Discussion Panel

Discussion Panel

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Power Ladies UAE-Malaysia Roundtable, December 5-9, 2011

UAE Power Ladies explore Malaysia’s investment opportunities on five-day fact finding and networking mission On a mission to explore investment opportunities and to establish contacts to their female counterparts in Malaysia, a high-ranking delegation of UAE businesswomen concluded a five-day trip to the Southeast Asian country on December 9, 2011. The tour was organised by Inside Investor, an international media and consultancy company offering services focused on identifying and developing investment opportunities across the globe for Middle East investors. The attendees of the Power Ladies UAE-Malaysia Roundtable 2011 tour were:

  • Raja Easa Al Gurg, President of the Dubai Business Women Council and Managing Director of corporate giant Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group,
  • Fatima Obaid Al Jaber, President of the Abu Dhabi Business Women Council and Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the Al Jaber Group,
  • Faiza Al Sayed, member of the Executive Management Team of Al Fahim Group,
  • Fathiya Saeed Al Khamari, founder and main designer for Oh, la la! Abbaya Couture,
  • Khawla A Lootah w/o HE Sheikh Khalid M Al Qassami, member of several Middle Eastern and international women’s organisations and Director of the Board of WorldSpace Middle East,
  • Sara Ismail Mohamed, CEO of Al Bashayer Investment Company,
  • Samia Abdullah Saleh, founder of the Courtyard Gallery,
  • Huda A Al-Matroushi, Vice President General Services of GASCO,
  • Nashwa Al-Qubaisi, an Emirati advocate.

Charity Fashion Show Dinner
(Under The Royal Patronage Of Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah)

The ladies attended the Queen’s Foundation Charity Fashion Show Dinner, an event also attended by His Excellency Nasser Abdullah Salmon Al Aboudi, UAE Ambassador to Malaysia. The dinner featured a fashion show of traditional Teregganu batik costumes from the Sultan Mizan Royal Foundation, a Royal Terengganu Songket fashion show by Yayasan Tuanku Nur Zahirah as well as flower presentations by Eva Soo to Nik Tarha, of Yayasan Tuanku Nur Zahirah.

Courtesy Call On Chief Secretary to The Government of Malaysia
(Tan Sri Sidek Mohd. Hassan)

On Tuesday, December 6, the Power Ladies paid a courtesy call to Tan Sri Sidek Mohd Hassan, Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia, with the guests urging closer business ties between the two countries in order to boost bilateral trade and investment.

– Ms Al Gurg told the Chief Secretary that she would like to see the embassies of UAE and Malaysia working closely to synchronise business relations and seek out investment windows for both countries. Bilateral trade between UAE and Malaysia is currently estimated at $6.4 billion.
– Ms Al Jaber urged Malaysia to create more visibility for the country’s investment environment, especially in places like UAE where investors are keen to target the Malaysian market.

Presentations by MITI / MIDA

Power Ladies met with a number of female Malaysian business representatives and corporate CEOs at the invitation of the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and its investment promotion agency Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) in Kuala Lumpur. The UAE delegation was full of praise for their Malaysian counterparts and expressed great interest in exploring investment opportunities in the South East Asian country with their new-found friends.

– Ms Al Gurg and Ms Al Jaber said they were keen to work with high-profile businesswomen in Malaysia on sectors ranging from healthcare to fashion to sukuk (Islamic bonds).
“We see a lot of highly accomplished and visionary women business leaders in Malaysia, and we are very keen to explore the immense opportunities,” said Ms Al Gurg. “Regarding relations with the UAE, we want to take the commercial ties to the next level with the help of the businesswomen here, in mutual understanding and respect, and to make a difference.”
– Ms Al Jaber added that the gathering of businesswomen from UAE and Malaysia offered a “very interesting approach to bringing businesswomen together in order to build up cooperation”. “I see that there are a lot of women at the top ladder in Malaysia, and I congratulate them. I hope women can do some things better,” she said.

Inside Investor and The Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre

Majlis Power Networking event in Kuala Lumpur’s Shangri-La Hotel to meet more female corporate leaders from Malaysia and to discuss leadership strategies for women in the business environment of both countries. The event featured a presentation by Kate Sweetman, Director of Research & Curriculum at the ICLIF Leadership & Governance Center of Malaysia.
Sweetman, author of the book The Leadership Code and expert in corporate strategies, said she was “absolutely thrilled to have business ladies from the UAE in Malaysia, which hopefully will lead to ongoing relationships where both sides can tap into each other’s wisdom.”

Hearts of Gold Dinner

On Wednesday afternoon, the UAE Power Ladies visited the Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur, andreturned later to dine at the invitation of Malaysian banking group AmBank at the Sheraton Hotel, where theenjoyed a presentation plus fashion show by Gold – Association of Learning Disabilities, an organisation thatsupports children, youth and adults who suffer from learning disabilities with programmes and trainings toimprove their skills and initiates social opportunities for them.

Lunch hosted by Prime Minister’s Wife
Y.Bhg. Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor

Another highlight of that day was a networking lunch at the invitation of Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor,the Malaysian Prime Minister’s wife at her residence in Putrajaya. Her Excellency Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor paid a warm welcome to the UAE delegation while recalling a meeting in January 2011 in Abu Dhabi,where she already has been engaged in discussions with UAE business ladies about the opportunities of bilateral business activities. “I am glad that in less than a year, you are here in Malaysia to explore business opportunities that have arisen from many initiatives undertaken to accelerate the economic development in both our countries,” Her Excellency said.
Her Excellency also praised the initiatives of the UAE with regards to education, social integration and business chances for women. “Contrary to many perceptions, this achievements have indeed been very commendable and in fact been cited in Forbes International and Forbes Arabia,” she said. She emphasized that Malaysia believed in a market-oriented economy and had introduced many pro-business policies, which would make the country a favorable investment destination in comparison to many other countries in the world, especially in sectors of tourism, properties, oil and gas, and others.

– Ms Al Gurg in her speech said that Malaysia and the UAE are sharing stability and sustainability in society as well as in the economy. “We are keen to explore the opportunities in Malaysia, and we also encourage more women to take a role in partnerships between our countries.”
– Ms Al Jaber added that she is looking forward to taking the UAE-Malaysia partnership to new heights. “Malaysia boasts a number of advantages when it comes to luring investors with its stability, good governance, profitable returns, and its vision for the future,” Ms Al Jaber said. “We also learned that Malaysia is a showcase for the importance of women in business.”

Private Dinner hosted by UAE Ambassador
Nasser Abdullah Salmon Al Aboudi

The UAE Power Ladies later on the same day also met with the UAE ambassador, Nasser Abdullah Salmon Al Aboudi, for a private dinner and led insightful discussions about the UAE-Malaysia economic relations. Malaysia’s tourism minister Dato’ Sri Dr Ng Yen Yen also attended the dinner, as well as Malaysian fashion designer Jimmy Choo, who specialises in shoeware for women, and draw lot of interest from the UAE delegation.

Royal Brunch
Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah

Power Ladies had their last official appointment which was to attend a Royal Brunch at invitation of the Queen of Malaysia, Her Excellency Tuanku Nur Zahirah. The Power Ladies expressed their appreciation for the Malaysian Royal House and invited the Queen to visit the UAE. Ms Al Gurg stressed that the Power Ladies were enjoying the “relaxing atmosphere in Malaysia”, and said that everybody they got to know during their trip Malaysia are “most welcome in the UAE”. The ladies further discussed the framework for doing business in both countries, and talked about fashion, art and design.