Business, Investing Strategy, and Geopolitics in the Middle East: Profit and Growth Amid Headwinds?
John Balouziyeh—Senior Legal Consultant, Dentons
Jason Bordoff—Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs, SIPA
Aamir A. Rehman—Senior Fellow, Richard Paul Richman Center, and Partner, Hoopoe Capital
Moderated by Dr. Alexis Crow, Senior Fellow, Richard Paul Richman Center, & Geopolitical Investing Lead, PwC
The Middle East is a region that is often considered to be synonymous with geopolitics. Investors and corporate executives alike have been “spooked” or skittish when looking at the region as a place to invest. Sentiment and capital flows are often directly linked to the price of oil, and with the Paris climate accords as well as calls for a post-carbon future, some question the lifeblood of many of the energy exporters in the region. And yet, even amid a sustained downturn in the price of crude oil in recent years—and civil wars in several Middle Eastern countries—some of the world’s largest corporations have promised to allocate billions of dollars to the region, in sectors ranging from healthcare to IT and data centers. Added to that, the Saudi Tadawul continues to be one of the best performing equity markets in 2018.
In this public event, presented by the Richman Center and ABANA, our distinguished panelists—representing academia, business, energy, investing, and NGOs—will paint a picture of the current macroeconomic, geopolitical, and sector-specific environment across the Middle East. We will tackle the following topics:
- The macroeconomic environment and energy markets: improving balance sheets, but what about income statements?
- Capital markets and FDI flows: the potential for medium- and long-term profit
- The Middle East’s geostrategic position: the demographic dividend and the link to emerging Africa and south Asia
- The sector-specific landscape: the outlook for tech, telecoms, logistics, real estate, ESG
- Innovation and human capital: what’s the future of MENA’s “new economy”?
In covering these topics, we seek to address the ways in which investors and corporate executives can navigate challenges in order to inform their transactions, portfolio, and business decisions.
November 13, 2018 | Uris Hall, Room 141 | 6:30 p.m.–7:45 p.m.
Article and Videos Coming Soon
ESG and Public Funds: Risks and Opportunities in Investment Practices
Ronald J. Gilson—Marc and Eva Stern Professor of Law and Business, Columbia Law School
Carol Jeppesen—Senior US Network Manager, UN Principles for Responsible Investment
Moderated by Aamir A. Rehman, Senior Fellow at the Richard Paul Richman Center, with remarks by Kathleen Rithisorn, Director of the Richard Paul Richman Center, and Lisa Sachs, Director of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment.
Investing with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria is growing in popularity and visibility, whether it be “socially responsible” with negative screens or “impact investing” with positive screens. As the movement gains momentum, so do questions about its role in the public sector.
In this public lecture, panelists will discuss whether institutions with a public mandate (e.g. state pension funds, university endowments) should incorporate ESG criteria into their investment practices. Is doing so consistent with their public service mandates, financially sound, and good for society? Or does it muddle objectives, hurt financial returns, and leave society worse off?
November 7, 2018 | Uris Hall, Room 141 | 6:30 p.m.–7:45 p.m.
Article and Videos Coming Soon
Trade Under Trump
Merit Janow—Dean, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
Petros C. Mavroidis—Edwin B. Parker Professor of Foreign and Comparative Law, Columbia Law School
Damien Neven—Professor of International Economics, Graduate Institute of International Studies (Geneva), and Visiting Professor, SIPA
David Weinstein—Carl Sumner Shoup Professor of Japanese Economics, Columbia University
President Trump has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the United States. A staggering $200 billon of imports from China have been added to goods subject to tariffs. As a result, trading partners are responding with duties on US goods. China has threatened to react aggressively. NAFTA is being renegotiated. How did we get to this point? What is the strategy of the United States? Where is all of this headed, and what are the economic consequences?
Moderated by Jesse J. Greene, Executive in Residence at Columbia Business School
October 25, 2018 | Uris Hall, Room 307 | 6:15 p.m.–7:45 p.m.
Book Talk with Paul Tucker, Author of Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State
Paul Tucker is a Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government as well as Chair of the Systemic Risk Council. He served as deputy governor of the Bank of England from 2009 to 2013. His book, Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State, posits principles to ensure that central bankers and state regulators remain stewards of the common good.
The evening will feature Paul Tucker in discussion with Sharyn O’Halloran (George Blumenthal Professor of Political Economy and Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University). The discussion is open to the public and on the record.
October 18, 2018 | International Affairs Building, Room 1501 | 5:00 p.m.–7:45 p.m.