Wednesday 29, November 2017 by Jessica Combes

WAIPA announces Vice President


The World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) has announced Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of the Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI) in Dubai Economy, will serve as the WAIPA Vice President from the UAE for 2017-2019.

The announcement came after the Executive Committee meeting of WAIPA held in Dubai alongside the ‘World Investment Conference (WIC17),’ a two-day forum hosted by Dubai FDI, from 27 to 28 November.

Expressing his appreciation to WAIPA members over his new assignment, Al Gergawi pointed out that the UAE and Dubai play a vital role in investment promotion and support to sustainable economic development globally. He also emphasised Dubai's advantages as a future city, a regional gateway and a global investment hub that supports the role of foreign direct investment (FDI) in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

WAIPA currently has 170 IPAs from 130 countries as members and the association works closely with international organisations such as UNCTAD, UNIDO, OECD, ILO, IEDC, ICC and the World Bank as well as key opinion formers. Dubai FDI represents the Middle East and North Africa in the WAIPA Executive Committee.

The World Investment Conference 2017, which was officially opened by HE Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy, concluded after bringing together leading investment promotion agencies (IPAs) from all around the world, international organisation’s leaders, heads of financial institutions, leading political figures, private sector representatives, prominent economists and researchers in two days of discussions on what is in hold for the future as well as on the best investment promotion strategies and skills.

The conference featured a notable line-up of panellists, including special address and keynotes by Prof Jeffrey Sachs, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the SDGs, Professor of Sustainable Development and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University as well as Consultative Committee Members.

“Our focus is on driving more FDI globally. Challenges and opportunities in a transforming business climate with financial technology at the core will help us identify drivers of sustainable investment. We have a chance to make developing countries fill the gap through technology. It is the future of all investments, the future of sustainable development,” said Arda Ermut, President of WAIPA and President of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey, said in his address to WIC17 today.

Held under the theme ‘FDI as a driving force for sustainable development,’ the conference aimed to underline the importance of IPAs and FDI into sustainable development. The conference explored how in reality empowered IPAs can contribute even more effectively and successfully towards the creation of beneficial linkages and spill-overs, creating welfare and prosperity through the SDGs by the 2030.

“Investment promotion agencies are under the spotlight more than ever as foreign direct investment is viewed as a critical enabler of economic as well as social development. Over the last few decades Dubai has successfully channelled FDI into its comprehensive growth while also reinforcing itself as a preferred location for investors globally. The World Investment Conference 2017 has been a valuable platform for Dubai and other FDI locations worldwide as well as for Dubai FDI and other IPAs to debate innovative approaches needed for attracting investment into sustainable development,” commented Al Gergawi.

The final day of the conference gave participants an opportunity to listen not only world-renowned leaders and academicians, but also global companies and decision makers, discussing the FDI as a driving force of national development, innovation, job creation, industrialisation and sustainability.

The first panel session of the day debated on ‘Empowering IPAs in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and creating a positive investment environment to achieve the SDGs.’ The panellists analysed how empowered IPAs excel in attracting FDI, and particularly the advantages for developing and least developed countries in empowering IPAs through improving the business climate and providing a transparent regulatory environment.

The second session on ‘Global Value Chain: Growth and entrepreneurship through linkages’ explored the right strategies and policies that enable countries to become part of global value chains (GVCs) through attracting FDI, thereby bringing in more skills, technologies, jobs and growth.

‘Corporate investment drivers, challenges, and the future of FDI’ were in focus in the third session of the day. The panellists highlighted the significance of FDI driven by multinationals in achieving sustainable growth and industrialisation as well as emerging investment opportunities in new sectors like the financial technology (Fintech) industry.

The first day of the WIC17 was dedicated to WAIPA Members. In the morning, member IPAs had the opportunity to network and share best practices in investment promotion as well as to listen to FDI Advisor, Andreas Dressler, winning strategies from selected IPAs and a presentation by CNBC on their FDI research in collaboration with WAIPA.

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