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Chicago Council on Global Affairs conducts discussions with senior DIFC officials

The visit is part of the Council's week-long Leadership Study Mission to the GCC region aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the region's economic, political and social trends.  Led by its Chairman, Lester Crown, the Mission includes 25 directors and high-level benefactors who are also leaders in various spheres of life in Chicago: business, philanthropy, education, and civic.

Dr. Nasser Al Saidi, Chief Economist of the DIFC Authority said: "The economic transformation of the Gulf states has created new opportunities for linkages and cooperation between the UAE and the United States. The "Dubai model" of successful economic diversification has attracted international attention as a paradigm for other countries seeking to break away from commodity dependence.  Similarly, the DIFC has emerged as a leading financial centre and as a model for emerging markets.

Nasdaq's stake in the Dubai International Financial Exchange, which was later rebranded as Nasdaq Dubai, is a good example of the new partnerships that build new opportunities for the capital markets, filling a gap in the Middle East and Central Asia region.. Our discussions with The Chicago Council for Global Affairs gave us an opportunity to exchange viewpoints and ideas on these developments and other key global and regional economic issues at a time of international economic and financial turmoil."

The Chicago Council's Mission is focused on four central themes: the extraordinary economic transformation of the Gulf States and its impact on the global economy; the global importance of the region's energy resources; domestic social change; and the difficult political environment that surrounds this economically vibrant region. The Mission will meet with senior government leaders, receive briefings by prominent experts on key trends and issues, and engage in discussions with senior business and civic figures in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as part of the GCC visit.