Dubai: After the big success of its opening day, AIM -EURASIA Digital Edition, the first ever regional focus edition of the Annual Investment Meeting, in collaboration with The Roscongress Foundation, concluded successfully today.
The two-day virtual event ended on a high note as it featured various activities that ignited opportunities for generating investments, enhancing knowledge on regional and global economic issues, and establishing local, regional and international partnerships.
Hıgh-level dignitaries participated on the second day of the event including His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs; H.E Dr Ahmed Mghawry, First Undersecretary, Head of Egyptian Commercial Service, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Arab Republic of Egypt; H.E. Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED); and H.E. Dr. Zamani Saul, Premier of the Northern Cape Provincial Government, Republic of South Africa.
In his keynote address, His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs commended the Annual Investment Meeting for its commitment to empower the SMEs in the UAE and globally.
He stated: “Throughout the years, the Annual Investment Meeting has become the world’s most promising event to reshape the business landscape and contribute to the growth of economies around the world. The platform has also paved the way for several businesses, multinational organisations and countries to focus not just on foreign direct investment, but also on other significant pillars to propel economic productivity such as the empowerment of Small & Medium-sized Enterprises in the UAE and around the world. The Annual Investment Meeting is strategically collaborating with the Roscongress Foundation to support SMEs through AIM Eurasia 2021 and to serve as an influential platform to boost the business competitiveness and value to investors across the globe.”
His Excellency Dr. Al Falasi also emphasised the opportunities that should be explored in AIM EURASIA to to boost the growth of SMEs.
He said: “Through AIM EURASIA, we will share the success stories and best practices of SMEs in the UAE based on SME policy recommendations. We also would like to utilise this event as a powerful platform to urge partnerships among countries to act towards the implementation of policy reforms for a better environment for the growth of SMEs.”
“There have been several economic stimulus measures and initiatives implemented by the UAE Government to provide for the needs of SMEs, especially during these challenging times. In AIM Eurasia, we would like to highlight the importance of government responsiveness to SME needs and facilitate the improvement of public-private dialogue at the national level in order to provide the adequate resources that allow for business continuity and growth. The event also aims to strengthen policy dialogue and steer partnership at regional level, particularly the Eurasian and Russian regions, with regard to boosting the competitiveness of SMEs.”
He furthered: “Recently, the UAE recently ranked 11th in the World Bank’s Annual Ranking in terms of ease of doing business, which demonstrates the UAE as an ideal place for business expansion, serving as highly significant news for leading investors and entrepreneurs. As the UAE offers excellent infrastructure and incentives to businesses ready to invest in the country, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all Eurasian SMEs to explore the great opportunities waiting for them in the UAE. I believe this will benefit the SMEs in both local and regional levels, consequently helping the global economy to reach greater heights.”
“Lastly, we endeavour to improve the cooperation of SME stakeholders between the Eurasian regions and the UAE through AIM Eurasia. I believe this is a perfect time to discover great innovations together, utilise the best resources, and maximise every potential, in order to address the challenges we face at present.”
H.E. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) asserted the collaborative efforts of Abu Dhabi and Russia towards uplifting the global economy, in his speech.
He stated: “Abu Dhabi has been working in close ties with Russia and making collaborative efforts to grow the global economy through inducing stability in the oil market and OPEC. Whether in trade and investment, tourism, security or outer space, the expansion of our relationship with Russia has reaped tangible benefits. Encouraging non-proliferation in the region and aligning our goals in FinTech have allowed us to mutually grow and establish a multipolar world beneficial to all. We aspire to see a strong year-over-year top-line growth in tourism, hospitality, and aviation in the year to come.”
H.E. Al Hammadi also discussed Abu Dhabi’s initiatives to diversify its economy and its efforts to help different sectors and businesses, as well as the value of establishing strong public-public private partnerships to achieve sustainable economic growth.
He said: “Further enhancing Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a thriving hub for FDI continues to be a key focus for Abu Dhabi government. From regulatory changes such as the new FDI Licence – which enables foreign investors to own 100% of their business without the need for a local partner or to operate within a business free zone, to incentives for grass-roots startups scaling innovative ideas, we support investors at every level. In fact, we aim to further boost our FDI by 15% through policy changes that attract new businesses.”
“Startups and entrepreneurs continue to be a vital part of Abu Dhabi’s plan to diversify its economy and advance the shift towards a knowledge-based model. With this in mind, a range of incentives are available to growing businesses. In particular, Abu Dhabi government has increased its support for companies innovating in high-productivity sectors such as agtech, healthech, edtech and fintech.”
“As part of those plans, the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) recently launched its AED2bn (US$544m) Innovation Programme, with a remit to support companies operating in sectors of the future such as agtech, financial services, information and communications technology (ICT), health services and biopharma and tourism – in addition to agtech. At the same time, through incubators such as Hub71, innovative, tech-focused startups are being given the best chance to succeed and scale, with access to a generous incentive programme and an enabling environment where investors, accelerators and experts come together.”
“As part of the accelerator programme Ghadan 21, businesses can take advantage of a flexible, easy-to-navigate licensing system. Meanwhile, the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme provides access to renewable financing options and increased liquidity.”
“In Abu Dhabi, we also recognise the value of strong public-public private partnerships as a key driver of sustainable economic growth. In support of this, in September last year ADIO issued new public-private procurement regulations, which encourage greater private sector investment in the delivery of public sector infrastructure assets and services across Abu Dhabi.”
Day 2’s Conference Sessions, which were led by high-level speakers from different nations and international organisations, also became the highlights of the event. The FDI Session focused on “Special Economic Zones Role in Economic Development of CIS Region” which discussed the role of SEZ regime in the future as a resilient, adaptable and innovative option for industrial growth in CIS Region, growth in green and sustainable design and operation of SEZs, and SEZs as adopters of Digitisation and 4th Industrial Revolution at scale.
The SME Session discussed “Building Anti-Crisis Ecosystems for SMEs Resurgence and Sustainable Growth” highlighting how the global economic shifts affect the ecosystems for SMEs to develop, and how SMEs can form the right partners who can help access markets globally and navigate through the crisis.
“Edtech: Revolutionizing the Education & Training Industry” was tackled at the Startup Session to examine the current market trends of edtech in the region, edtech innovations and what’s after virtual learning or virtual classrooms.
“Sustainable Finance in Russia and the CIS” was highlighted at the FPI Session which sought to understand the importance of ESG (Environmental, social, and governance) investment and how this can be further developed in the region.
The session under Future Cities talked about “Revamping the Intelligent Transportation System for Urban Mobility Enhancement” which highlighted the rise of environmentally friendly urban mobility solutions and integrated shared mobility, measures taken by city governments and private organizations to reduce the overall congestions, the benefits and accuracy of AI, Big Data & Machine Learning when it comes to gathering intel; and deployment of autonomous transportation and the role of humans in a connected and automated world.
The One Belt, One Road session entitled “The Belt and Road Suggests the New Era of Investment in Eurasia” discussed the vision and prospects for further investment in Greater Eurasia Region, the investment accomplishments and trends in infrastructure, agriculture, healthcare, and technology sectors along the Belt and Road, and the potential for economic integration development in the new era.
Workshops sessions were also held on Day 2 of the regional focus edition. The workshop, “How to Develop Successful Smart City Model (The Case of Skolkovo Innovation City)” discussed the development of innovative technologies for smart cities and explored Skolkovo’s Innovation Centre that ensures optimal conditions for research and business as well as create a rich and aesthetically appealing urban environment.
The workshop session, “Special Economic Zones in boosting Sustainable Economic Recovery” tackled global FDI trends and opportunities, how SEZs foster sustainable trade and investment, new types of SEZs, as well as global best practices.
The Investment Destination Presentations featured countries namely Northern Cape South Africa, Azerbaijan and Moscow, which was led by H.E. Sergey Cheremin, Moscow City Government Minister, Head of Department for External Economic and International Relations; and Alexander Prokhlov, Head of the Department of Investment and Industrial Policy of Moscow.
The AIM Eurasia Startup Presentation also took place which was participated by the leading startups from different countries in a bid to help startups maximize their opportunity to attract funding and pitch their business ideas to a global audience.