Ministry of Economy announces the completion of its preparations for hosting the annual Investment Forum 2015

Abdullah Al Saleh: “AIM 2015 enjoys direct support of the leadership and we expect an extraordinary outcome”

Dawood Al Shezawi: “Signing investment agreements and joint cooperation between countries and between investors from private and public sector”

“Saudi Arabia named ‘Country of Honor”

  •  Launch of the first integrated  investors area to review opportunities and the development of new projects and agreements
  •  AIM to host Ministerial Roundtable for 67 ministers and deputy ministers from around the world to discuss FDI topics
  •  Launch of FDI Annual Report on day one
  •  AIM features participation of 7 international organizations
  •  Ten Country Presentations during the first two days
  •  Twenty  Sponsors and Partners for AIM 2015

Dubai, UAE, 10th March 2015: Under the directive of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, UAE Ministry of Economy announced today that all preparations for the 5th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) are complete.

Speaking on behalf of H.E Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, H.E. Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy, Foreign Trade Sector, at a press conference announced that the stage is set the 5th edition of Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) from 30 March – 1 April 2015 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Al Saleh said the UAE Ministry of Economy was proud to host AIM 2015, and hailed the organizational efforts of the ministry’s teams to hold such a prestigious international event in the UAE.

HE Al Saleh, while speaking of the UAE’s economic role in the world, said the UAE had become an investment gateway for Africa and Asia and added that AIM would be a perfect platform to boost investments with the world, via the UAE. He elaborated that holding AIM in Dubai is a direct chance for investors, government delegations and private institutions. AIM will also shed light closely on the country’s economic status.

Mr. Dawood Al Shezawi, CEO, AIM’s Organizing Committee, said that AIM 2015 is themed on “Sustainable Development through FDI Induced Innovation and Technology Transfer”, highlighted the role of innovation in investment in general and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), in particular, in driving economic growth.

Al Shezawi revealed that AIM 2015 has named Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the ‘Country of Honor’ for this year’s event.

He said that Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) will oversee Saudi companies’ participation in AIM and the companion exhibition.

He added: “The move is part of an ongoing collaboration between the two countries and a shared vision on supporting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and technology transfer in regional economies. As part of the cooperation, SAGIA has invited its affiliates and companies operating under its umbrella to participate in AIM 2015 which is being held under the theme ‘Sustainable Development through FDI Induced Innovation and Technology Transfer’.”

“I am pleased to announce that Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has been named Strategic Partner of the 5th edition of the event. EGA is considered a major supporter of the national economy and has become a global giant in the production of aluminium in a very record time,” said Al Saleh.

Dubai World Central – DWC, Saud Bahwan Group from Oman and King Abdullah Economic City are Diamond Sponsors and Abu Dhabi Department for Economic Development is AIM’s Gold Sponsor.

This edition has also attracted six Silver Sponsors including Dubai Trade, GET Holdings, Japan External Trade Organization, Jordan Chamber of Commerce, Philippines Board of Investments and Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).

Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) and Alliance Financial Group from the USA are the Gala Dinner Sponsor, the evening that will gather the most prominent figures of the international delegations including Ministers, Heads of business councils and chambers of commerce and elite participants.

Moreover, Islamic Corporation for Private Sector Development is named a strategic partner Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) is the Multilateral Strategic and Dubai FDI is the Official Supporting partner for Investment Promotion Agencies . UPS is the Official Courier Partner and Emirates Airlines was named the Official Airline Carrier.

He added: “We consider its strategic partnership with AIM as a symbol of its support to innovation and this move will highlight the significance of industrial investment worldwide.”

Al Saleh said that as organisers AIM 2015, the ministry realized that investment needs continuous innovation and updates on legislation and laws. It requires a combination of local and international efforts to exchange expertise and insights on ways to develop FDI operations. This direct interaction between investors and host countries will help surmount investment obstacles and facilitate investment inflow in host countries.

At the press conference, Al Saleh revealed that the UAE Ministry of Economy is setting up a new integrated Investors’ Zone within AIM 2015 for more direct investment deals in a more cordial setting. The Investors’ Zone is sponsored by National Holding.

Al Saleh said: “The Investors’ Zone is dedicated to investors interested in meeting prospective clients and AIM participants, for facilitating on the spot transactions.”

He added: “The Ministry is introducing this concept for the first time at AIM, as part of a strategy to encourage innovation and creativity in investment cycle, and to boost relations between foreign investors and host country. This area will boast a proper environment for concluding deals.”

“The concept reflects the maturity of AIM, supported by a strong and diverse investment base in the UAE. Investors’ Zone will encourage more investors to expand their portfolio in existing locations and explore new ones,” added HE Al Saleh.

MoE has invited a wide range of investors and businessmen to participate in The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Exhibition 2015 that will feature in its three-day event all the different industry projects and services catered for the investment growth of various participating developing regions. The exhibition recorded major local and international participations from 44 countries.

Al Shezawi confirmed that this year agenda includes 10 Plenary Sessions that will witness participation of more than 100 speakers, amongst them experts, government representatives, academics, economists and researchers as well as wide range of investors and businessmen. Registered country representatives, investment promotion officials and delegates will have the opportunity to meet, direct questions and seek guidance on specific issues of concern to them in the conduct of their business to highly professional investment experts who will be available at AIM.”

AIM 2015 will kick off on 29th March 2015 by a pre-conference workshop targeted for professional investors about capacities and potential of FDI titled FDI Capacity Workshop for Investment Promotion Professionals: “The role of Investment Promotion Agencies in promoting innovation” and 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 titled The eligibility of the private sector for Islamic Finance Mechanism especially for attracting high-end industries. Rudolph Waels, Director, Head of Direct Investments & Financing Department, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, Farid Masmoudi, Director and Global Head of the Business Development and Partnerships Department, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Professor Dr. Mohamad Azmi Omar, Director General, Islamic Research and Training Institute, Islamic Development Bank Group and Harith Harun, Managing Director and CEO of Maldives Islamic Bank will be main speakers at this workshop.

Regarding AIM 2015 agenda, Al Saleh says that the first day of the meeting will witness the launch of FDI Annual Report by Dr Karl P. Sauvant, Resident Senior Fellow, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, Columbia Law School – Earth Institute, USA. The report will shed light on the importance of the forum and its economic investment values. It will also highlight the latest trends in FDI globally and regionally with special focus on emerging markets. The report will focus in particular on the competitiveness of the fast-growing markets, its opportunities and challenges.

As the event is focused on “Sustainable Development through FDI Induced Innovation and Technology Transfer”. and aims to support FDIs, the first public Plenary Session will be about FDI, according to Al Saleh who said it will witness participation of international officials and experts.

He pointed out during the press conference, that the AIM will throw light on the role of FDI in technology and encourage innovation transfer, giving case studies on the cutting-edge technology transfer through FDI, as the case in the UAE where technology transfer effectively developed, not only on the theoretical side.

The first plenary Session at AIM 2015 will include business leaders, senior public officials and heads of international institutions and academia representing some major stakeholders of the international investment community. The debate will be focused on the overall theme of the conference to discuss and share views and lessons learnt as well as present their personal assessment on how to invest in growth and to find sustainable solutions to further the cause of development in times of an economic revival.

The second Plenary Session is titled” “Policy options for the promotion of innovation and technology transfer through FDI” and it 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 will bring to the spot light the importance of a clearly-defined strategy and the right mix of policy instruments and business conditions in host countries The session will discuss and draw lessons from successful cases to highlight best practice policy frameworks for enhancing technological and innovative contributions of global firms in the context of host developing countries. It will also consider the potential effects of home country policies.

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

The third Plenary Session will be titled: “Innovation in the global factory — the role of global value chains” as organizers of AIM stress that Global value chains (GVCs) are reshaping the geography of global business and the international boundaries of the firm. In their operations, multinational enterprises (MNEs) increasingly replace ownership with manufacturing contracts and other non-equity forms of international organization (such as services outsourcing, contract farming, franchising and licensing). One of the major implications of this has been a relaxation of the historically close relationship between firm-specific advantages, including innovation, and ownership. Historically one of the principal means of protecting firm-specific advantages was to ‘internalise’ these advantages within the boundaries of the firm. In the global factory, firms rely more on legal and other external means of protecting their firm-specific advantages. As far as R&D is concerned, companies can outsource it beyond their home country to speed up innovation and product development, to gather local knowledge in a market where they have, or are building, a significant presence, and/or for the cost savings. This session will be led by the OECD and will explore the implications for firms and governments.

A High-Level Strategic Networking Cocktail dedicated to senior high level representatives from government, private sector, academia and social society to allow them to meet, network, exchange ideas and conduct business in a confidential and comfortable environment.

The second day of the conference will see three parallel sessions; the first one is titled FDI in Healthcare Services.

The topic of investment in health care services will be brought to the table of discussion especially that it has been growing tremendously in the past decade. One of the sessions in this topic will discuss the determinants for attracting investment in this key sector and will answer questions like what are the implications of such investments on growth market. It will also shed light on some of these important elements and present successful country case studies highlighting specific location advantages.

The second session on this topic 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. A Skilled Workforce is key building strong, sustainable and balanced Growth.

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

The third Parallel Session is titled New Developments in FDI in the Energy Sector where it will discuss the collapse in oil prices with US shale gas and slowing demand from China and Europe, implications for the global economy and growing economies in general and for the Middle East in particular are immense. This is perhaps the biggest structural change in the world economy since the rise of China. This key parallel session will look at some of these key developments and examine their far-reaching implications on emerging markets.

Al Saleh, elaborated that the innovation will have a substantial share of debates during AIM 2015, as it has links with FDI. He said that many foreign investments would become innovation incubators giving benefit to both investors and host countries alike.

Al Saleh said that innovation is a key focus in the UAE and it comes in line with the UAE Government’s strategy that 2015 will be the year of innovation under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.

Agriculture and industry are the main sectors to be discussed at AIM 2015 this year, according to Al Saleh. This will benefit countries with huge land areas and limited investments capabilities. It would bring them benefits like developing agriculture and land reclamation to achieve food sufficiency and move to export, with increase in national employment.

Industrial investment will also be a main topic discussion at AIM 2015, considering its importance in supporting the national GDP and its role in technology transfer and innovation. He cited the example of the UAE moving away from strong reliance on oil for revenue.

Al Saleh also pointed out that SMEs will be a major topic at AIM this year, and the role of FDI in supporting its business. He said SMEs need a support that only FDI can provide, given its important value to the whole economy in terms of creating job vacancies and establishing hubs for innovation and creativity.

On its last day, AIM will feature a special session for SMEs and start-ups entitled “The New wave of Innovative Start-Ups in Growing Markets”. It will bring to the limelight a number of these companies to showcase their new innovative entrepreneurial activities and get connected with investors and venture capitalists in search for lucrative investment opportunities.

The last day will also include a closing session attended by representatives of OECD to announce AIM 2015 recommendations.

Ten Country Presentations, under the theme of “Promotion of targeted Investment Opportunities especially technology driven projects”, will feature government recognized proposals delivered by stakeholders and will provide attending financiers with a fact and figure checked perspective on ongoing and future projects. The presentations will feature speakers form KSA, Philippines, Jordan, China Senegal, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Cameroon. The expected outcome of the AIM Country Presentations is to present audiences with limitless opportunities and the chance to create solid bonds in a dedicated environment and stimulate investment and project financing in sustainable business ventures and building conclusive partnerships.

Al Shezawi added: “A special ceremony will be held for the signature of cooperation agreements and memoranda of understanding concluded by governments or with private sector representatives.”

And will also be the last day of the conference wrap-up session that representatives of the OECD Economic Cooperation and Development, the organization attended the event where they will be the announcement of the recommendations that will graduate its conferees.

Elaborating on the Ministerial Roundtable, speakers at the press conference said that this roundtable will be the occasion for 67 ministers and deputy ministers participating in the event to share their views on the overall theme of AIM and the policies they would like to see enforced at the international level or any concrete actions or recommendations they would like to convey to an international body.

The conclusions of the ministers will be compiled by AIM Organizing Committee and analyzed to serve as a basis for the preparation of a consensus 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”.

The concluding discussion of AIM 2015 will showcase the innovative trade and investment opportunities in emerging markets especially that many countries in Africa, Asia and elsewhere are now experiencing a new wave of innovative start-ups emerging, often focused on making real technological breakthrough adapted to their own economic and social needs in addition to profit and economic returns.

HE Al Saleh expected that AIM 2015 will be exceptional, being held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, as HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is expected to attend its opening session.

MoE has invited international delegations to visit the Dubai Government Achievements Exhibition (DGAE 2015) which is being held concurrently with AIM. Two tours will be organized, one to the DGAE for catching glimpses of achievements of several government departments and agencies in Dubai on the final two days of AIM, and the other to the AIM exhibition taking place alongside the meeting. The planned tours reflect the ministry’s drive to demonstrate to prominent AIM delegates the achievements of government departments of Dubai as well as the federal and regional entities.

Seven International organisations will participate at AIM this year including Sustainable Energy for All, UN-Energy INSEAD, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), ESCWA Technology Centre, International Trade Centre (ITC), The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

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