20 March 2018


Four Seasons Nile Plaza


300 Delegates


50 Expert Speakers

Event Speakers / global leadership

Ashraf Mohamed Naguib

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer - Global Trade Matters

Ashraf Mohamed Naguib is Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Global Trade Matters, Egypt’s leading Private Sector Think Tank dedicated to the exploration and formulation of economic and political reform policies in Egypt and the MENA Region. (more…)

Mahmoud Abdel Latif

Chairman of the Board - Travco Properties Vice Chairman - Travco Group International Holding SAE

With more than 30 years of extensive involvement in the finance field, Mr. Abdel Latif brings with him a long and successful track record overseeing organizations’ strategies and commercial operations. (more…)

HE. Jose Octavio Tripp

Ambassador of Mexico to Egypt

Member of the Mexican Foreign Service since 1994. He has a B.A. in International Relations by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), a Master´s Degree in Diplomatic Studies by the Matias Romero Institute of Diplomatic Studies and a Ph. D. in Government and Public Policy by the National University of Costa Rica. (more…)

HE. Dr. Ahmed Darwish

Former Minister of Administration & Former Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone

Ahmed Mahmoud Darwish (born 25 May 1959) is an Egyptian international consultant and politician. He served as the first Chairman of the General Authority of Suez canal Economic Zone from 2015 to 2017. (more…)

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ABOUT THE EVENT / Associate yourself with business excellence in Egypt

Dear Global Trade Matters Members,

It gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of the “Third Annual Global Trade Matters Global Competitiveness Summit – Ambassadors’ Edition 2018” to be held on Tuesday 20th of March 2018 at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza Hotel.

In 2017 Ambassadors and Senior Diplomats from Switzerland, Singapore, Germany, Finland, India, Mexico, Panama, Denmark, Slovenia, Portugal, Philippines, New Zealand and South Africa honored us with their presences as they each showcased their respective countries’ performance on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness index.

At the “Third Annual Global Trade Matters Global Competitiveness Summit – Ambassadors’ Edition 2018” more than 20 countries will be represented exploring the uniqueness of each country’s national competitiveness approach in a regional and global perspective.

As Egypt undertakes major and historical economic reforms aimed at making it a true global competitor, sharing experiences with our international partners on global competitiveness can only add value and more drive to our nation’s growing economic ambitions.

Finally, I would like to thank you for your continuous support of our efforts in enhancing the Global Competitiveness Dialogue in Egypt and hope that you can join us on Tuesday the 20th of March 2018 at the “Third Annual Global Trade Matters Global Competitiveness Summit – Ambassadors’ Edition 2018”.

Ashraf Mohamed Naguib

Chief Executive Officer

Global Trade Matters

The Private Sector Think-Tank for Economic and Political Reform Policies

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WEF GCI Report

Global Trade Matters Global Competitiveness Summit Ambassadors’ Edition 2017

Summit Schedule / save the dates

Registration – Morning Networking

Mr. Hassan Hussien


Mr. Ashraf Mohamed Naguib / Chief Executive Officer – Global Trade Matters

One-One Session – Session 1

HE. Dr. Ahmed Darwish / Former Minister of Administration & Former Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone

Reviewing Egypt’s Performance on the Global Competitiveness Index

Despite a significant advancement of 15 ranks on the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018, the consensus at the 13th Money & Finance Summit on Global Competitiveness 2017 (LINK) was that Egypt (100) still needs to undergo imperative improvements on most if not all the 12 pillars of Global Competitiveness. The Summit also shed light on the nation’s performance and rankings on other international indices such as the Ease of Doing Business Index and the IMF Report.

This ONE2ONE Session will briefly highlight the strength and weaknesses of the Egyptian Economy and review the performance of the nation on some of the most important global indices which measure the economic, social and political performance of countries across the globe.

One-One Session – Session 2

The World’s most Competitive Nation – Switzerland - The Land of Small and Medium Enterprises

For the 6th consecutive year Switzerland has held its position as the worlds’ most competitiveness nation leading the Basic Requirement Sub Index, Innovation and Business Sophistication Sub Index while ranking 3rd on the Efficiency Enhancers Sub Index of the Global Competitiveness Index 2017 – 2018. Despite being a landlocked nation with just under 9 Million people and very limited natural resources, Switzerland has been able to develop and build on its competitive advantage in technology, innovation, and financial services boasting some of the world’s most successful multinationals and innovative small medium enterprises.

This One2One session will offer a unique opportunity to explore some of the reasons which make Switzerland the world’s most competitive nation. The Session will be honored to host His Excellency Paul Garnier, Ambassador of Switzerland to Egypt to share his thoughts and experiences in regards to the challenges and opportunities in the Swiss competitiveness landscape. The session will highlight the importance of enhancing SMEs, the Startup Environment and the Innovation Landscape in becoming a leading global competitor in a ever changing and volatile global economy.

One-One Session – Session 3

Global Competitiveness and the Middle East and North Africa

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) improved its average competitiveness performance despite a noticeable deterioration in the macroeconomic environment in some countries. While some Arab countries aspire to launch a mission to Mars by 2020, others are still suffering from internal and external conflicts negatively impacting security, stability, competitiveness, economic growth and social development. The United Arab Emirates continues to lead competiveness in the Arab World achieving advanced positions on the pillars of Goods Market Efficiency, Labor Market Efficiency and Macroeconomic Environment, while Egypt saw the most significant advancement in the region led by a significant leap on the Financial Markets Development Pillar. Saudi Arabia came in at third place while Bahrain ranked as the fourth most competitive economy in the Arab world.

This ONE2One Session will address competiveness in the MENA and assess the regional environment for economic growth, investment and development. The Session will also address the impact of the current regional instability on competitiveness, development and growth and further explore the potential opportunities in some of the fastest growing economies and sectors in the Arab World.

Session One

Sharing Experiences with the World’s most Competitive Nations

The top ten of the CGI 2017 – 2018 was dominated by European countries namely Switzerland (1), Netherland (4), Germany (5), Sweden (7), United Kingdom (8) and Finland (10). Singapore (3), Hong Kong (6) and Japan (9) were the most competitive of the Asian economies, while the United States (2) was the sole representative of the Americas. Breaking a 6 year streak, Singapore has dropped one position to become the third most competitive nation in the world overtaken by the United States (2). The Netherlands (4) maintains its position with the support of a strong education system and high levels of tech readiness while Hong Kong climbed three places to become the sixth most competitive nation in the world.

This open discussion panel will host a distinguished group of Ambassadors and Senior Diplomats representing some of the top 20 most competitive nations according to the World Economic forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2017 - 2018. The session will discuss global competitiveness from an international perspective and share the thoughts and experiences of the participating countries respectively.  The panel will touch upon the impact of disruptive technology, innovation, education and economic reform on global competitiveness while presenting thoughts on the ongoing shifting trends in the global economy.

Session Two

HE. Tomás A.Guardia / Ambassador of Panama to Egypt
HE. Jose Octavio Tripp / Ambassador of Mexico to Egypt

Understanding the Global Competitiveness Landscape in Latin America

Despite lagging behind its peers in Europe and Asia and with an evident unequal global competitiveness performance across Latin America, the World Economic Forum’s 2017 - 2018 Global Competitiveness Report cited multiple success stories across the region. One such story was Argentina which improved twelve positions in the latest ranking, now positioned 92nd out of 137 economies in the world. Jamaica (70) made significant improvements on the Financial Market Development Pillar (31) and improved 5 places overall on the GCI. Mexico maintained its 51st position with no change from the year before while Costa Rica improved seven places on the GCI 2017-2018, now the 47th in the world and second in Latin America. Panama loses the eight ranks it gained as one of the fastest rises of the 2016 - 2017 report falling back to 5oth place this year as the third most competitive country in the region. Chile remains the most competitive nation in Latin America ranking at 33 with no movement from the previous year. Brazil’s (80) most notable improvement on the GCI 2017 – 2018 was the enhancement of the  innovation pillar, led by industry-university-business collaboration, higher quality research, and increased capacity building for  scientists and engineers.

This Open Discussion Session will have the honor of hosting a distinguished group of Ambassadors and Senior Diplomats from Latin America to share their experiences and thoughts respectively regarding Global Competitiveness in their countries’ specifically, and the region generally. The session will also highlight success stories across the region while addressing the challenges facing the diverse economies of Latin America in a highly competitive global environment. This Latin America centric open discussion session will explore the efforts undertaken by the individual countries in coordinating national competitiveness agendas aimed at enhancing the region’s overall global competitiveness.  The Session will explore how global indices such as the Global Competitiveness Index, the Ease of Doing Business, and the IMF Report influence the region’s economic competitiveness policy priorities.


Networking Break

One-One Session – Session 4

Mr. Mahmoud Abdel Latif / Chairman of the Board - Travco Properties & Vice Chairman - Travco Group International Holding SAE

Unleashing the True Potential of Egypt’s Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Sector

Egypt’s tourism sector, one of the country’s main foreign currency earners has been struggling since 2011 witnessing a significant drop in the number of tourists visiting the country from 14.7 million in 2010 to 9.8 million in 2011. Slowly but surely, the Egyptian travel and tourism sector has been gaining momentum according to several reports indicating the beginning of recovery for the sector. The World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017 ranked Egypt at 74, gaining nine positions compared to two years ago. The improved situation was reflected in the findings of Colliers International’s latest report on the Egyptian hospitality market while another report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)  has named Egypt the world’s second-fastest growing tourist destination for 2017. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects an increase in tourism revenues from an estimated $4.4 billion by the end of fiscal year 2017 - 2018 to some $6.2 billion in 2018 - 2019, $8 billion in 2019 - 2020, $10.3 billion in 2020 - 2021 and $13.3 billion in 2021 - 2022.

This One2One Session will host Mr. Mahmoud Abdel Latif the Chairman of Travco Group, Egypt's leading travel, hospitality and real estate conglomerate, to better understand the dynamics within Egypt's travel and tourism sector, along with key market trends and growth opportunities. The session will address some of the main hindering factors in the development of the sector and review Egypt’s competitiveness within a regional and global context. The session will share thoughts and ideas on how to unleash the true potential of Egypt’s hospitality, travel and tourism sector.

Session Three

Startup Europe – Enhancing Competitiveness through Innovation (LINK)

Europe’s top economies continue to lead in global competitiveness representing more than half of the top-ten-ranked countries on the GCI; Switzerland (1), Netherland (4), Germany (5), Sweden (7), United Kingdom (8) and Finland (10). This year the Euro area is expected to grow by 2.3% (2018 forecast), while emerging European markets are looking at 3.7% growth, up from 3% the same period last year. On the other hand the UK slipped down one place from last year on GCI as experts warn that Brexit could see the country slip further as it witnesses the full negative impact of a lack of access to the single market. Europe’s competitiveness upward trajectory was sustained by a clear expansion, development and increased investment in the continent’s innovation ecosystems. European countries have focused their policies on the enhancement of scientific institutions through increased research & development funding in addition to enhancing the private sector’s capacity for innovation.

This Open Discussion Session will be honored to host a distinguished group of Ambassadors and Senior Diplomats from Europe to review the continent’s performance on the Global Competitiveness Index 2017 – 2018 and shed light on the most significant improvements for each of the respective countries. The session will focus on the importance of vocational training, education and innovation and will explore the successful Small and Medium and start-up landscape in Europe.

Session Four

Global Competitiveness and Economic Growth – The Asia Case Study  

Hong Kong (6), Singapore (3) and Japan (9) maintained their rankings in the top ten of the Global Competitiveness Report 2017 - 2018 with Hong Kong advancing 2 positions while the latter two each slipping down on rank. Malaysia took second spot among nine ASEAN countries with Thailand ranked at (32), Indonesia (36), Brunei Darussalam (46), Vietnam (55), Philippines (56), Cambodia (94) and Laos (98). China (27) gained one position led by major investments in digital technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence and financial technology companies. Last year India advanced by 16 positions on the GCI rankings but remained comfortably stagnant on the 2017 – 2018 rankings despite a continued score improvement on all 12 pillars of the index. At 13, New Zealand still leads the world on the Financial Market Development Pillar, while Australia moved up by one rank to become the world’s 21st most competitive nation.

This Open Discussion Session will be honored to host a distinguished group of Ambassadors and Senior Diplomats from the Asian continent to review and further analyze the driving forces behind Asians competitiveness performance. The panel will explore the impact of new technologies on the economy, education and the overall business environment in the region and how the respective nations are adapting, adjusting, and harnessing the power of startups and small and medium firms to enhance their global competitiveness positions.

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Event Location

Four Seasons Nile Plaza – Cairo
1089 Corniche El Nil, Cairo

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