Business | Investment

Family-run businesses urged to transform

Traditional businesses need to evolve into modern corporations if further economic development is to take place in the Arab world, said Saeb N. Jaroudi, the former Lebanese Minister of National Economy and Minister of Tourism.

  • Staff Report
  • Published: 00:00 November 6, 2004
  • Gulf News

Traditional businesses need to evolve into modern corporations if further economic development is to take place in the Arab world, said Saeb N. Jaroudi, the former Lebanese Minister of National Economy and Minister of Tourism.

Jaroudi has been credited with initiating and establishing leading financial institutions in the region. He is an economic consultant advising international clients and institutions on strategy and project finance in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.

"Speeding up the transformation from the family run business model to the modern corporate structure with independent management is a real challenge for Arab leaders striving to narrow the gap between industrialised countries," he said.

Jaroudi is to be a Corporate Ambassador for the Leaders in Dubai conference, being held from Nov-ember 29 to 30. This has seen organisers assemble a panel of regional business leaders to debate issues with seven global speakers, including former General Electric CEO Jack Welch and Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City.

Jaroudi said the development of the region's corporate structure was needed. "Corporate leaders are also faced with the challenge of how to improve interaction between the private and public sector.

"This can be done by providing support to the public sector to help it modernise its style of operation."

The Lebanese citizen serves on the board of Arab Finance Corp in Beirut, which promotes and develops capital markets activities in the Middle East. He was elected by the Arab Ministers of Finance as the first Director-General of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.

On leadership styles, Jaroudi said the same principles are needed for success in the corporate world as in government.

Jaroudi joins a number of Arab leaders from the business and semi-government sectors as corporate ambassadors.

The global leaders on stage include: Tom Peters, the management guru; bestselling author Frank Maguire; MIT's Professor of Management and Economics Lester Thurow, and the influential futurist Alvin Toffler. About 2,500 delegates are expected to attend.

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