Ministry of Economy to hold 10th annual investment meet in March

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - A series of competitions will be held in 80 countries where top winners will be hosted in .

UAE Ministry of Economy has launched the 10th edition of Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), which will be held in Dubai on March 24 to 26, 2020.

Under the patronage of His Highness Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the AIM has consistently provided a unique platform mostly for emerging economies to attract FDI.

The investment meeting is adhering to the call for a more extensive and inclusive economic growth and has added, aside from FDI, four more pillars- Small and Medium Enterprises, Foreign Portfolio Investment, Startups, and Future Cities. It will also hold One Belt, One Road which is an exclusive side event, the ministry said in a statement.

Abdullah Al Saleh, the UAE Ministry of Economy's Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Affairs, said: "Attracting investments does not only link its spillovers to the local economy. It enables inclusive growth providing long-term benefits to host countries in terms of job creation, enhancement of skill base, transfer of technology and increase in competitiveness. With the addition of new pillars, AIM can exert stronger influence to achieve wider economic prosperity and improve domestic economic imperfections."

Under the theme 'Investing for the Future: Shaping the Global Investment Strategies', AIM will traverse the shifting investment landscape at the global scale and assist world economies to attract investment.

FDI, AIM's flagship pillar, will link municipalities, cities and countries with quality FDIs that match the necessary condition of their market and their existing infrastructure.

It will also unfold recent trends and foreseeable movement of FDIs to assist both governments and investors in gauging and reformulating their next plan.

AIM 2020 will also work toward narrowing the credit gap to benefit SMEs by providing a global platform to promote their products and services to genuine investors. While world economies are fuelled by SMEs which represent 90 per cent of business and 50 per cent of employment worldwide, 65 million SMEs in developing countries have to endure unmet financing need of $5.2 trillion every year, according to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the ministry added.

SMEs that are recognised for integrating sustainable investing in their operations will gain distinct focus among impact investors anticipated at AIM. Impact or sustainable investing have gained popularity among investors who are keen in financing companies and organisations that address social and environmental concerns.

The rise of the global population of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs), which is anticipated to increase by 22 per cent over the next five years, will further boost the flow of foreign portfolio investments. AIM networking function dedicated to foreign portfolio investment will drive discussion between companies with tradable assets and wealth managers who are eager to capture market opportunities that ensure real returns.

According to International Monetary Fund data, top destinations for foreign portfolio investment are Turkey, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Poland, Luxembourg, United States and the Republic of North Macedonia.
 
AIM 2020 will continue to support startups with expanded networking opportunities and focused discussions including mentoring sessions. A series of National Pitch Competitions will be held in 80 countries where top winners will be hosted in Dubai to compete in the Final AIM 2020 Startup Competition with cash awards amounting to $D50,000. Previously a co-located event, Startup, now an AIM pillar, will take a prominent position at AIM 2020 to further build on growing interest in funding which has reached $407 billion 2018, an increase of 23.3 per cent  from 2017. The top sectors for funding were software and SaaS, fintech, medtech, media and entertainment, health and wellness which represented
52.7 per cent of total disclosed funding.
 
Funding remains the biggest challenge in implementing smart city solutions. AIM 2020 will seek to bridge the funding gap through its Future Cities pillar, aimed at linking project owners with legitimate investors. Future Cities will not only showcase projects, but assist project owners derive inspiration from success stories built on having successfully created close relationships with private partners.

AIM 2020 will also hold the second agenda of One Belt, One Road (OBOR). OBOR will present investment opportunities across continents involving regional collaboration to modernize China's ancient Silk Road trade route. Belt and Road Initiative spans across 70 countries with $1 trillion investment requirement and has been hailed as the most ambitious infrastructure initiative aimed at improving physical, trade, economic and digital connectivity across various sectors. AIM launched this exclusive side event last year and saw the participation of 200 project owners and investors from GCC.
 
AIM attracted 16,051 visitors from 143 countries as well as 150 FDI specialists and economic experts, 66 high-level dignitaries, 436 exhibitors and co-exhibitors and was covered by 256 local and international media.
 
For more details, visit AIM 2020 website. You may also view event agenda and know about event features online.

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