Home Business & Finance Annual Investment Meeting opens to boost global investment amid looming trade war between leading economies

Annual Investment Meeting opens to boost global investment amid looming trade war between leading economies


DUBAI: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched e-Platform for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), established by the UAE Ministry of Economy at the inaugural session of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Monday, April 9, 2018.

The e-Platform will help record the flow of FDI and promote FDI opportunities in the UAE for the global pool of investors to benefit from. The easy to use and easy to navigate web portal is part of the government’s smart services mission to take the public services to the fingertips of users.

“As we gather here, we have a few reasons to rejoice. Global economic growth is improving and short-term prospects look positive. The world economy is gathering speed with growth forecast for 2018-2019, according to the IMF, pegged at 3.9 per cent,” H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, said in his inaugural address.

“The recovery in Economy in a number of the Key sectors such as Investment, Manufacturing and trade had a significant impact on strengthening the fundamentals of Global Economic Growth. This recovery was more visible in emerging markets and developing economies, with average growth estimates for these markets at around 4.5 percent in 2018.

“However, in contrast to the positive world macroeconomic figures, international financial flows depict a stark different picture.  Global FDI fell by 16 per cent in 2017 to an estimated US$1.52 trillion, according to the latest UNCTAD Global Investment Trends Monitor.

“However, a reading in the Global Investment Flows map shows that developing countries maintained stable rates of FDI attraction compared to last year. Developing Asia remains a formidable economic force on the world stage and has regained its position as the largest FDI recipient region in the world, followed by the European Union and North America.”

The three-day Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) congregation of high-profile officials that include 25 federal ministers, 19 mayors, eight organisation heads, one head of parliament and investors will see the signing of a number of agreements and announcements that will help countries boost the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

This will make the AIM the largest such gathering of government leaders and private sector business leaders and investors, organised by Ministry of Economy. Last year, more than 19,000 visitors including VIPs, dignitaries and government delegations participated at the three-day conference. This year More than 20,000 investors and business visitors are expected to participated at the eventful three-day-long activities that will address issues related to global follow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

Al Mansoori said, the Annual Investment Meeting became a regional and international landmark for Foreign Direct Investment and exchange of knowledge and best practices between emerging and developed markets, where it gains tremendous and continuous support from the leaders, decision makers and officials worldwide.

The prestigious line-up of Ministers also include H.E. Kim Hyun Chong, Minister of Trade, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, South Korea, HE Dr. Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Sultanate of Oman, H.E. Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India, H.E. Mccullen Ntsikelelo Jack, Provincial Minister (MEC) for Finance – Economic Development and Tourism, Northern Cape Provincial Government, Republic of South Africa, H.E. Hassan Come, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Central African Republic, H.E. Dr. Sahar Seif Al Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation and H.E. Mostafa Madboui, Minister of Housing and Utilities Department from Egypt, are among other chief guests and speakers for the AIM 2018.

Governors and Mayors from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ukraine, Mayor of the Municipality of Timisoara, Romania, Governor of Kano State, The Federal Republic of Nigeria, Governor of the Perm region of Russian Federation, Mayor of Municipality of Adjovscina, Republic of Slovenia, Metropolitan Chief Executive of Republic of Ghana, Governor of Kilifi County Government, the Republic of Kenya and many other governors and mayors from Ecuador and other countries are going to attend AIM 2018.

World merchandise exports, valued at US$15.46 trillion in 2016, is expected to grow this year as the global economy likely to record 3.9 percent growth in 2018, a senior officials of the World Trade Organisation, said.

“Economic data and forecasts from the IMF, OECD, World Bank and others have been revised steadily upwards over the last year, which would tend to indicate a sustained recovery of trade in 2018 following strong trade growth in 2017,” Yonov Frederick Agah, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organisation (WTO), said.

“However, trade frictions and geopolitical tensions have also risen sharply in recent months. Increased use of restrictive trade measures – and the retaliation that this would invite – could easily undermine a generally positive outlook for trade.

“Inward-looking policies, geopolitical tensions and political uncertainty were seen as the main downside risks.”

WTO will release its World Trade Report 2018 on Thursday, April 12, 2018, he said. “The IMF’s latest projections were issued in the World Economic Outlook Update in January, which had a forecast of 3.9 percent for world real GDP growth in 2018. This would be the strongest performance since 2011, reflecting increased global growth momentum and the expected impact of US tax policy changes,” Frederick Agah said.

“Inward-looking policies, geopolitical tensions and political uncertainty were seen as the main downside risks. Policy recommendations included structural reforms to boost potential output and fiscal policies consistent with medium term economic stability.”

More recently, the OECD’s Interim Economic Outlook of 13 March also depicted a stronger world economy with 3.9 percent GDP growth in 2018 and 2019, fuelled by robust investment spending and associated rebounds in trade and employment. The report cautioned against political and trade tensions while highlighting financial sector vulnerabilities including interest rate normalisation and high debt and asset prices. For sustainable growth, the OECD recommended structural and fiscal policies aimed at improving inclusive growth, he said.

The WTO’s most recent World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI), issued on 12 February, pointed to continued solid trade volume growth in the first quarter of 2018. Component indices for container port throughput, air freight shipments, and new export orders from purchasing manager’s indices were all above the baseline value of 100, indicating above trend growth. However, weaker results for automotive products, agricultural raw materials and electronics components trade might indicate a weakening of consumer and business sentiment.

To reiterate, the outlook for global trade and output based on economic fundamentals is positive for 2018 and beyond.However, continued recovery is predicated on stability of the current trading environment, which is tenuous and could easily be reversed by political tensions and trade frictions. Member countries should use the multi-lateral system to resolve their differences and prevent economic uncertainty from undermining growth, he said.

More than 143 countries participate in the eighth session of the Forum and about 20 thousand investors and visitors from around the world.

A number of global ministers, inspiring business and thought leaders will lead interesting discussions on investment trends, public-private partnerships, sustainability, investment promotion, cryptocurrencies, and sovereign wealth fund at the forthcoming Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) to be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from April 9 to 11, 2018. News Desk

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