In contrast to 2015, FDI inflows in 2016 have shrunk to $ 1.5 trillion:
The global forum brings together public and private sector leaders across the world to provide an array of dynamic business opportunities
Dubai, UAE, April 3, 2017: The seventh edition of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM 2017) which aims to bring together public and private sector leaders across the world, opened on a grand note at Dubai World Trade Centre. The high-level and integrated association which runs from April 2nd to 4th, will provide an array of dynamic business opportunities during the leading three-day exhibition.
In the opening ceremony, HE Sultan Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy said in his opening speech: “On behalf of the Government of the United Arab Emirates, we welcome you to the 7th Annual Investment Forum. The Ministry of Economy is honored to organize this important forum, the world’s largest annual gathering on FDI held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.”
“We thank you all for your presence with us today and for your continuous support throughout the years. We particularly welcome our guests who are taking part with us for the first time,” he added. “This forum has become a valuable platform for sharing knowledge and best practices in both emerging and developed markets, bringing together decision makers, investors, academics and entrepreneurs under one roof.”
“Your presence and participation is an indication that we are all working towards a common goal: the prosperity of our nations and the well-being and happiness of our fellow citizens,” HE Al Mansouri said.
“FDI is a major driver of economic growth and sustainability. The world economy has seen a surge in FDI flows over the past decades, and it is clear that both developed and developing countries are working hard to develop favorable policies and incentives to attract more foreign investments. On a national level, however, we must pay greater attention to the desired outcomes and the potential gains that can be achieved, by developing improved FDI strategies, to increase productivity and enhance national competitiveness,” HE Al Mansouri said.
“In 2015, global FDI inflows increased by about 40% to $ 1.8 trillion. However, this growth did not indicate to a similar increase in productive capacity in other countries. In order to accomplish the positive outcomes that can be achieved through FDI, such as job creation, skills and knowledge transfer, nations must create a clear vision and concrete agendas for a more competitive economy,” he said.
“In contrast to 2015, FDI inflows in 2016 have shrunk to $ 1.5 trillion. This decline was more pronounced in emerging markets than in developed economies. As a result, emerging markets face increasing challenges to attract global FDI. To succeed in our efforts, decision-makers in emerging markets must recognize the different motivations and incentives of foreign investments in different sectors, which require a mix of differentiated policies to maximize the potential benefits of FDI,” HE Al Mansouri said.
“According to the ambitious economic policies adopted by the UAE and expressed by the 2021 vision of the UAE to build a competitive economy based on knowledge and innovation, the UAE has become a regional and global center for investment and business, as well as a source of huge investment flows to a large number of countries in the world,” he said.
“The UAE ranked 16th in the Global Competitiveness Report in 2016-2017, thus the most competitive position in the region. The UAE is also the largest investment-attracting country in the Middle East and North Africa region, according to UNCTAD's Global Investment Report 2016,” he said.
“This competitive position has not been achieved by chance, but instead through determination and hard work. Achieving it also required a clear vision of leadership, strategies, teams, performance indicators, continuous follow-up, learning and benefiting from the experiences of other countries, and through interaction and cooperation of the private sector in building sustainable partnerships. This is what makes the UAE the second largest Arab economy and the most diversified economy in the region,” he said.
“In order to witness sustainable economic growth, we must continue to invent ideas, create plans which did not exist previously and to always look ahead and continue to manufacture solutions to our most challenging obstacles,” he emphasised.
“In the spirit of innovation, the Annual Investment Meeting, under which we meet today, has launched the AIM Start Up Platform for entrepreneurs. This platform serves to connect promising startup companies with potential partners and investors from around the world,” he said.
“Today, the world is highly interconnected and affected by any changes happening in any part of the world. Therefore, causing some societies to stand still and feel unable to cope with these rapid changes. Thus, collective and collaborative efforts between governments and private sectors are essential to overcome the challenges and to build a secure, stable and prosperous future for the citizens of the world to live in,” he said.
“Economic openness and free markets have been an incentive for the growth of economies. Trade protectionism policies have always served short-term objectives, but their long-term implications are negative. Today, we meet to emphasize that FDI has always been a contributing factor in the development of the economies of receiving and exporting countries, and that protectionist policies would only undermine the growth of investments and would negatively impact the prosperity of the global economy,” he said.
HE Khalifa Bin Salem Al Mansouri, Acting Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Economic Development Department said: “AIM 2017 explores investment opportunities between world nations and amongst regional and international companies present at this event. The presence of a large number of dignitaries and representatives of the private sector highlights the fact that investment has become a key objective for all governments seeking to achieve their strategic goals by boosting investment opportunities in different sectors.”
“A key objective of the UAE Vision 2021 is to increase the volume of foreign investments in the country, by building strong and sustainable relations of mutual benefits between our wise government and the friendly governments and companies from around the world,” he said.
“We, in Abu Dhabi, are certain that we need international partners like you to achieve our Economic Vision 2030 that sets a clear path to achieve sustainable economic development, by introducing many development projects that are mainly connected with non-oil sectors. Thus, giving international investors the chance to benefit from them,” he said.
“I would like to share with you some key developments that have changed the current economic scene in Abu Dhabi. As you are aware, Abu Dhabi has recently been reforming its economy, focusing mainly on diversifying the economy away from dependence on oil and gas, by investing in human resources, innovation and a knowledge-based economy, in accordance with the objectives of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030,” he emphasised.
“A profound review of Abu Dhabi's economy confirms the fact that the emirate has made great strides and achieved a high level of development and diversity in a short period of time. Abu Dhabi has a fast growing economy, where the actual GDP has increased 63% from 492 billion AED in 2005, up to 780 billion AED in 2015. Our economy was, and still is, one of the region’s fastest growing economies, with an average real growth of 5% during the past decade, and an average real growth of 6.3 percent in 2015,” he said.
“Our plans and strategies in Abu Dhabi don't only take into consideration accelerating growth, but also how to achieve sustainability. In this context, the government of Abu Dhabi has launched huge development projects and large-scale industries to ensure sustainable growth and a diversified economy. The results of those efforts are shown today in the increased contribution of non- oil activities in the actual GDP which have reached 51% by the end of 2015,” he said.
“It is my pleasure to inform you that Abu Dhabi's economy is currently based on a large variety of non-oil activities, in addition to our hydrocarbon resources. Manufacturing, renewable energy, aviation and aerospace industries, banking, finance, ITC, tourism and real estate are all important elements in our economy today. Our policies, aiming to encourage foreign investment to Abu Dhabi over the past years, have yielded record numbers. The percentage of direct foreign investment in the emirate in 2016 has increased 8% to reach a total of AED 95.145 billion, compared to AED 88.095 billion in 2015,” he pointed out.
“We would also like to point out that investments in the manufacturing industries constitute 20.2% of the total direct foreign investment or AED 19,182 billion, with 11.5% growth rate from 19.5% or AED 17,204 billion in 2015,” he said.
According to data released by the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, figures concerning direct foreign investment in Abu Dhabi in 2016 have witnessed a remarkable growth in all non-oil sectors in comparison to 2015. This reflects the success of Abu Dhabi government's policies in attracting more foreign investment to the emirate.
The Annual Investment Meeting has become an important platform which provides us all with many opportunities to meet and forge strategic partnerships under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has announced its support and association to the seventh edition of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), the world-leading, emerging markets Foreign Direct Investors (FDI) platform, which will run until April 4, 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). The high-level and integrated association is expected to provide an array of dynamic business opportunities during the leading three-day exhibition. In line with this, the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has partnered with AIM as the event’s Investment Awards Sponsor while also aiming to explore potential FDI opportunities and putting strong focus on the creation and implementation of new policies and best practices to help effect more growth and development of the UAE.
“DAFZA is looking forward to its participation at this year’s edition of AIM, which is considered a strategic platform to leverage key opportunities with potential foreign investors—discussing the many benefits and advantages to be gained from setting up their businesses in the UAE. During the three-day event, we are eager to share the positive experiences and stories of multinational companies and local SMEs who have found success and growth as a result of investing in Dubai and the UAE,” said H.E Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General, DAFZA
Supported by an integrated portfolio of effective economic and investment solutions, DAFZA drew in significant foreign direct foreign investments from vital sectors. The Freezone played an economic and strategic role in promoting the attractiveness of the local investment environment, which has further strengthened Dubai’s position as the top of global investment destinations. More promising prospects are expected with the launch of the updated Strategic Plan for 2017-2021 which will implement ambitious initiatives in line with the strategies and directives of the wise leadership of the UAE.
Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) currently covers more than 20 economic sectors and aims to increase the flow of foreign direct investment through its participation at the Annual Investment Meeting. At the seventh edition of AIM, DAFZA is the Investment Awards Sponsor for the international forum.
“It gives me immense pleasure to bring to potential investors new and emerging investment opportunities across key growth sectors in the world. The forum will not only promote and drive investments and development opportunities, but also position UAE and particularly Dubai’s position as a strategic player in the development of the global economy,” said Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO, AIM’s Organising Committee.
It was noted that Dubai attracted AED 25.5 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in 2016 and succeeded in maintaining its position among the top 10 global cities in attracting foreign investment, ranking seventh worldwide. Dubai has also succeeded in attracting 247 new investment projects, which contributed to reaffirming its position as a preferred international investment destination, and stood third behind London and Singapore in new investment initiatives in 2016, as per the latest Dubai FDI Monitor report released by the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of Dubai Economy, and FT (Financial Times) fDi Markets data.
Senior government officials, global business leaders and industry experts, decision-makers from regional and global financial institutions and banks as well as investment consultants and fund managers were present in the inaugural session of the event.
Key government departments and government related entities presented their investment plans with opportunities for private sector to participate. The three-day Forum is expected to result in a number of landmark agreements amounting to significant levels of new investments, potentially generating economic growth for all participating countries.
“The Annual Investment Meeting represents an important platform for joint efforts aimed at developing and activating economic and investment relations, by creating strategic partnerships to benefit countries from all over the world. In addition, hosting this event in the UAE gives us the chance to show investors the untapped potential that exists in this and other parts of the country,” added Dawood Al Shezawi.
Topics under discussion at the forum included current investment climate, special development zones in the country and investment opportunities in participating countries among many others.
Held under the theme ‘International Investment, Path to Competitiveness & Development’, this year’s edition of AIM gathers a wide range of attendees including renowned personalities, key decision makers in industry, finance and politics from the MENA region and around the globe. The international forum is host to 100 high-level officials, 500 exhibitors and more than 100 media partners.