Dubai reinforces investment appeal at World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies’ inaugural MENA meeting

Published March 22nd, 2010 - 09:47 GMT

The Dubai Department of Economic Development’s Foreign Investment Office outlined policies and measures being undertaken throughout the emirate to further raise investor ease and confidence before attendees at the first-ever MENA meeting of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) which opened today (Monday, March 22, 2010) at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Dubai.

Organized jointly by Dubai Foreign Investment Office and WAIPA, the regional meeting has gathered IPA’s, Investment agencies from the region , senior government officials and CEOs representing various multinational companies to discuss vital issues affecting investment promotion agencies (IPA) operating within the MENA region. FIO took the opportunity to highlight Dubai’s status as one of the top foreign direct investment (FDI) destinations in the world. The Office also thanked WAIPA for recognizing the strategic importance of Dubai’s investment environment and for attracting global attention to the numerous investment opportunities available throughout the emirate, the UAE and the region.

Alessandro Teixeira, WAIPA President and Head of Apex Brasil, Brazil’s trade and investment promotion agency, said: “WAIPA’s MENA forum is very timely given the rising global confidence in the commencement of worldwide economic recovery this year. While more investors are now showing their willingness to engage the markets, they also need to be better convinced that they will be getting their money’s worth after the lessons learned from the downturn. Regional IPAs thus need to consolidate their experiences and ideas so that they can attain a strategic position as investors gain more confidence.”

“The sustainability of Dubai’s position as a popular investment destination depends greatly on the policies and practices the emirate upholds for the benefit and protection of its investors. For our part, the Foreign Investment Office continues to develop related measures that carefully consider existing market realities, investor needs, and alignment with local development goals. The WAIPA meeting is an important addition to our efforts to promote Dubai as a leader in regional investment activities and we definitely look forward to its productive outcome,” added Mr. Fahad Seddiq Al Gergawi, CEO, Dubai Foreign Investment Office.

Global FDI slid to USD 1 trillion in 2009 from USD 1.7 trillion in 2008 as a result of the financial crisis. However, FDI flow between global economies is expected to move significantly by the second half of 2010. In the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, the UAE and Saudi Arabia are among the economies expected to post solid growth within the year.

Geneva, Switzerland – based WAIPA was formed in 1995 as an international association dedicated to enhancing cooperation among IPAs at the regional and global levels and facilitating the exchange of best practices and experiences in attracting FDI. Among the themes included in the Association’s inaugural MENA conference are ‘Experience Sharing: IPA and Policy Change in the Middle East,’ ‘Future Economic Outlook for the MENA Region’,  ‘Solving the Puzzle of Rankings, Indexes and Reports on Business Climate & FDI’ and ‘Doing Business in the Middle East and North Africa: The Private Sector Perspective’.

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