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Ministry of Economy to hold Annual Investment Meeting to boost FDI

New and renewable energy sectors key to attracting foreign capital, says H.E. Al Mansoori

| | Mar 10, 2016 | 5:33 pm
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Dubai, UAE: The 6th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), to be held from 11 to 13 April in Dubai, will highlight challenges facing the energy sector, and is targeted to give a fillip to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), in a bid to diversify the country’s economy, an announcement from the UAE Ministry of Economy has revealed.

Hailing the UAE as a sought-after investment magnet due to its security and safety elements and political stability, H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, in a pre-event statement, stressed that the UAE’s advanced infrastructure and strong legislative system has boosted its position as a unique destination for FDI.

In keeping with this, the theme of the AIM, the announcement said, is “The New World of FDI, Key Features and Best Practices”.

H.E. Al Mansoori pointed out that the Ministry aims to increase the contribution of FDI to five per cent of the country’s GDP over the next five years, in line with the goals of the National Agenda of UAE Vision 2021. He added that new and renewable energy sectors were key to attracting foreign capital to the UAE in the coming period, due to mega projects implemented by the UAE Government, mainly in renewable energy and retail. He further explained that the UAE, realising the need to diversify its economy with less reliance on the oil sector, is taking advantage of its geographical location, which links it to more than 220 markets around the world. He revealed that the ministry is currently working on an FDI law, which would regulate guarantees, incentives, and clarify the institutional framework.

He pointed out that the accumulated foreign investment in the country had increased by the end of 2015 to USD 126 billion, compared to USD 115 billion at the end of 2014, supported mainly by increased investments in manufacturing and heavy industries, such as aluminium and petrochemicals, as well as other sectors like tourism and aviation. The increased FDI, he highlighted, has resulted in taking the UAE to Number One rank regionally, and 22nd globally, in the World Investment Report 2015.

Stressing the importance of AIM, he said that it serves as a hub to promote investments in various priority sectors, as well as provide a direct meeting point for government delegations and competent institutions, as it will be attended by dignitaries, officials and delegations from several countries. The event, he believed, presents an ideal platform for fostering partnerships in public and private sectors.

Dawood Al Shezawi, Head of AIM Organising Committee, said that despite a significant decline in oil prices globally, which is a challenge for oil production companies, it represented a great opportunity for many companies, due to lower costs of raw materials and an increase in demand for products leading to higher profitability margins.

According to Bloomberg, which the AIM cited, 2015 was the year for installation of renewable energy capacity in the world, where both wind and solar photovoltaics saw around 30% more capacity installed worldwide. Further decline in the cost of solar photovoltaics, reportedly allowed more capacity to be installed for the same price. The wind total for last year, said Bloomberg, is likely to end up at around 64GW, followed by solar at 57GW, with clean energy investment surging in China, Africa, the United States, Latin America and India in 2015, driving the world total to its highest figure of USD 328.9 billion, up four per cent from 2014 revised USD 315.9 billion, and beating the previous record set in 2011 by three per cent.

To be held against this backdrop, the organisers believe that the AIM will help investors develop well-defined strategies to take advantage of the downturn.

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