Event Details

This year's event, taking place just two weeks before COP28, adopts the theme: "Higher Growth, Lower Emissions."

For several decades we have witnessed the effects of an obvious trade-off. Growth is the best way to lift people out of poverty and improve average living standards. But in the emerging markets, more growth leads to more emissions. Researchers at the IMF have found that in 72 developing countries since 1990, a 1% rise in annual GDP was on average associated with a 0.7% rise in emissions. By 2030, fast-growing India and Indonesia alone will have increased their annual emissions by the equivalent of over 800m tonnes of carbon dioxide—an extra Germany's-worth of greenhouse-gasses.

As world leaders, NGOs and other stakeholders prepare to descend on Dubai to shape the course of international climate action, we will explore with leading private-sector representatives how businesses operating in our region are working to break this growth=emissions cycle? If corporates can achieve sustainable growth then there is hope for sovereigns.

The Annual Conference will begin with a Regional Strategic Forecast by Tom Rafferty, Head of Global Forecasting and Economics of the Economist Intelligence Unit, who will be visiting from London. His presentation will be followed by a panel discussion featuring CEOs from blue-chip organisations who are committed to sustainability in their business activities, investment decision-making and governance.

And we will end with a keynote "fireside conversation" with Abdulnasser Ibrahim Saif Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium, who will discuss EGA's commitment to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the potential of the role 'green' hydrogen in its operations and its investments in recycling to reduce the carbon intensity of its metal.


8.30am Arrival, registration, breakfast and networking

9.15am Welcome, Robert Willock, Director MENA & Regional General Manager, EICN

9.20am Regional Strategic Forecast, Tom Rafferty, Head of Global Forecasting and Economics, EIU

10.10am Panel Discussion: Higher Growth, Lower Emissions.

10.50am Coffee break and networking

11.10am Fireside Discussion with Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Global Aluminium

11.55am Thanks, close, lunch and networking

Please note that this event is limited to senior-level executives and per invitation only. If you are not an existing member of The Economist Intelligence Corporate Network, but would like to learn how you can attend our events, please contact us.


  • Tom Rafferty (Head of Global Forecasting and Economics at The Economist Intelligence Unit)

    Tom Rafferty

    Head of Global Forecasting and Economics at The Economist Intelligence Unit

    Tom is a seasoned analyst who delivers high impact global research and insight. He identifies the economic and geopolitical themes that will shape the global business landscape and leads the development of powerful, data-driven forecasts that make a difference for clients. A sought after presenter of the EIU’s global outlook at keynote events, Tom enjoys sharing his views in boardroom settings and appears regularly in media.

    Tom draws on more than a decade of experience as an analyst at EIU, much of it spent working in China. He is a published expert on China’s political economy and has conducted in-depth research on issues such as supply chains and geopolitical risk across Asia. Prior to EIU, Tom held research and policy roles in organisations including the UK Parliament and Oxford Analytica. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Oxford.

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  • Abdulnasser Ibrahim Saif Bin Kalban (CEO of Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC)

    Abdulnasser Ibrahim Saif Bin Kalban

    CEO of Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC

    Abdulnasser Ibrahim Saif Bin Kalban is Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Global Aluminium.

    Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer in 2020, Mr. Bin Kalban had served as an Alternate Board Member of EGA since May 2017. He also sits on the Board of Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC), EGA's bauxite mining subsidiary.

    As Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Bin Kalban is responsible for managing EGA’s ongoing operations and business and reports to EGA’s Managing Director.

    Mr. Bin Kalban joined DUBAL in 1996 and worked in both Major Projects and the Power and Desalination Department. (DUBAL merged with EMAL to form EGA in 2014).

    In 2014, Mr Kalban left his position as General Manager of Power and Desalination at EGA to become CEO of Dubai Holding LLC, EGA’s 50 per cent shareholder.

    Mr Bin Kalban is a Board Member of the International Aluminium Institute, the Gulf Aluminium Council, and Emirates Research and Development Council.

    In 2023, Mr Kalban was appointed as a Board Member of UAE International Investors Councils.

    Mr. Kalban has a bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering from Western Michigan University in the United States, and has completed Strategic Management and Leadership Courses at Insead Business School, France and Harvard Business School.

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  • Helmut Von Struve (CEO of Siemens UAE & Middle East)

    Helmut Von Struve

    CEO of Siemens UAE & Middle East

    Helmut von Struve has been the Chief Executive Officer of Siemens in the UAE and the Middle East since May 2020. He joined Siemens more than two decades ago, and held leadership roles in the U.A.E., Libya, Germany and Pakistan.

    As an engineer and business executive, he is focused on melding technologies – such as artificial
    intelligence, cybersecurity, additive manufacturing, 5G and automation – into cohesive solutions for the infrastructure and manufacturing industries. The digitalization of these sectors, the backbones of all economies, will help reduce our carbon footprint and foster sustainable development.
    Von Struve has a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Technical University in Darmstadt, Germany.

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  • Reem Asaad (Vice President—Middle East, Africa, Türkiye, Romania & the Commonwealth of Independent States at Cisco Systems International FZ-LLC)

    Reem Asaad

    Vice President—Middle East, Africa, Türkiye, Romania & the Commonwealth of Independent States at Cisco Systems International FZ-LLC

    With 25 years of industry experience, Reem joined Cisco in 2020 and assumed the leadership of the Middle East and Africa region, including Türkiye. In mid-2023, her responsibility was expanded to include the Romania & The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) territory.
    Reem’s role focuses on strengthening collaborations with governments, customers and partners, underpinned by Cisco’s portfolio of advanced solutions to accelerate digitisation agendas.

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  • Professor Ken McPhail (Head of Alliance Manchester Business School at The University of Manchester)

    Professor Ken McPhail

    Head of Alliance Manchester Business School at The University of Manchester

    Ken McPhail is currently Head of Alliance Manchester Business School. He was previously Deputy Head and Director of Research. Prior to this, Ken was Vice Dean for Social Responsibility within the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Manchester. As Vice Dean, Ken oversaw the strategic development and implementation of the Universities distinctive social responsibility agenda across 5 schools, 36 disciplines, 18,000 students and 1,800 academic and support staff. In addition, Ken also sat on the University’s Social Responsibility Governance Group, chaired by the Vice Chancellor and Principle.

    As Vice Dean for Social Responsibility, Ken was involved in delivering a new strategic relationship between the University and Greater Manchester City Council with a co-funded Economic Advisor to the new City Mayor. He was involved in the New Strategic Inclusive Growth Unit partnership with Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Prize winning “Policy @ Manchester” platform for turning research into impact. He initiated the New Ethical Grand Challenges program, and facilitated the Sustainably Challenge delivered to 5000 new students in Welcome Week 2016.

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  • Ashish Gokhale (Head of ESG Strategy and Sustainable Finance at National Bank of Fujairah)

    Ashish Gokhale

    Head of ESG Strategy and Sustainable Finance at National Bank of Fujairah

    Ashish Gokhale, Head of ESG Strategy and Sustainable Finance, National Bank of Fujairah

    Ashish is responsible for driving NBF’s ESG strategy, policy and reporting. He is also developing the Sustainable Finance framework and proposition for the bank. In his earlier roles at NBF he was responsible for Digital Platforms and Product management in Corporate Banking.

    A seasoned banker with an experience spanning two decades in the industry across India and the UAE, he previously worked at Standard Chartered and Citi across transaction banking, supply chain financing and credit structuring.

    Ashish is a Mechanical Engineer and a post graduate in Management from IIM Bangalore. He is also a qualified Certified Trade Finance Professional, ICC and with a Certificate in ESG Investing from the CFA.

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  • Robert Willock (Director MENA & Regional General Manager of EICN)

    Robert Willock

    Director MENA & Regional General Manager of EICN

    Robert is the Director of the Economist Corporate Network based in Dubai and covering the MENA region. Robert works closely with network members to help inform their business strategies through political, economic and operational insight and to connect them with their senior leadership peers.

    Robert is a business journalist, editor and publisher with 25 years of experience covering a wide variety of sectors, including hospitality, retail, construction, energy and transport, and a particular interest in human capital management.

    He is an accomplished event chairman, moderator and speaker.

    Robert completed an MBA at the University of Leicester School of Business in 2012 and holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Nottingham.

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Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

If you have any questions please contact Nidhi Sagar

Contact Organizer

+971 522429512

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