THURSDAY 10 MAY

Jordan: Fostering Investment, Trade and Innovation Throughout the Region and Beyond

Philadelphia Hall,
Ground Floor

Jordan has always been a unique country for turning challenges into opportunities; bridging three continents and being a regional and global hub for business, trade and investments. It has also been able to position itself as a regional leader in renewable energy, consulting services, the finance sector, pharmaceuticals, medical tourism and education, as well as being a leading regional capital for ICT, startups and the creative industries.

Jordan may be small, but it is rich in terms of its strategic assets and as a gateway for regional and world trade and business. Jordan constantly seeks to extend what such a gateway can provide Jordanians and their partners. Not only access to billions of consumers through multiple FTAs, but diversifying exports and partners. Not only active connections to global supply chains, but international networks that facilitate small and medium-sized enterprises through financing, partnerships and new markets.

The Jordan Investment Outlook session will consist of the following three panels:
- Promotion
- Exploring the Pearl of the Red Sea – Aqaba
- Empowering Economies through Innovation

The EBRD in Jordan 

Watch Session

Moderator

Jonathan Charles

Managing Director, Communications, EBRD

Keynote

His Excellency Dr. Hani Al Mulki

Prime-Minister of Jordan

Suma Chakrabarti

President, EBRD

Speakers

Sahl Dudin

Managing Director, Ayla Oasis Development Company

Sheldon Fink

Chief Executive Officer, PBI, Aqaba Industrial Estate LLP

Omri Gainsburg

Senior Investment Director, Meridiam

Reem Goussous

Managing Director, Endeavor

Sergei Guriev

Chief Economist, EBRD

Emad Hejazeen

Representative, Special Economic Zone

Zeid Husban

Co- Founder & Chief Executive Astronaut, POSRocket

Ahmad Khalifeh

General Manager, Jordan bromine Co.

Loay Malahmeh

Head of Innovation at Luminus Group, FabLab Irbid

Tamam Mango

CEO, Crown Prince Foundation

Ines Rocha

Director, Financial Products SME F&D, EBRD

Muhannad Shehadeh

Minister of State for Investment Affairs, Jordan Investment Commission

Steven Yoogalingam

Chief Executive Officer, ACT Aqaba

His Excellency Dr. Hani Al Mulki

Prime-Minister of Jordan

Suma Chakrabarti

President, EBRD

Sir Suma Chakrabarti is the sixth President of the EBRD. He has held the position since 2012.
Suma has spent a great deal of his professional career working in the British civil service, international development economics and policy-making, as well as in designing and implementing wider public service reform.
Prior to joining the EBRD, he was Permanent Secretary at the British Ministry of Justice and, earlier, headed the UK’s Department for International Development. He also worked in the UK Treasury and in the Cabinet Office.
After studying politics, philosophy and economics at the University of Oxford, Suma took a Masters in development economics at the University of Sussex.  He holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sussex and East Anglia, as well as Bucharest’s University of Economic Studies.

Jonathan Charles

Managing Director, Communications, EBRD

Mr. Charles came to the Bank in 2011 after a long and distinguished career at the BBC, winning several awards for his journalism. As a BBC presenter and foreign correspondent, he has appeared on BBC1 and BBC World News television, as well as the BBC’s main radio channels.
His specialist areas include economics, Russia, the EU and international diplomacy; he has a keen interest in issues surrounding the single currency.
He established television operations for the BBC in Brussels and Frankfurt, and operated in many conflict zones throughout the world. He holds an MA (Oxon) and BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oriel College, Oxford University.

Sahl Dudin

Managing Director, Ayla Oasis Development Company

Sahl Dudin is the Managing Director of Ayla Oasis Development Company, and a board member of its 26 affiliated firms.
Mr Dudin has over 32 years of experience in the development of large-scale projects. He began his career as an engineering supervisor at Jordan’s Public Security Directorate in 1986, and then became Director of Maintenance and Engineering at Hotel Intercontinental Jordan. He later led high net-worth projects in hospitality and tourism for Zara Investment Holding Company.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Jordan Tourism Board, the Investment Board of the Social Security Investment Fund, the Board of Trustees of Tafila Technical University, and the boards of a number of other organisations.
Sahl holds BSc degrees in mechanical and civil engineering from the University of Hartford, USA.

Sheldon Fink

Chief Executive Officer, PBI, Aqaba Industrial Estate LLP

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the United States of America, Sheldon Fink holds a JD degree from the Harvard Law School.

Mr Fink has served as CEO of an American Stock Exchange-listed manufacturing company and as a developer of water desalination, energy and transport initiatives in Israel, Jordan and Turkey.

In 2004 he became CEO of PBI Aqaba Industrial Estate Group, which is involved in developing industrial and logistics projects in Aqaba, Jordan. Mr Fink owns 50 per cent of the Group.

 

Omri Gainsburg

Senior Investment Director, Meridiam

Omri Gainsburg is Vice Chairman of AIG’s Board of Directors, and Director for Turkey and Eurasia and Senior Investment Director at Meridiam, where he oversees the firm’s development, investment and asset-management activities in the region as well as its office in Istanbul.
Gainsburg has overseen Meridiam’s growth in Turkey and spearheaded the company’s expansion into new geographies and initiatives, such as green bond financing for emerging market infrastructure. He has been active in Meridian’s milestone projects, including its first investments in Spain (A66 highway), Chile (Félix Bulnes Hospital), Turkey (Adana Hospital PPP) and Jordan (Queen Alia International Airport). Before joining the firm in 2010, Omri worked for Lazard’s restructuring practice.
He holds a BSc and BBA from the University of Texas, Austin.

 

Reem Goussous

Managing Director, Endeavor

Reem Goussous is the Managing Director of Endeavor Jordan, a global organisation that works to accelerate the growth of startups and small and medium-sized enterprises. Previously, she worked as a development economist, spearheaded the establishment of several research and reporting units, and worked as a policy adviser to the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan.
 
Goussous is currently on the boards of the Arab Potash Company, Capital Bank, the Jordan River Foundation, Capital Investments, and is the Vice Chair of the Numeira Mixed Salts and Mud Company.

She holds a BA and MA in economics from Boston University.

Sergei Guriev

Chief Economist, EBRD

Sergei Guriev joined EBRD in 2016 after running the New Economic School in Moscow in 2004-13 and serving as a tenured professor of economics at Sciences Po, Paris in 2013-16. His research interests include contract theory, corporate governance, political economics and labor mobility. He has published in international refereed journals including American Economic Review, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of European Economic Association, Economic Journal, Journal of Economic Perspectives and American Political Science Review. He has been a board member of Sberbank, E.ON Russia, Alfa-Strakhovanie Insurance Company, Russia Venture Company, Russian Home Mortgage Lending Agency, Russian Agricultural Bank, and the Dynasty Foundation. He also served as a President of the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics. He is a Member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic Assoc. and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research, London.

Emad Hejazeen

Representative, Special Economic Zone

Zeid Husban

Co- Founder & Chief Executive Astronaut, POSRocket

Zeid obtained his bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications engineering from the University of Kent, UK, in 2008. He returned to Jordan and started as a technical support engineer, then he co-founded ifood.jo, an online food ordering platform, in 2012.

Despite it being a self-funded venture, both partners managed to quickly eliminate all local competitors. With annual growth of 200 per cent, ifood.jo attracted the eye of foreign investors and in 2013, the company sold a majority stake to the Turkish food ordering company Yemeksipeti. Zeid sold the rest of his shares in 2016 after a successful acquisition by the global giants "Delivery Hero".

Since then, Zeid has begun another venture with the vision to revolutionise the point-of-sale systems in the region with a cloud-based product called “POSRocket”.

 

Ahmad Khalifeh

General Manager, Jordan bromine Co.

Ahmad Khalifeh is Vice-President of Global Bromine Specialties at Albemarle Corporation (ALB), a US speciality Chemicals firm & General Manager of the Jordan Bromine Company, a joint venture between the Arab Potash Company and ALB. 
From 2007-14  served as ALB’s Regional Vice-President, Middle East and India, and later as Chief Administrative Officer. He is Vice-Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan, and a Director of the Jordanian business association EDAMA.
Mr Khalifeh holds an MSc degree from Nottingham University in the United Kingdom.

 

Loay Malahmeh

Head of Innovation at Luminus Group, FabLab Irbid

Loay Malameh is the Head of Innovation at Luminus Education, the largest TVET provider in Jordan. Luminus founded Jordan’s first fabrication lab "Fab Lab Irbid" and also its first hardware and manufacturing incubator funded by the EU -  "Luminus Shamal Start" with a portfolio of 84 startups and an upcoming venture capital fund, Luminus Ventures for hardware tech and manufacturing investments.

Prior to joining Luminus Group, he co-founded 3Dmena and ROW, two social enterprises that build fabrication labs and social innovation hubs. He worked on advocating 3D printing technology adoption as well as initiating the “fab lab” movement in Jordan, and setting up labs and humanitarian makerspaces in Turkey and Greece.

Loay and his work have been featured in Wired, Popular Science, Upworthy, Newsweek, Techcrunch, Wamda/GE Makers, the BBC and the World Economic Forum.

Tamam Mango

CEO, Crown Prince Foundation

Tamam Mango is the CEO of the Crown Prince Foundation. She holds a PhD in Politics from the University of Exeter, a Master’s Degree in International Development and Regional Planning, and Bachelor’s Degrees in Urban Planning and Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Tamam was a member of the Jordan National Competitiveness Team at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the Jordan Agency for Enterprise and Investment Development. Prior to her work with the Crown Prince Foundation she was a partner at Leading Point Management Advisory Services focusing on work in development consulting.

Ines Rocha

Director, Financial Products SME F&D, EBRD

Ines has almost 20 years of experience in the financial industry and in capital markets. Ines currently works as a Director for Financial Products in the SME F&D team designing advisory and investment products to SMEs. Prior to her current role Ines was a Senior Banker in the Financial Institutions team covering mainly structured product and capital market investments in bank and non-bank financial institutions across EBRD’s Countries of Operation.

Ines joined the EBRD in 2005 integrating the Treasury department where she provided advice on structuring and pricing of derivatives and capital market transactions across all Countries of Operation.  A Portuguese/British national, Ines holds a MSc degree in Economics from the London School of Economics.

 

Muhannad Shehadeh

Minister of State for Investment Affairs, Jordan Investment Commission

His Excellency Mr Muhannad Shehadeh is the Minister of State for Investment Affairs and the President of the Jordan Investment Commission.
Before that, Mr Shehadeh served at the Office of His Majesty King Abdullah II, as the Director of Investment and Business Development.
In 2011, he was appointed as the CEO and Vice Chairman of the Military Credit Fund. He has over 14 years professional experience in the banking and financial sector in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and the West Bank, where he held key positions at HSBC and the Arab Bank.
In 2014, Mr Shehadeh was appointed as the General Manager of MetLife Alico.
Mr Shehadeh graduated from Lincoln University- CA with a master’s degree in business administration, and holds a BSc in computer science; he is also fluent in Arabic and English.

 

Steven Yoogalingam

Chief Executive Officer, ACT Aqaba

Steven is the Chief Executive Officer of Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT) in Jordan, a post held since July 2017. He has over 20-years of international experience in port management.

ACT is a joint venture between the Jordanian Government (ADC) and APM Terminals, a leading global port operator. ACT owns and operates the Container Terminal in Aqaba, which serves the Jordanian economy and the wider markets of the Levant Region.