Event Details

We are delighted to invite you to join us for the Economist Intelligence Corporate Network's Regional Strategic Forecast.

We will be joined for this event by Pat Thaker, the Economist Intelligence Unit's director of Middle East and Africa, who will present our global and regional outlook for the second half of 2023 and beyond.

One of the key challenges for businesses in 2023, as identified in our recent Business Outlook Survey, is supply chain disruption. So we will also take this opportunity to examine the trends in global and regional supply chain management and particularly how businesses are building resilience into their trade strategies. Melanie Noronha, senior manager, policy and insights at Economist Impact, will share the highlights of the recently released report Trade in Transition 2023, sponsored by DP World, which explores how companies are navigating fresh disruptions in global trade, by bringing supply chains "closer to home" through nearshoring or reshoring.

Finally we will convene a panel of regional supply chain leaders to garner their advice on how regional businesses can insulate their trade from future economic and geopolitical shocks.


  • 8.30am Arrival, breakfast and networking
  • 9.15am Welcome and introduction
  • 9.20am Regional Strategic Forecast with Pat Thaker, MEA director of EIU
  • 10.00am Trade in Transition 2023, presented by Melanie Noronha, senior manager, policy and insights at Economist Impact
  • 10.20am Panel discussion on regional supply chain trends
  • 11am End 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.


  • Robert Willock (Director MENA of The Economist Group)

    Robert Willock

    Director MENA of The Economist Group

    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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  • Pat Thaker (Regional Editorial Director, MEA of The Economist Intelligence Unit)

    Pat Thaker

    Regional Editorial Director, MEA of The Economist Intelligence Unit

    Pat Thaker provides the intellectual leadership necessary to ensure that the Economist Intelligence Unit’s analysis and forecasts for the Middle Eastern and African markets are the most insightful available to international decision-makers. Her deep knowledge and regional experience means she frequently chairs and speaks at conferences in the MEA region on subjects such as the business case for Africa, the impact of low oil prices for the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), global food security, urban sustainability and corporate social responsibility. She leads the EIU’s Middle East and Africa team, ensuring that its regional forecasts are integrated with its global macroeconomic outlook, and developing the regional expertise required to diagnose problems and devise viable solutions for EIU clients.

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  • Melanie Noronha (Senior manager, Policy & Insights at Economist Impact)

    Melanie Noronha

    Senior manager, Policy & Insights at Economist Impact

    Melanie is a senior research manager at Economist Impact and the general manager of The Economist office in Dubai. She has over ten years of experience delivering consulting and thought leadership projects to public, private and non-for-profit organisations. Based in Dubai, she leads the Middle East and Africa team on research across food sustainability, recycling and the circular economy, renewable energy, fintech, trade and supply chains. She is a specialist in advanced recycling technologies and international trade.

    Melanie is a seasoned moderator; she has chaired numerous panel discussions and presented Economist Impact's research at global in-person and virtual conferences.

    Before joining The Economist Group, she was a senior analyst at MEED Insight, a research and consulting firm serving clients in the Middle East and North Africa. At MEED, she developed her expertise in delivering bespoke market studies and financial modelling across a range of sectors spanning construction, finance, power and water, oil and gas and renewable energy. She held previous posts at the Office of the Chief Economist at the Dubai International Financial Centre and at the San Francisco Center for Economic Development. Melanie has an MSc in International Strategy and Economics from the University of St Andrews and a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

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