Trade & investment

ICC launches regional MENA Banking Commission

  • 19 February 2013
ICC Global governance

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, today launched the ICC Regional Banking Commission Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

From left: Kah Chye Tan, Hamad Buamim and Thierry Senechal at the launch of the ICC Regional Banking Commission MENA Regional Banking Commission
From left: Kah Chye Tan, Hamad Buamim and Thierry Senechal at the launch of the ICC Regional Banking Commission MENA Regional Banking Commission

The initiative aims to more effectively coordinate and communicate Banking Commission activities in the MENA region and meet increasing demands for premium trade finance information and up-to-date policy and market intelligence.

“Facilitating trade, promoting economic development and enhancing the business environment are shared goals of ICC and the Dubai Chamber. This is the reason why we have aligned to form this strategic partnership, to facilitate trade in the MENA region and strengthen the commission’s reputation as the banking industry’s most reputable and reliable provider of market intelligence,” said Kah Chye Tan, Chair, ICC Banking Commission.

With over 600 members the Banking Commission is ICC’s largest commission. The Regional Banking Commission initiative will effectuate a better understanding of regional needs in terms of policy advocacy. It will also extend the reach of ICC banking rules and related services including ICC rules and guidelines on documentary credits, UCP 600 – the most successful privately drafted rules for trade ever developed – and forthcoming Bank Payment Obligation rules on supply chain finance.

“The mandates and functions of the Banking Commission have significantly evolved and expanded over the last 10 years of our 80-year history,” said Thierry Senechal, ICC Banking Commission Executive Secretary. “This initiative will help the commission to tap into regional expertise and provide a better service to the banking community. It will also enhance our membership, particularly in countries currently lacking an ICC presence.”

Marking the occasion, a regional commission launch conference was held at the Dubai Chamber attracting more than 150 high profile bankers, senior financial lawyers and banking sector professionals. The event concluded with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between ICC and the Dubai Chamber that aims to foster cooperation in areas including trade finance promotion, private sector development and capacity building of businesses in the MENA region.

The agreement sets out multiple areas of cooperation that aim to leverage the ICC-Dubai Chamber partnership to strengthen the Banking Commission’s outreach at regional level and to facilitate the organization of conferences and workshops on best-practice implementation of topics such as trade finance, supply chain financing, banking regulation and dispute resolution in trade finance.

“The establishment of the ICC Regional Banking Commission MENA in Dubai is an important development for the emirate’s banking sector and one that will help seal the city as the region’s leading banking and financial hub for the Middle East and North Africa,” said Hamad Buamim, Director General of Dubai Chamber. “Our modern banking and financial sector can easily accommodate this office and offers the best environment for it to thrive, and one where it will have the biggest impact. Similarly, this unit is going to create new opportunities for the region within the ICC and help to further strengthen Dubai Chamber’s relationship with this important international organization. The private sector has an increasing role to play in policy advocacy within ICC, and the Regional Banking Commission MENA is an excellent place to start. It is going to provide us with the opportunity to shape and recommend policy that will drive growth and benefit the trade sector across the whole of MENA.”

Dubai is an established regional hub for the Middle East and a gateway to Africa for international trade, banking and finance, making it a strategic choice for the location of the ICC Regional Banking Commission MENA which hopes to be a forerunner for other ICC regional banking commissions.

The MENA Regional Banking Commission will be led by Lakshmanan Sankaran, Deputy General Manager and Head of Operations and Trade Finance at Commercial Bank of Dubai.

Other efforts by ICC to strengthen its presence in the region include a first annual conference on International Arbitration in the MENA region. The conference will reflect the region’s changing and challenging perceptions on international arbitration and it is set to take place in Dubai 15-17 April 2013.

For more information visit the ICC Banking Commission