Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, the capital Abu Dhabi is hosting the 17th Arab Investors and Businessmen Conference (ABIC) from November 16 to 17, 2015, under the theme "Investing in Entrepreneurship and Innovation" at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
The event is organised jointly by the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for the Arab Countries (GUCCIAAC), the Arab League, UAE Ministry of Economy, UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UAE Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Arab Investment and Credit Export Guarantee, in cooperation with Strategic Marketing & Exhibitions.
"The UAE was selected as the venue for the Conference since it has recorded steady economic growth under strategic plans and an insightful vision to strengthening the knowledge-based economy," said Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of the 17th Arab Businessmen and Investors Conference.
"The UAE economy has many advantages, as it is a diversified economy driven by knowledge, competitiveness and efficiency, and supported by transparency and respect for the rights and commitment to excellence and innovation. UAE has an advanced infrastructure, a strategic geographic location, and an integrated and modern banking system, supported by transparent economic policies with appropriate laws, regulations and mechanisms to protect investments," Al Mansoori added.
Al Mansoori paid tributes to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, for his patronage of the event and said that the wise leadership of HH had helped the UAE made giant strides in developing a knowledge economy and furthering its integration in economic globalisation.
"The UAE has put innovation on the top of its priorities in line with a comprehensive National Innovation Strategy that aims to make the UAE among the most innovative nations in the world within seven years. The strategy will stimulate innovation in seven sectors where innovation is key to excellence and its first phase includes 30 national initiatives," explained Al Mansoori.
Al Mansoori emphasised that the current annual investment in innovation is to the tune of AED14 billion in the UAE, of which AED7 billion goes to research and development.
The strategy is based on key components that include anchoring a stimulating environment for innovation. Al Mansoori said the UAE was open to sharing its model in innovation with other Arab countries to help incubate Arab enterprises.
"This conference will bring together senior Arab officials from different economic sectors. In addition, we have confirmations from prominent business owners and investors from many Arab countries," said Abdullah Al Saleh Undersecretary, UAE Ministry of Economy, President of the 17th Arab Businessmen and Investors Conference Higher Committee.
"The conference will highlight the requirements of economic and legislative climate and appropriate motivations for entrepreneurs to support entrepreneurship and innovation in Arab world so that they can address the challenges they face," added Al Saleh.
"On the sidelines of this conference, there will be signing of MoUs between Arab chambers and other parties to expand the cooperation between the public and private sectors. This conference will also include panel discussions featuring leading personalities, ministers, businessmen, investors, academics, and experts from the Arab countries," commented HE Dr. Imad Shehab, Secretary General of the General Union of Arab Chambers.
The conference will focus on displaying the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation and will work on enhancing the role of relevant Arab and international organisations to support and develop entrepreneurs and nurture an innovative mindset in the Arab world. The conference will also highlight the importance of innovative and pioneering projects that result in sustainable value-addition economically and socially.
During the two days, successful case studies will be showcased, including UAE Vision 2021 and its ambitious national agenda. Also, attendees will get to know about projects and potential investment opportunities in different economic sectors. The conference will also discuss opportunities of joint cooperation between business owners and investors in the UAE with their counterparts in other Arab countries in the fields of enterpreneurship and innovation.
Organisers of the conference have invited leaders from Arab trade, agriculture, industry Chambers, and specialised economic bodies, social and financial institutions, investment promoting agency in Arab countries, Arab entrepreneurs and investors, banks and financial institutions, investment companies, investment funds, financial and development banks, and Arab-Foreign Joint Chambers of Commerce.
This conference comes at a time where the Arab League is liasing with different parties to achieve the requirements of establishing an Arab Common Market by 2020. This conference will focus on the importance of having a clear vision on investment to achieve economic sustainability and joint Arab cooperation to have an attractive investment climate that boosts joint Arab projects.
The patronage of UAE Ministry of Economy stems from its keenness to further joint Arab cooperation and empower other Arab counties to benefit from the UAE's expertise and success story.