EICN MENA Annual Conference: Higher Growth, Lower Emissions

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 Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist of the Economist Intelligence Unit, who will be visiting from Singapore. 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.


Robert Willock

Director MENA & Regional General Manager of EICN

Dr. Simon Baptist

Global Chief Economist & Editorial Director of The Economist Intelligence Unit

Ashish Gokhale

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

Reem Asaad

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

Professor Ken McPhail

Head of Alliance Manchester Business School at The University of Manchester

Helmut Von Struve

CEO of Siemens UAE & Middle East

Abdulnasser Ibrahim Saif Bin Kalban

CEO of Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC


08:30 – 09:15 – Arrival, registration, breakfast and networking

09:15 – 09:20 – Welcome, Robert Willock, Director MENA & Regional General Manager, EICN

09:20 – 10:10 – Regional Strategic Forecast, Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist, EIU

10:10 – 10:50 – Panel Discussion: Higher Growth, Lower Emissions

10:50 – 11:10 – Coffee break and networking

11:10 – 11:55 – Fireside Discussion with Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Global Aluminium

11:55 – 12:00 – Thanks, close, lunch and networking

Event details


Queen Elizabeth 2 Hotel,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Meeting room details will be shared upon successfull registration


If you have any questions about this event, or joining our Duabi network please send an email to eicn_me@economist.com.

Request to attend

Our events are typically closed-door and reserved for members only. As such, please note that guest spaces are extremely limited and subject to availability and suitability. To request to attend this event, please fill out the form below and a member of our staff will be in contact with you shortly.