High-level US-Arab Global Summit 2012 Summary

C3 Summit 2012 By the Numbers

  • A first‐year conference
  • Two days (Thursday, September 13th & Friday, September 14th)
  • Two Venues (The Museum of Natural History & The Union League Club)
  • 400 registered attendees (titles are all executive management, i.e., Chairmen, CEO's, CFO's, COO's, Presidents, Managing Directors, Ambassadors, Ministers of Government)
  • One sitting Premier
  • One former U.S. President (President Clinton has never before committed to a "first‐year" conference)
  • 300 domestic/international corporations, organizations
  • 7 Arab countries (a "first" for multiple Arab nation participation at a conference)
  • 70 "A" list speakers (titles read like a "Who's Who " of business)
  • 14 major sponsors
  • 15 / 50 minute panels with content rich topics (see below Summit Summary)
  • Unique visitors (since launch of Website on April 1st, 2012 – Sept 19th, 2012) = 8,165
  • Total "hits" (since launch of Website on April 1st, 2012 – Sept 19th, 2012) = 1,227,090

On C3 Summit

  • "This is a vision whose time has not only come but was long overdue" – Bermuda Premier Paula Cox.
  • Major discussions built on the fact that an economy and trade based only on hydrocarbons is not sustainable. The tenant of relationship between the US and the Arab World has been based on oil and its derivatives thus far, and with unavoidable depletion of hydrocarbons in the future, the Arab world needs to build a sustainable economy away from oil and natural resources. Arab world needs to focus on harnessing human capital and building a knowledge economy. In essence, transforming from "hydro Carbon to skill". As Premier Paula Cox puts, "narrowly focused development is dangerous for economic development".

On Inbound/Outbound investments

  • Investment in talent is critical and, for that, "knowledge exchange" between the two regions will be crucial.
  • Up to 10% of economy in the Arab region is fueled by Foreign Direct Investment. Both US and the Middle East have a large diaspora of each other's region which has to be productively mobilized.
  • Iraq is one of the fasted growing countries according to International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Saudi Arabia's Evolving Role

  • Today, Saudi Arabia is one of the fastest developing countries in the world and was recently ranked by the IMF as a top 10 high‐growth economy in 2012
  • Saudi Arabia's expanding economy is part of a continuing national strategy built on targeted investments, regulatory reforms and their accession to the World Trade Organization in 2005
  • Saudi Arabia's private sector now accounts for 48 percent of the Kingdom's gross domestic product and encourages foreign investment. This trend has been increasing in the last several years.
  • The IMF also ranks Saudi Arabia 12th out of 181 countries in ease of doing.
  • Additionally, diversifying of export away from just oil is taking place, however, not at an ideal pace.

President Clinton

  • Positive on the fact that if Bermuda is co‐organizing a conference that vows to build bridges between US and the Middle East, there is definitely hope for collaboration, building community and for commerce.
  • Talked about how cosmopolitan the world has become and why that is how future will be. The representation of C3 Conference by diverse audience from all over the world is a representation of the fact that it's a multi‐polar world that we live in.

Islamic Finance

  • Islamic Finance growing tremendously year after year, estimated to be ~ $1 trillion in Shari'ah compatible asset under management. Islamic local banks, Islamic banking window in traditional banks and Shari'ah bonds such as Sukuk has fueled the double digit growth.
  • Contrary to popular belief about Islamic Finance not being commerce friendly, Shari'ah Financing is actually very business friendly. There are sectors that Islamic Finance will not touch, but, as a whole the modus operandi and Riba (interest) free financing model actually parallels the demand of today's fast companies and entrepreneurs.

Digital Media/Games/Movies/Social Network

  • Need to understand and adopt why the world is fascinated by the liberalization of media and social networking. If you have not adopted yet, then you are already far behind.
  • Performance of product and services are not based on how companies can make customers believe in their product and services, but, in actual delivery of services/products. Customers share how they feel about certain products, directly affecting subsequent purchases and selection by customers.
  • Open subscription vs. control circulation. How to use social media for targeted marketing.
  • "Visibility is a cheap resource which is being under‐utilized"

Alternative Energy

  • Renewal energy needs to be sustainable by itself. It needs to compete against hydrocarbons without subsidy and other external help to really make and impact. While it is moving towards correct direction, it is still expensive.
  • The concern on Methane hasn't been addressed by the energy community as much as it is needed. Methane is worse than carbon, but relatively, low amount of research has taken place in this area.

Entrepreneurship & Job Creation

  • It is natural for everyone, irrespective of border to value individuality and freedom and as such the wave of entrepreneurship has escalated in the last several years.
  • Small and Medium Enterprises contribute to the greatest job creation throughout the world.
  • Here in the US and in the Arab world, we are faced by lack of jobs and the only way to solve this through fostering and empowering of entrepreneurs. According to IMF, the Arab world will need to create 100 million new jobs by 2020 to keep up with the growth need for the sector.
  • Entrepreneurs create jobs, mobilizing and inspiring human capital that would otherwise take up bricks and burn tires on the street, in effect creating enormous economic losses. This is equally true for Western world (as seen in Europe and Occupy Wall Street moment) as it is in the Middle East. Hence, investment in human capital, entrepreneurship, innovation and consequently in job creation is critical.

Next Steps / C3 Summit 2013

  • Already received commitment from President Clinton to attend again as keynote speaker, Monday, October 7th
  • Already selected C3 2013 Summit dates: Monday, October 7th – Thursday, October 10th
  • Already received funding commitment to bring C3 Summit to Doha, Qatar
  • Already starting to secure corporate sponsors and panel speakers