2009 Business Forum and Women Business Leaders Summit of the MENA-OECD Investment Programme


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Placing business at the centre of policy


Marrakech, 22 November 2009



The 2009 MENA-OECD Business Forum

Organised as part of the 2009 MENA-OECD Ministerial Conference in co-operation with the Confédération Générale des Entreprises du Maroc (CGEM), the 2009 Business Forum of the MENA-OECD Investment Programme brought together over 400 high-level representatives from both the private and public sector to discuss key issues for investment reform in the MENA region. Held the day preceding the 2009 MENA-OECD Ministerial Conference, the Business Forum addressed questions such as:

  • How can women’s entrepreneurship become a catalyst for growth beyond the crisis? What obstacles need to be overcome?
  • How can responsible business conduct contribute to the success of companies and the sustainable development of societies?
  • What has business learned from the crisis and how can governments harness those lessons for MENA’s future?
  • The crisis and the financial sector: which institutions and channels can best ensure continued access to finance for MENA businesses?

Click here for a photo slideshow of highlights of

the Business Forum and Women Business Leaders Summit



Speakers included:

  • Mr. Ahmed Réda CHAMI, Minister of Trade and Industry, Kingdom of Morocco
  • H.E. Nouzha SKALLI, Minister of Social Development, Family and Solidarity, Kingdom of Morocco
  • Mr. Angel GURRÍA, Secretary-General, OECD
  • Ambassador Melanne VERVEER, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, United States
  • H.E. Ms. Cristina NARBONA RUIZ, Ambassador, Permanent Representative, Permanent Delegation of Spain to the OECD
  • H.E. Karen KORNBLUH, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the United States to the OECD
  • Mr. Mohamed TAMER, Vice-President, Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM), Kingdom of Morocco
  • H.E. Dr. Sheikha Hissah Saad A. AL-SABAH, President, Council of Arab Business Women, Kuwait
  • Ms. Neveen EL TAHRI, Chairperson and Managing Director, Delta Holding for Financial Investments, Arab Republic of Egypt
  • Ms. Asmaa MOUHIB, Manager, Le Messager; President, Union des Femmes Investisseurs Arabes, Kingdom of Morocco
  • Mr. Thierry DE MARGERIE, President, Alstom Morocco
  • Mr. Jean DESAZARS DE MONTGAILHARD, Executive Vice-President, Strategy, Business Development and Public Affairs, Lafarge Group, France
  • Ms. Charlotte ERSBØLL, Corporate Vice President Global Stakeholder Engagement, Novo Nordisk, Denmark
  • Mr. Wahbe TAMARI, CEO, Watamar & Partners SA, Lebanon
  • Mr. Ismail DOUIRI, Director, Attijariwafa Bank, Kingdom of Morocco
  • Ms. Nezha HAYAT, Member of the Management Board, Société Générale Morocco, Kingdom of Morocco
  • Mr. Ali KADIRI, General Manager for Morocco and Director of Casablanca Branch, La Caixa, Spain
  • Ms. Georgina CARNEGIE, Advisor, The Sentinent Group, Australia
  • Dr. Abdullah I. EL-KUWAIZ, Former Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Kingdom of Bahrain

For a complete list of speakers and session topics, download the agenda Download the draft agenda  .


The Business Forum resulted in the endorsement of a Joint Business Statement, 2009, which was delivered to Ministers the following day at the MENA-OECD Ministerial Conference  .
The OECD Secretary General also launched the MENA-OECD Business Council , and the winners of the MENA 100 Business Plan Competition  were presented by Sheikh  Mohammed bin Essa AL KHALIFA, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board.


Key outcomes of the Business Forum, Governance Forum and Ministerial Conference are available here.


  Key documents

  • Joint Business Statement, 2009
  • Draft Action Plan on Fostering Women's Entrepreneurship in the MENA Region
  • 2009 Declaration of the Responsible Business Conduct Forum

  Reference material


  • 2007 MENA-OECD Women Business Leaders Forum and Business Forum
  • First meeting of the Regional Task Force on Responsible Business Conduct, 26 October 2008
  • Second MENA-OECD Investment Ministerial Meeting: Arab and OECD countries launch new initiatives to promote investment in MENA region, 27 November 2007




For additional information on the Business Forum and Women Business Leaders Summit, please write to





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