Dubai, represented by the Dubai Investment Development Agency (DUBAI FDI), has been elected for the Presidency of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA). The new achievement reflects the confidence of the international community in Dubai’s abilities to lead international economic development efforts.
DUBAI FDI will be the President of the new Steering Committee that will lead the global FDI body from 2019 to 2021. Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) from 49 countries and cities attending WAIPA’s General Assembly meeting held in Warsaw, Poland on Monday, voted by direct ballot to select the candidate for the WAIPA Steering Committee Presidency for the first time. The vote for the two vice-presidency and regional directorship positions was held by secret ballot. WAIPA’s General Assembly meetings and the 24th World Investment Conference are being held in Warsaw, as part of a week-long agenda, from 7 to 10 October, 2019.
WAIPA was established in 1995 in Geneva, Switzerland, as a global non-profit organisation by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), to promote the role of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAS) in enhancing economic development and foreign direct investment (FDI). WAIPA membership spans more than 160 national and Sub-National IPAs from 130 countries. WAIPA’s Consultative Council includes a number of United Nations (UN) organisations including the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Bank, the International Chamber of Commerce and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Investment Development Agency (DUBAI FDI), expressed his deep appreciation for WAIPA members’ trust and support. “This achievement came as a result of our continued efforts to progress WAIPA’s agenda to enhance cooperation and forge partnerships with WAIPA members over the years,” said Al Gergawi. “This is a vote of trust that reflects the vision of the UAE’s leadership to work closely with global stakeholders and partners in international organisations to shape the future,” he added.
Al Gergawi noted that Dubai’s position as one of the world’s leading three cities in terms of FDI inflows reinforces its positive role in promoting the stability and growth of the world economy. He said that Dubai recorded strong growth in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first half of 2019, attracting FDI projects worth AED46.6 billion, a growth of 135 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Addressing WAIPA General Assembly, Al Gergawi, stressed the importance of the role of investment promotion agencies and their positive impact on communities, cities and countries. He referred to the ‘Capacity 2030’ programme launched by the Hamdan Centre for the Future of Investment” (HCFI) in partnership with WAIPA, which has earned the praise and support of WAIPA members and international organisations. The programme aims to enhance the capacity of IPAs to facilitate US$ 15 trillion worth of FDI flows into Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - related projects by 2030. “As a leading global FDI destination, the UAE and Dubai have earned the international investment community’s confidence. This has been made possible by the leadership’s vision, which values cooperation, partnership and tolerance, and has a strong focus on the future and serving the people,” concluded Al Gergawi.
DUBAI FDI has been working closely with WAIPA members over the years to enhance cooperation, regional integration and capacity building. As a WAIPA Steering Committee member, DUBAI FDI was elected as Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region from 2013 to 2016, and later as Vice President for the 2017 – 2018 period. As elected President for 2019-2021, DUBAI FDI is the first Sub-National IPA to lead the global FDI body.
WAIPA’s objectives include promoting and developing understanding and cooperation amongst investment promotion agencies; strengthening information gathering systems, promoting the efficient use of information and facilitating access to data sources; sharing country and regional
experiences in attracting foreign investment and enhancing outward investments; assisting investment promotion agencies in advising their respective governments on the formulation of appropriate investment promotion policies and strategies; and facilitating access to technical assistance and promoting training of investment promotion agencies.