- The world is experiencing a deglobalization trend as a result of the pandemic and geopolitical tensions.
- The new era will be characterized by more trade restrictions, higher inflation, and a change in the distribution of capital flows.
- There will be higher innovation in services and lower innovation in goods.
- China, as the second largest economy in the world, remains connected, despite recent events and tensions, and has potential for growth.
- Re-globalization will bring about cheaper cross-border payments, the rise of artificial intelligence and new technologies, unlimited redistributional opportunities, and talent mobility.
- The UAE is adapting to the new global mega trends by attracting and locally building digital talent, reducing bureaucracy, and focusing on service sectors.
- The UAE sees the human being at the heart of innovation and is adopting more attractive social security systems to attract highly skilled individuals.
- The UAE is not abandoning its industrial strategy but is giving higher weight to service sectors as part of its transition from a regional to a global hub.
The panel discussion made up of five experts from different backgrounds, covered various aspects of the finance industry, including ultra-high-speed AI trading, blockchain technologies, cybersecurity risks, unconventional financial services platforms, and NFT markets. The experts also shared their thoughts on regulatory shifts and the impact of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDCs) on long-term asset shifts.
Sameh Al Qubaisi of ADDED stated that all roads lead to digital and that he and his team are looking at capital markets, SPAC regulations and SPVs, tokenization, and virtual assets. Eric Anziani of Crypto.com stated that his company helps people transition into the new economy, and they are investing in the region by opening an office in Dubai. Brady Dougan of Exos stated that he spent 40 years in finance, 25 of which were spent as CEO of Credit Suisse. He stated that Exos is a challenger Institutional Financial Service provider and is like Morgan Stanley but built on an Alibaba tech platform. He added that they are excited about the UAE’s concept of a FinTech ecosystem.
Astyanax Kanakakis of norblock, who has a background in financial services, stated that his company connects banks and Fortune 500 companies to share regulated data. Patrick Pulvermueller of Acronis, a cyber protection firm, stated that they have 25 years of experience in IT.
When asked what makes digital assets and crypto so different from fiat, Brady Dougan stated that it is a classic example of software eating the world. He explained that an industry with new technology becomes a leader and that blockchain and digital assets allow faster and more efficient transactions than fiat. Eric Anziani added that the interface between traditional and contemporary money should be regulated, and he believes that CBDCs are not cryptocurrencies but use of blockchain.
Astyanax Kanakakis stated that CBDCs offer operational efficiencies and transparency but come with a lot of centralization and emphasis on the government’s hands. Sameh Al Qubaisi stated that the wholesale market would dictate whether CBDCs are needed and that creating CBDCs just for creating them is not a good idea.
The panelists agreed that regulation is a net positive for the finance industry. Brady Dougan stated that it is natural for regulation to kick in at this stage and that different approaches will become more homogenous and seamless with time. Eric Anziani added that companies must set up locally, speak to people in their language, and operate within local frameworks.
In conclusion, the panelists agreed that the finance industry is undergoing major changes driven by technology and that regulation is necessary for the growth and stability of the industry. They also decided that the industry should focus on creating seamless and efficient systems that bridge the gap between traditional and new money while ensuring that the interests of all stakeholders are protected.