Thursday, December 3, 2009

Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship for Muslim World

President Obama promised a Summit on Entrepreneurship with the Muslim world in his historic Cairo speech. The aim of the summit is:

To identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations, and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.

The two day event will occur in the first quarter of 2010. An overview of the summit states:

It represents an opportunity to highlight and support business and social entrepreneurship in Muslim-majority countries (MMC), including their minority populations, and Muslim communities around the world.

Through this Summit, the United States seeks both to join existing efforts and inspire new efforts to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim communities around the world.
People can apply to attend the event. The invitation states:

Successful entrepreneurs, investors, academics, and leaders of entrepreneurship networks, non-profits, foundations, and businesses who are invested in promoting business or social entrepreneurship in Muslim communities would be excellent delegates and are encouraged to apply.
The Carlyle Group is an investor, with funds and affiliates targeting the Middle East. ARINC will host a mini-business summit at Sharm El Shaikh. The topic is airport infrastructure spending.

The upcoming Domestic and Regional Airport Summit will bring together more than 150 aviation experts debating the latest issues facing the industry. The Summit is a platform tailored for global leaders in domestic airports to discover new horizons, create robust alliances, close business deals, and foster business partnerships. The Summit is scheduled at the Savoy-Sharm Resort, Sharm Al Shaikh, Egypt, December 7-8. It is open only to senior level decision makers, chairmen, presidents, and CEOs from selected organizations.

Infrastructure is a hot topic, domestically and globally. The World Economic Forum wants someone to take on political risk for sovereign wealth funds (SWF's) or private equity underwriters (PEU's) undertaking infrastructure projects in underdeveloped countries. They made their proposal from Dubai, just three days before Dubai World postponed their debt payments. The UAE government chose not to backstop DW debt. That triggered S & P downgrades on six Dubai GRE's.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it has lowered its issuer credit ratings on six Dubai-based GRE's; DIFC Investments LLC, DP World Ltd., Jebel Ali Free Zone (FZE), Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Authority (DMCC), Dubia Holding Commercial Operations Group LLC (DHCOG), and Emaar Properties PJSC
Emaar Properties Chairman closed out the World Economic Forum session, congratulating the people in the room for handling their prosperity responsibly.

Infrastructure is front and center in the U.S. A likely second round of stimulus will "front load" infrastructure spending. This will be done through public-private partnerships (PPP's), with the very same PEU's and SWF's. They should be out in force during the two day Summit on Entrepreneurship. How might they continue grabbing government green? The details bear watching.

Update: Emaar Properties dropped the most in early 2010, as Dubai World considered offering credit holders 60 cents on the dollar in a debt restructuring.