The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) 2024 in Abu Dhabi was a landmark event for WAIPA, solidifying its position as a global leader in investment promotion. Building on last year’s success, WAIPA’s active participation in various high-profile engagements showcased its commitment to fostering international investment and promoting sustainable economic growth.

Global Leaders’ Debate: Setting a Visionary Tone

The AIM Congress 2024 kicked off with the Global Leaders Debate on May 7th. The debate, titled “The Very Age of Agility: Industrial & Technological Mega Trends and Investments’ Directions – 2024 Predictions,” featured WAIPA’s Executive Director and CEO, Ismail Ersahin. He highlighted the pivotal role of digitalisation in investment promotion, emphasizing the need for proactive strategies to adapt to global economic trends. Joining him were distinguished figures such as H.E. Claver Gatete, H.E. Jung Sook Park, H.E. Jamal Aljarwan, and Mr. Sameer Abdulla Nass. The panel, moderated by May Ben Khadra of CNBC Arabia, discussed the impact of AI, IoT, and robotics on productivity and the investment climate, setting a visionary tone for the Congress.

Fostering Sustainable Development: WAIPA Breakfast Roundtable

On May 8th, WAIPA hosted a roundtable dedicated to advancing sustainable development in Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The session featured compelling address from Ismail Ersahin, Executive Director & CEO of WAIPA, focusing on sustainable development strategies. This was followed by insightful keynote remarks from Mr. Stefan Kratzsch, Team Lead at UNIDO’s Sustainability Standards and Responsible Business Unit, and H.E. Sulton Rahimzoda, Chairman of the State Committee on Investment of the Republic of Tajikistan. Discussions focused on strategies for inclusive growth, with insights from global experts like Angelina Biviana Riveiro Disla, Executive Director of ProDominicana, Sushil Bhatta, CEO of the Office of Investment Board Nepal, Mr. Peter Janech, Coordinator at the UN Tourism Organization; Mr. Tom Becker, Economist at the United Nations ESCAP; Ms. Courtney Fingar, Senior Advisor for Europe and Communications at WAIPA; and Mr. Mohit Bhasin, Partner at KPMG.

The discussion was further enriched by insights from Mr. José Henrique Vieira Martins, Senior Expert at WAIPA; Mr. Mahmoud Mahgoub, from the COMESA Regional Investment Agency; Ms. Marie-Christin Schabus, ISA Consultant at UNIDO; Mr. Marcial Smester, Investment Director at ProDominicana; Mr. Ibrahim Toure, Director of Investment Promotion and Relations at API Mali; Mr. Jayandra Shrestha, Technical Adviser at the Office of the Investment Board Nepal; and Dr. Matthew Stephenson, PhD, Head of Investment and Services at the World Economic Forum. Additional contributions came from leaders of investment promotion agencies such as Mr. Mamadou N’Diaye, CEO of Mali Investment Promotion Agency, and Mr. Mohamed Dubo, CEO of Somalia Investment Promotion Office.

The roundtable fostered meaningful discussions and strategic partnerships essential for sustainable development in vulnerable regions.

G20 IPAs Panel Discussion: Harnessing Sustainable Investment

In collaboration with ApexBrasil, WAIPA organized the “G20 IPAs Panel Discussion” on May 8th, exploring the role of G20 Investment Promotion Agencies in driving sustainable FDI. The session featured opening remarks by Ismail Ersahin and Tatiana Riera of ApexBrasil, followed by a keynote from James Zhan of UNCTAD. A dynamic panel discussion, moderated by Matthew Stephenson of the World Economic Forum, included insights from Karina Bazuchi of ApexBrasil and UG Sujatha of Invest India. The session underscored the collective commitment to advancing sustainable investment practices.

Launch of the AIM-WAIPA-UNIDO IPAs Perception Study

A highlight of AIM 2024 was the launch of the AIM Perception Study for Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs). This collaborative initiative, involving WAIPA, UNIDO, KPMG, and AIM Congress, aims to gather insights and best practices from IPAs worldwide. At the launch event, Ismail Ersahin, WAIPA Executive Director and CEO emphasized the survey’s goal of enhancing IPA services to better meet investor needs. This pioneering study promises to deliver valuable content and drive impactful change in the global investment community.

Recognizing Excellence: AIM Awards

WAIPA’s presence at AIM Congress was further highlighted by receiving the Supporting Partner – International and Regional Organizations Award. This esteemed accolade recognizes WAIPA’s commitment to fostering innovative, sustainable, social, and diversified FDI projects that shape the future of the investment landscape worldwide. Additionally, WAIPA’s Executive Director and CEO, Ismail Ersahin, and Senior Advisor, Courtney Fingar, were honored with the distinguished Jury Member Award for their invaluable contributions as jurors for the AIM Investment Awards. These awards, presented by H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, underscore WAIPA’s dedication to promoting global investment excellence and driving sustainable development through international collaboration.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the AIM Congress for this recognition and eagerly anticipate continuing our efforts to foster positive change in the global investment community!

Strengthening Global Partnerships: Key Meetings at the WAIPA Booth

WAIPA’s booth was a hub of strategic meetings, fostering international collaboration. A significant meeting was held with Yu Hao, Deputy Director General of the Xiamen Municipal Bureau of Commerce, underscored the commitment to future cooperation and an invitation to the CIFIT event in September. Another highlight was the formal admission of the National Investment Council (CNI) of Honduras into WAIPA’s network, marking a significant milestone in promoting FDI and enhancing Honduras’ investment landscape.

WAIPA also engaged in several other key meetings, including discussions with the Head of the World Free Zones Association, ApexBrasil, NAIDA (Russian IPAs Association), and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). These meetings further highlighted WAIPA’s role in fostering global economic engagement and promoting sustainable investment.

WAIPA’s participation at AIM 2024 demonstrated its unwavering dedication to enhancing global investment climates and fostering sustainable economic growth. The insights shared, partnerships formed, and initiatives launched at this event will continue to drive positive change and development in the global investment community.