Bankers set to meet

Following the war in Iraq and the continued instability in the region, the Union of Arab Bankers is set to hold its annual meeting in Lebanon next month.

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By  John Irish Published  September 15, 2003

A host of high profile regional bankers and finance ministers are set to gather in Beirut next month after the Union of Arab Bankers confirmed that its annual meeting would take place on October 9-10.

In a statement issued to the press yesterday September 14, the Union, which is based in Beirut, said that it expected Arab ministers, central bank governors and 400 financial experts specialised in the Arab World's banking industry to attend the conference.

Naturally with the reverberations of the Iraqi conflict still felt throughout the region, the meeting will partly focus on the new status quo and how events in Iraq will shape the region's financial and banking sector. Additionally, it aims to look at the impact of September 11 on global Islamic financial activity.

With the US unveiling its proposals for a Middle East free trade zone by 2013 at the World Economic Forum last month, the Union is hoping to also discuss the Arab World's relations with the European Union and the United States.

Founded in 1974, the Union of Arab Bankers aims to develop the banking and financial sector in Arab countries and enhance the role of the Arab banking and financial institutions in strengthening social and economic development in the North Africa and the Middle East.

It comprises 300 Arab financial and banking institutions representing the largest Arab banks and over 95% of other banks.

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