Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) unveils its Agenda from March 29 to April 1

UAE Ministry of Economy: “The activity-packed schedule supports foreign investment inflow globally.”

Dubai, UAE, 14 February 2015: The UAE Ministry of Economy, which is hosting the 5th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) at the Dubai international Convention and Exhibition Center from March 30 to April 1, 2015, has unveiled its agenda for the three-day activity-packed event.

His Excellency Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy – Foreign Trade sector said that the program is packed with activities and meetings focused on accelerating investments globally, especially since the UAE plays a key role in the international economy.

Al Saleh added that the schedule was carefully prepared to cover all topics related to Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) including factors and challenges facing it globally.

Mr. Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO, AIM’s Organizing Committee said that as the forum is themed on “Sustainable Development through FDI Induced Innovation and Technology Transfer” innovation would top the agenda.

Al Shezawi added: “AIM 2015 will kick off on 29th March with a pre-conference workshop for professional investors. The workshop on “The role of Investment Promotion Agencies in promoting innovation” will be moderated by Andreas Dressler, Managing Director of Terrain Consulting and David East, Senior Vice President of Conway Data Inc. It will be followed by another workshop entitled ‘The eligibility of the private sector for Islamic Finance Mechanism,’ aimed at high-end industries.

The official inauguration of AIM will take place on 30th March 2015, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.

The first day will also include the release of the 2nd edition of AIM Annual FDI Report by Dr Karl P. Sauvant, Resident Senior Fellow, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, Columbia Law School – Earth Institute, USA. The annual publication of the Annual Investment Meeting will be launched highlighting the general theme of the conference and revealing the latest trends in FDI globally and regionally in particular in growing markets. A special focus will be on the competitiveness of fast growth markets and key opportunities and challenges they have to face in a fast moving and unpredictable world.

The report will be followed by the first Plenary Session, a Global Leaders’ Debate. This session includes business leaders, senior public officials and heads of international institutions and academia representing some major stakeholders of the international investment community.

The second Plenary Session entitled “Policy Options for the Promotion of Innovation and Technology Transfer through FDI” will shed light on the policies that are needed in both host and home countries, at national and international levels to encourage technology transfer and dissemination through FDI.

The session, chaired by Capital Finance International (CFI) representative, will feature international thought leaders such as Khosh Choksy, Vice-President of Turkey and Middle-East Affairs, US Chamber of Commerce.

The third Plenary Session entitled “Innovation in the global factory — the role of global value chains” will explain how global value chains (GVCs) are reshaping the geography of global business.

This session will be led by the OECD and will explore the implications for firms and governments, such as how MNEs surf on the waves of the global factory model, which allows the company to significantly reduce its exposure to international risk (through a significant reduction in its FDI) while maintaining their presence in international markets.

The second day of the conference will see three parallel sessions, the first one on FDI in Healthcare Services.

Walid Farghal, Director General, Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Organising Committee said: “We have decided to bring the topic of investment in healthcare services to the discussion table, especially since it has been growing tremendously in the past decade.”

He added: “The second session will be about FDI in education and skills development, salient trends and best practices. It will discuss ways and means to enhance the technological contribution of foreign firms and how important education and skills’ development are in this process.”

This session will be attended by representatives from UNESCO as well International Labor Organization (ILO) and other relevant institutions.

The third parallel session on New Developments in FDI in the Energy Sector will discuss the fall in oil prices with US shale gas and slowing demand from China and Europe. It will discuss implications for the global economy and growing economies in general and for the Middle East in particular.

Commenting on the Ministerial Roundtable, Al Shezawi said: “The second day at the Ministerial Roundtable will be the occasion for ministers from around 8 different countries and regions to share their views on the overall theme of the conference and the policies they would like to see enforced at the international level.”

Al Shezawi added: “The conclusions of the ministers will be compiled by the AIM Organizing Committee and analyzed to serve as a basis for the preparation of a final document reflecting the views of all ministers present. This document will be issued as an official outcome of the Roundtable for action and follow-up, and can be referred to as “AIM 2015 Ministerial Declaration on Investment”.

AIM will also throw light on EXPO 2020, to be hosted by Dubai and its impact on attracting bulk investments. A fourth session will be organized during the second day about EXPO 2020 and will feature talks for representatives from UAE government departments and representatives from companies investing in EXPO 2020 projects.

On the second day, a fifth Plenary Session will be organized on trends in national and international FDI policies and implications for national policy makers and IPAs.

The sixth Plenary Session will focus on leveraging FDI for technology transfer and diffusion and showcasing successful country case studies.

The seventh Plenary Session will be on the development of high-end industries, underlying factors behind a success story in China and the Asian Tigers.

Farghal added: “China has made impressive progress in technology intensive and high-end manufacturing. This raises questions as what has made this possible and how Chinese manufacturers obtained access to modern technology. This has been achieved through the process of technology transfer, a process by which technology, knowledge, skills and manufacturing methodologies are transferred from countries or companies to a given country allowing its economy to move up the manufacturing value-chain.”

This session will see discussion with representatives from China, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia as well as representatives from Huawei, the giant Chinese company.

The third day (Wednesday, 1st April 2015) will continue with a fourth parallel session on FDI in agriculture and technological advances. This session will be led by Sun Business Strategies & Research (SBSR) to discuss the latest innovative business and investment strategies as well technologies that are being developed in Africa for the success of agricultural practices.

Farghal added:”This session will be attended by the General Director of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the Nigerian Agriculture Minister Akinwumi Adesina and Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, among other experts.”

The fifth parallel session, moderated by Investment Consulting Associates (ICA), will discuss FDI in logistics and mining while another parallel session will focus on incentives and asset-seeking FDI, and the new rules of the game.

The eighth Plenary Session will be on corporate strategies and FDI determinants for the establishment of high-end industries and how to attract R&D-related FDI and integrate global knowledge networks.

The ninth Plenary Session will be on Investment promotion strategies to foster technology transfer and know-how and best practices, featuring selected case studies, examining the importance of marketing a country and how to run successful promotion campaigns to attract targeted FDI that would bring new technological processes and management know-how in various sectors.

Al Shezawi added: “The concluding discussion will showcase the innovative trade and investment opportunities in emerging markets, especially in countries in Africa, Asia and elsewhere, which are experiencing a new wave of innovative start-ups, often focused on making real technological breakthrough adapted to their own economic and social needs.”

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