The AIB-MENA chapter was founded in 2009 to provide a regional focus. Not only is this region strategic from a trade perspective, but also in terms of finance (growing importance of Islamic & Sharia compliant banking), investment (size of sovereign wealth funds, FDI inflow) and tourism (above world average growth rate and regional investments). The AIB-Middle-East North Africa chapter has the following three areas of focus:
The MENA region faces a set of unique challenges. Although oil resources represent a significant part of GDP in a number of MENA countries, significant efforts are being made to diversify oil dependent economies. Human capital is largely expatriate. MENA as a region spends 5% of GDP on education and is currently investing in developing human capital (World Bank, 2009). Our purpose is to help bridge the gap between practical application and knowledge development.
With regards to marketing, issues like Islamic marketing, Islamic banking and even concepts like halal are just being understood in the west. AIB-MENA is positioned uniquely to foster research and help in networking using its huge member base. Most marketing here spans countries and with the potential of a unified GCC currency, huge infrastructure development which will makes this region a logistics hub. Cultural diversity and the importance of luxury branding will also make this field of international research interesting. Our purpose is to bridge the gap between research and industry requirement. According to Robertson et al., (2001), less than 1% of the 236 articles published in a 10 year period between 1990-1999 in a prestigious journal focus on an Arab country in the Middle East.
Our purpose is to act as facilitators and find industry, government, business and academic patrons who will contribute to the internationalization objectives of the AIB. Patrons who are interested in sponsoring the AIB-MENA chapter should get in touch with Melodena.
World Bank (2009), “Road Less Travelled”, Available: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTMENA/Resources/EDU_01-Chap01-Education.pdf