Under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the Ministry of Foreign Trade is organizing the third edition of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) scheduled from April 30th until May 2nd at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Center (DICEC). With the participation of 80 countries and around 5000 investors and businessmen from the region and the world, the meeting is set to offer participants the opportunity for promoting and identifying available investment opportunities as well as identifying investment opportunities available in the participating countries.
This edition will be focused on the future of the global economy, the implications that are expected for direct foreign investments as well as growth prospects in emerging markets. AIM has been witnessing an increasing importance since its inception two years ago as the world currently faces political, economical and financial challenges that require word leaders to discuss obstacles that could be imposed by these challenges in the face of the flow of direct foreign investments while focusing on growth prospects in emerging markets at a time when the global economic power is moving from the West to the East.
Discussions shall assess the potential capacities of emerging markets as well as the long-term viability of future economic growth through increased investments and foreign trade. Discussions will also focus on matters related to successful policies and frameworks in order to overcome the challenges faced by a global economy that is dominated by recession and make growth and development prospects less negative.
Commenting on this, H.E. Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade said: “the Annual Investment Meeting is in line with the ministry’s continuous approach to adopt innovative initiatives and programs that would improve the UAE’s reputation at the regional and international levels as one of the leading countries in the Middle East”.
“The United Arab Emirates adopts an open door policy to attract foreign investments and the central government is taking the necessary steps to establish the rules that facilitate investments. This is the reason why the UAE was ranked second among Arab countries attracting foreign investments in the last decade after Saudi Arabia which was ranked first, according to the latest report issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)”, she added.
“Foreign direct investments (FDI) flowing into the UAE amounted to US$ 7.7 billion (approx. €5.93 billion) of the total amount of FDI to GCC countries, which was US$ 26 billion (approx. €20 billion) in 2011 - according to the World Investment Report 2012 issued by the UNCTAD. This is an additional incentive to push us to work better on offering the suitable environment to double this number in the years to come by taking advantage of the UAE’s competitive advantages at the global level”, she continued.
“The Annual Investment Meeting is a unique opportunity for investors to gather and study the current investment opportunities in emerging markets. It is designed as a unique platform where international investors interested in viable innovative projects and long term investments meet with businessmen and decision makers from many world countries. Many foreign companies and investors consider the UAE as a safe haven for investments at a time when other countries in the region are witnessing political and security turmoil. The UAE is safe and is politically stable. It also has a strong infrastructure and is considered a leading hub for trade, logistics and services in the region. Furthermore, it provides an encouraging investment environment that helps foreign companies and investors to develop their trade and investment activities in the country and expand their businesses in the markets of the region and the world starting from the UAE.” she said.
She also pointed out that the UAE is ranked fourth, globally, in EC Harris Built Asset Consultancy’s ‘Infrastructure Investment Index’, which is a report that ranks 40 countries across the globe according to how attractive they are to infrastructure funds.
“There are significant and radical changes in the source, direction and flow of foreign direct investments. According to the World Investment Report 2012 issued by the UNCTAD, the global rate of FDI in 2011 has exceeded the average that was registered prior to the economic crisis, reaching USD 1.5 trillion (approx. €1.15 trillion) despite the challenges facing the global economy. Whereas the rate of FDI increased in 2011 amongst economic blocks, developing countries attracted 45% of global investments”, H.E. Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi concluded.
Heads of State, Ministers of Trade and Industry, financiers and academics from Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Gulf and international organizations such as the World Bank, the World Trade Center, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations World tourism Organization (UNWTO) as well as food and agriculture international organizations are getting ready to participate in this high level event which has been gaining more importance since its inception.