IsDB Group and UAE Ministry of Economy co-organise first digital edition of Annual Investment Meeting on 20-22 October 2020
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Oct. 23
The Ministry of Economy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) in Dubai, jointly with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, organized the first digital edition of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM Digital), which celebrated this year its 10th anniversary. The three-day event, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, brought together more than 70 high-ranking figures from all over the world, including heads of state, prime ministers and heads of international organizations, and more than 300 panellists and 15,000 participants, including government officials, angel investors, businessmen, representatives of multilateral institutions, and managers of local and international companies, investment promotion agencies and chambers of commerce and industry.
AIM Digital, held under the theme “Reimagining economies: the move towards a digital, sustainable and resilient future”, was opened by H.E. Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy and AIM Chairman, and H.E. Dr Bandar Hajjar, Chairman of IsDB Group. This first digital edition of the AIM is the first major digital event in the region to cope with the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic.
In his opening remarks, H.E. Dr Bandar Hajjar said that “IsDB Group is tirelessly working to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on our member countries’ economies and people. Through our US$ 2.3 billion response package, we aim to mobilize every dollar we can. As the 2020 chair of the Heads of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) meetings, IsDB has also coordinated an MDBs’ global response worth US$ 230 billion to address the threats to people’s lives. Likewise, the IsDB Group has led and coordinated a joint US$ 10 billion commitment by the Arab Coordination Group (Arab development funds) to help countries around the world respond to COVID-19 through various projects, programmes and initiatives over the short and medium terms”.
He added that so far “IsDB Group’s total approvals for the UAE amount to US$ 1.2 billion, including US$ 400 million from IsDB, US$ 51 million from ICD, US$ 320 million from ITFC, and US$ 409 million from other funds. A total of US$ 10.9 billion in business insurance has been provided for the UAE by ICIEC, whose new commitments for the country reached US$ 8.2 billion. Energy, industry & mining, and information & communication account for most of these approvals”.
The Chairman of IsDB Group further said that the digital initiatives implemented by the Group are a step in the right direction as they put digital innovation at the service of development, ultimately leading to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, the initiatives launched have focused on stimulating foreign direct investment in member countries, promoting investment and trade opportunities, and linking companies globally and supporting them in meeting potential investors from other countries. These initiatives, which will undoubtedly contribute to supporting IsDB member countries’ economies, have been successfully implemented in more than 30 member countries through IsDB Group’s Business Forum (THIQAH).
H.E. Dr Bandar Hajjar also stated that the IsDB Group has established a Regional Hub in the UAE as a Centre of Excellence for Strategic Partnerships and Resource Mobilization. The new hub will manage IsDB Group’s operations in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, UAE, and Yemen. It will also serve as IsDB Group’s gateway and a focal point for the Arab Coordination Group (Arab development funds). The Hub will also build and strengthen strategic partnerships locally, regionally and internationally, and mobilize resources through traditional and various innovative modalities by focusing on the private sector in coordination with the relevant IsDB Group entities.
AIM Digital featured a pillar dedicated to “Foreign Direct Investment” (FDI) which included investment roundtable discussions. The latter gathered ministers/deputy ministers and heads of investment promotion agencies (IPAs) to discuss frameworks and methods aimed at facilitating sustainable, smart and scalable investments. The four main themes of the roundtables are the energy sector (led by the International Energy Agency), the tourism and hospitality sector (led by the World Tourism Organization), the infrastructure sector (led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), and the agriculture sector (led by IsDB Group).
The Forum also discussed providing investment opportunities in member countries and how IsDB Group will support member countries to develop their investment and trade capabilities and finance development projects. This creates employment opportunities, increases GDP and boosts FDI by encouraging cross-border investment among OIC member countries.
As part of this event, IsDB Group sponsored member countries’ IPAs exhibition. It also sponsored an FDI workshop entitled "Promoting investment in a new age and advancing investment to achieve SDGs", held in partnership with the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA). IsDB Group invited all member countries’ IPAs to register and participate in this workshop as part of its efforts to support IPAs in its member countries.
In addition, IsDB Group hosted 16 private sector virtual events, which brought together more than 70 panellists and 5,000 participants representing 100 countries around the world. Several bilateral meetings were held between IsDB Group and several member countries and businessmen on the side-lines of these events through IsDB Group’s Virtual Exhibition. More than 150 local, regional and international media outlets covered these events, including television channels, newspapers, magazines, radio stations and social media.
THIQAH and IsDB Group’s UAE "Centre of Excellence" have contributed to the organization of these events through the logistics and technical work. They have arranged IsDB Group’s events and coordinated with IPAs in member countries to participate in these events and in IsDB Group’s exhibition.