22 April 2013 - The UAE has become a strategic hub for foreign investments and major international companies thanks to its solid economic fundamentals and wise policies pursued to stress on openness, diversity and flexibility. The investment community sees the UAE as a first class destination.
His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, said that the third edition of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) which is organized by the Ministry in cooperation with Strategic Marketing and Exhibition promises to be a rich and unique experience. Some 30 Ministers, CEOs and Chairmen of the Board of many leading companies and investors will all gather here. AIM is a platform for open discussions for 2000 participants from all around the world who will also take part in a thought leadership conference during the event.
A new feature introduced in AIM 2013 third edition is the Tripartite High-Level Meeting (THLM) which involves major stakeholders of the international trade and investment community. Around 84 participating countries will have the chance to make presentations about investment opportunities and environment at their respective countries.
The THLM will include such as senior policy makers, business executives, representatives of multilateral agencies as well as world renowned experts from research centres and academia. Our mission is to drive for greater exchanges and dialogue to, not only identify common solutions but also, create improved coordination and policy coherence through concerted efforts to stimulate trade and investment and improve collaboration and regional cooperation.
The 3rd edition of AIM will see participants enjoying site visits and networking events all juxtaposed with cultural happenings in a Gala Dinner & an Investment Awards Ceremony that are being introduced for the first time at the event.
Al Mansouri noted that the AIM will provide, not only an in-depth analysis of global trade and investment trends and major policy developments therein, but it will also feature a series of sessions focusing on policy responses to reignite growth, foreign investment policies, strategies and objectives of sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) and fiscal policies and investment incentives in a fiercely competitive world where we see some harmful trade practices such as dumping and protectionism.
HE Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri said the AIM will also highlight views regarding double taxation treaties and their impacts on foreign direct investment along with mergers and acquisitions. The meeting will focus on the best practices regarding the investment strategies in recession period and success stories to showcase the best investment projects.
A special focus will be made on investment in specific regions such as in Africa, the new frontier and in Asia, the global pole of economic growth as well as an investment day in the United Arab Emirates with the exceptional presence of Highflyers, the crown jewels of the country's dynamic and thriving private sector, says Al Mansouri.
A new feature introduced in AIM 2013 third edition is the Tripartite High-Level Meeting involving major stakeholders of the international trade and investment community such as senior policy makers, business executives, representatives of multilateral agencies as well as world renowned experts from research centres and academia, according to the Minister of Economy. Our mission is to drive for greater exchanges and dialogue to, not only identify common solutions for challenges facing developed and developing nations, concluded Al Mansouri.
Mariam Kamshad, Marketing Coordinator at Kuwait Foreign Investment Bureau said that AIM has succeeded in this upcoming third edition to provide the right forum for IPAs to discuss FDI related issues and trends, network, meet potential investors and industry experts, as well as listen to prominent personalities. Dubai, under the visionary leadership of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has successfully positioned itself as a leading FDI location in various sectors with services and creative industries on top, according to Kamshad.
The KFIB will portray Kuwait's investment climate and existing potential as an attractive investment hub with 14 open economic sectors for FDI in Kuwait and several incentives and guarantees offered for interested investors.
Kamshad noted that KFIB's primary interest is to participate in the Exhibition, but we shall hopefully try to attend part of the summit's sessions, and plan to undertake field visits.
AIM is expected to have a commendable impact on the regional and global arena at these difficult times in the aftermath of the global crisis. It is expected to be a viable venue for facilitating engagement through various channels leading to closer interaction amongst various stakeholders. The ultimate result would be conducive to enhance cross border FDI based on available investment opportunities offered by participating IPAs. This is all offered in an amicable, welcoming, and top professional environment, concluded the Marketing Coordinator at Kuwait Foreign Investment Bureau.
Marios Tannousis, the Senior Investment Promotion Officer at Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) described the AIM as an emerging market-led conference that has managed to become one of the most important and successful fairs for the promotion of foreign direct investment (FDI) and international trade. The 3-day event combines conferences, workshops, one-on-one meetings and exhibitions and provides a plethora of opportunities for networking and meeting key industry players and decision makers. It also provides a perfect platform for the exchange of ideas on current economic development and investment issues as well as the conception of new investment projects.
He emphasized that the UAE's and especially Dubai's transformation and economic success can be used as a model for other nations in the years to come. It has seen unparalleled growth in size and infrastructure and has managed to establish itself as one of the major investment hubs for many economic sectors including tourism, logistics, shipping, financial services and construction.
Tannousis noted that CIPA will provide an overview of Cyprus as an investment destination with focus on banking & financial services, investment funds, shipping, energy, large real estate development projects and resorts as well as in other sectors such as education, medical and wellness tourism, ICT, innovation and research and development.
CIPA aims to provide participants with practical recommendations on doing business in Cyprus as related to the already mentioned economic sectors. In addition to explaining how CIPA can help interested investors to implement investment plans and assists in networking and creating new relations and co-operation with other countries.
About their agenda in Dubai, CIPA aims to derive value by having a booth at exhibition hall in prime location and to make a presentation about Cyprus along with holding Business 2 Business one-on-one meetings with selective investors. CIPA will also participate in panel discussions and to benefit from networking opportunities.
Tannousis reiterated that the AIM attracts very high profile attendance (e.g. high level government officials, leading financial and other organisations, representatives from trade and investment communities). The event can assist in the correct exchange of information among key decision makers who maybe seeking for realistic and reliable investment opportunities. The interaction among government officials, successful investors and other facilitators can most definitely assist in restoring confidence and certainty and provide the necessary momentum to bring economies back to the right path towards growth and economic prosperity through investments. It will also offer the opportunity to share best practices and success stories than can prove to be catalytic for future economic development according to him.
On his part, Clermont Muñoz, Director of Investment Promotion PRO ECUADOR said over the last few years, the AIM, as an event has grown tremendously and its ability to share critical foreign direct investment intelligence and facilitate global partnerships for the benefit of all the participants is second to none in the region. We are hence delighted to be here as a first-time speaker and exhibitor at the conference. With various initiatives being undertaken by Dubai – UAE, including the ongoing expansion plans of its world-class port, road infrastructure and the imminent UAE national railway project, apart from its geocentric location and connectivity in the MENA Region, this is the place to be, Muñoz noted.
During the AIM, Muñoz said PRO ECUADOR will introduce YACHAY project, as a new hub for science, technology, and innovation, compared to other great innovation centers of the world will be presented. YACHAY is an entire, extensive city that is the first planned 'City of Knowledge', not only in Ecuador, but in all of Latin America. Other projects to be presented are the construction of a shipyard in the region of Posorja Sur, a new plant for clinker production at “Cementos Chimborazo”, an Ecuadorian cement-producing company and concession of parcels of land at different airports operated by the Ecuadorian Civil Aviation Authority, among the main projects.
According to him, the AIM is expected to provide a platform to gain immense knowledge on the country and the region at large through its various activities as well as networking opportunities over the 3-day event. Investors attending the AIM and having the opportunity to visit key areas and business/government entities in the country will be in a position to analyze UAE's huge potential, as an investment destination serving the entire MENA region. The Middle East and Africa region is currently one of the few economies in the world that have recovered quickly from the 2008-2009 downturn and have in fact recorded fairly encouraging growth in the last 3 years compared to other countries. Much of the businesses in the West are looking at this region to be able to revive their business fortunes which were affected by the recession in those countries. Thus AIM's impact is expected to reach far beyond the confines of the region and thereby play a major role in reshaping the world economy.
Matej Skocir, Head of Division for Foreign Direct Investment and internalization at SPIRIT Slovenia public agency said that AIM can impact the local and global economy by getting the right people together through exhibition, individual networking and conference presentations. He added that SPIRIT Slovenia considers Annual Investment Meeting as an opportunity, where presenting Slovenia as an interesting investment location and attractive tourism destination. Slovenia will be presenting investment projects in health care and tourism.
Our main objectives are introducing Slovenia and general Slovenian investment climate to the AIM's audience, establishing trust and building long-lasting relationship among investment community as well as establishing new contacts.
Najib Saadoun, Senior Consultant at the Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency (HITA) said based on the past experiences; I think AIM is very successful investment event. Every year a lot of countries are trying to use it to positioning themselves on the world investment map. Dubai is the most suitable place to organize this important event.
As a state agency, HITA will promote Hungary as a target country for FDI. Beside that the Hungarian delegation will introduce multi sector projects. A Hungarian state minister will participate in the event with economic delegation. Many B2B meeting with investors have been scheduled in our agenda. Saadoun noted that the AIM is a chance to use for better economic relationships between the countries.