Editorial by Jane Valls: November Issue

Editorial by Jane Valls: November Issue


Dear members,

As we come towards the end of 2016, it has been eventful year. Across the globe, the world of business has been shaken by a wave of new leaders and the dawn of Brexit, as well as a possible ‘Frexit’.

In the context of a turbulent global climate and more recent corporate scandals such as Toshiba, VW and Wells Fargo, this month’s newsletter focuses on the importance of ethical leadership as both a fillip and a long-term stabiliser for business. See our exclusive columns from Dr Waddah Ghanem and Professor Deon Rossouw to find out how good business directly leads to profitable business and sustainable business. We’ve also explained how the UAE’s recent announcement of a new bankruptcy law is an unexpected boon for the country and could help to improve local business sentiment.

In the face of a volatile global economic climate, the GCC has responded to its own challenge of low crude prices by redoubling its economic diversification policies across the board. To prosper in these unprecedented times, Saudi Arabia, in particular, is facing a sea change in the way it does business and is set to revolutionise its economic landscape amid changing shifting global trends.

Here at the GCC BDI, we are honoured to play a pivotal role at this crucial time in the region’s history. In 2016, we have actively increased our events and workshops in our endeavour to support local business leaders in developing a prosperous and stable corporate landscape as the GCC undergoes transformative change.

This year, we have also focused on deepening our connections with the regional business community and forged important partnerships with key government stakeholders. This is an important time for the GCC economies as they move from Frontier to Emerging Market status. Companies, whether they are listed, private, family owned, or state owned, need to understand the importance of implementing effective corporate governance practices not only for their company, but also for the wider economy and national interest.

In October, we formed one of our most important alliances to date and signed an MOU with Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority [SCA] to help strengthen corporate governance among listed companies in the UAE. This landmark MOU aims to increase cooperation between the two parties, particularly in the areas of advocacy, training, and raise awareness of the importance of effective corporate governance.

Improved workshops and education

Next year, we are set to launch our newly expanded 2017 Director Development Program which offers an even wider range of workshops and events. The upcoming programme is designed to broaden and deepen director education within a professional framework. New workshops are being introduced so that participants can choose, at each level of development, how to enrich their knowledge and expertise. We will be running these workshops in different locations in the GCC in the coming months.

But before the year is out, we will be hosting our final round of workshops in Manama, Bahrain. The Effective Board Secretary (4 December), Foundations of Directorship (5-6 December) and Mastering the Boardroom (7-8 December) . Simply contact the GCC BDI team at or call +971 4 554 7967 if you would like information on any of our workshops.

We will also be delighted to see as many of you as possible at our annual Alumni Networking Dinner on 6 December, which is also in Bahrain.

Enjoy the newsletter and we send you all our very best wishes.

Jane Valls

Executive Director