Dubai: The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), successfully launched Day 1 of AIM-EURASIA Digital Edition, its first ever regional focus edition, on Tuesday, in collaboration with The Roscongress Foundation – a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international events in Russian Federation.
With the focus of supporting the EURASIA Region and strengthening the trade relations between UAE and EURASIA countries, the Annual Investment Meeting through its six pillars namely Foreign Direct Investment, Small & Medium Enterprises, Future Cities, Startups, Foreign Portfolio Investment and One Belt, One Road concluded Day 1 with a prestigious gathering of top government officals and reputable speakers from different nations and international organisations.
The first day witnessed the participation of an impressive lineup of leading high-level dignitaries from the UAE and EURASIAN regions, including His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State of Foreign Trade; H.E. Rustam Minnikhanov, President, Republic of Tatarstan; His Excellency Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister-of-State, United Arab Emirates; H.E. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED)
In the Opening Ceremony, H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State of Foreign Trade, underlined the UAE’s commitment to strengthen its strategic partnership with EURASIAN regions to achieve shared goals of economic development and prosperity.
“Today’s dialogue is an important milestone in the strategic partnership between the UAE and the Eurasia region, and reflects the critical need for governments and business to work together to accelerate digital adoption for global economic recovery and growth. The UAE and Eurasia share a longstanding relationship, with strong economic ties. In fact, the total value of the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade with the Eurasia region reached over 17 billion US dollars and grew by 23% between 2017 and 2019. Today’s meeting occurs at one of the most opportune times for investment in the UAE economy, as our country transitions towards a more diversified, competitive economic landscape, based on knowledge and innovation.”
H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi also cited various trade and investment opportunities that are worth exploring in the region.
“The UAE and Eurasia are already working together in science, technology, artificial intelligence, aviation, and healthcare, and there is great potential to expand collaboration in these areas. The digital economy in particular is a promising area for investors from Eurasian countries to explore as the UAE is prioritizing digital transformation and has launched innovative policies to attract new investments. And, as the UAE continues to down the path of economic diversification, we are working to stimulate investments in other priority sectors as well, including petrochemicals, manufacturing and industries, renewable energy, space, Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, education, healthcare, and innovation, to name a few. We are also developing other sectors, such as retail and e-commerce, agricultural technology, entertainment and games, information and communications technology, financial technology, and logistics services, presenting many new investment opportunities for Eurasian countries.”
He added, “The UAE believes that increased partnership and cooperation with governments and the private sector will be key to building a stronger and more resilient post-COVID economy. As such, platforms such as today’s AIM Eurasia platform will be instrumental to bridging the gap between our economies and supporting global efforts to strengthen international trade and investment.”
The Conference sessions featured different topics serving as a great advantage for stakeholders to share expert insights on strategic initiatives related to the economic outlook in the region. Under the FDI pillar, the first session tackled the “Role of IPAs During and Post COVID” which seeks to discover the roles that IPAs played during the pandemic and the learnings IPAs will be taking with them in a post COVID world.
The SME session discussed “Resilient Financing System for SMEs and Entrepreneurs in Eurasia” which explored how to develop small and medium-sized enterprises in the Eurasian region through the provision of financing options to SMEs and facilitating SMEs to grow with dependable finance access.
The Startup session shed light on “Accelerating the Start-up Ecosystem in Eurasia During the Turbulent Times” which tackled strategies to strengthen the ecosystem by pulling more investments, attracting foreign start-ups and scaling them from seed to unicorns.
The Future Cities session put emphasis on “Accelerating & Building a Tech-Savvy, Sustainable and Resilient City” and talked about building tech-savvy & sustainable cities that also help in preventing climate breakdown, making cities more resilient and preparing them for future outbreaks, and implementing tech like AI, IoT, Blockchain to combat the current pandemic and preparing for any future outbreaks.
Another highly awaited activity was the Investment Destination Presentation which featured the Arab Republic of Egypt led by Ahmed Zohair, General Manager at Promotion Sector, The General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI). It was also participated by the United Arab Emirates which was led by Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary – Foreign Trade Affairs, Ministry of Economy; Walid Abdulla Marhoon, Senior Manager Investment Promotion Division, Dubai Investment Development Agency, Dubai FDI; H.E. Sharief Habib Al Awadhi, Director General, Fujairah Free Zone Authority; Mohammed Juma’a Al Musharrakh, Chief Executive Officer, Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah); Abdulla Al Abdouli (B.Arch.), Chief Executive Officer, Marjan; and Imad Eddine OUBIRI, Business Development Expert & Investment Promotion Director, RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Workshops were also conducted on the first day of AIM EURASIA which discussed timely and significant issues that impact the EURASIA regions. The first workshop led by Wavteq examined the impact of Covid-19 on FDI in the EURASIAN regions, the trends projecting FDI recovery in the regionally and globally , and the most effective marketing techniques during and after pandemic.
The second session explored the approaches to develop a successful FDI Attraction Strategy and
provide a stet-by-step guide for developing a comprehensive investment attraction tactics. It also
presented examples of successful investment attraction strategies from around the world and provided participants with practical knowledge for mastering this important aspect of investment promotion.
“The day 1 of this special regional focus edition have certainly benefited a multitude of sectors, especially in frontier and emerging markets, facilitated the creation of solid partnerships, unlocked more investment opportunities, and pave the way for better international collaboration,” stated Mr. Dawood Al Shezawi, Head of the Organising Committee of the Annual Investment Meeting.
“As it highlights the economic strengths of EURASIA and the region’s business landscape, it will further explore all the opportunities for growth that are just waiting to be harnessed through mutual cooperation and global support. More importantly, I believe that this event will further enhance the relations of the UAE to the countries in the region,” he furthered.