Investment. The Nation and Asia News Network are acting as media partners for Thailand.
The list of speakers and panellists includes Taib Mahmud, chief minister of the Malaysian state of Sarawak; Cristino Panlilio, undersecretary of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry; Rajat Nag, managing director-general of the Asian Development Bank; and See Leng Tan, chief executive officer of Singapore-based healthcare provider Parkway Holdings.
Others are Andrew Stevens, group CEO of the Commercial Bank of Qatar; Mashhour Mourad, CEO of Anfaal Capital; James Cameron, head of project finance for Asia-Pacific global banking at HSBC; Kamran Khan, programme director for the World Bank’s Global Infrastructure Finance Centre of Excellence, Singapore Urban Hub; Rushdi Siddiqui, Thomson Reuters director of Islamic finance for Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member states; Tariq al-Rifai, director of Islamic market indices at Dow Jones; and Toby O’Connor, CEO of the Islamic Bank of Asia.