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ABIC stresses promoting innovation
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 11 - 2015

Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, inaugurated Monday the 17th Arab Businessmen and Investors Conference (ABIC), held under the aegis of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE in Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
"We are delighted to host the current ABIC, of which I am the proud chairman in Abu Dhabi," said Al Mansoori. "The 17th ABIC, held under the aegis of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will bring to the table a number of vital topics to promote investment sectors in the Arab world and enhance coordination among Arab countries in terms of public and private sectors investments."
The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of the organizing parties, including 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, Strategic Marketing & Exhibitions, as well as many Arab and international media agencies.
Organizers selected the theme of ‘Investing in Entrepreneurship and Innovation' for this year's ABIC, as it is being held in the UAE, which has declared 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation'. The companion ABIC exhibition successfully kicked off, allowing businessmen and investors to promote their investment opportunities.
The first day of ABIC highlighted the role of Arab investment funds in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. This comes at a time when the UAE topped the list of Arab countries in terms of the investment outflow for the period between 2003 and 2014, with $217 billion representing 58 percent of combined outflow.
"The conference topics are of interest to all investors throughout the Arab world, to help them develop a diversified economy based on knowledge, competitiveness, efficiency, and transparency as well as excellence and innovation," Al Mansoori said.
"ABIC and the companion Awards Ceremony is an opportunity to study the reality of the Arab investment sector and exchange experiences to develop new ways of cooperation among all participants. Entrepreneurship and innovation are major topics for this year's edition, while many other sub-topics will be discussed, including investment funds on the first day," Al Mansoori added.
The first day focused on how to support the financial investments in Arab countries. It also put forward visionary ideas on how to manage investment funds to achieve the highest possible returns. The focus of the first day is in line with ABIC's general aim to help investors know the advantage of diversification and how to invest in various forms such as stocks, bonds, and others. On the sidelines of the first day, many workshops were held to promote investment projects for entrepreneurs working in SMEs sector.
"The success of the first day of ABIC exceeded our expectations. We exchanged creative ideas with the participants that could be useful to support many investment categories in the future," said Mohammed Thani Murshid Al-Rumiathi, chairman of the Federation of the UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, co-organizers of the 17th ABIC.
"Participants had the opportunity to put on display their projects and ideas before a wide range of decision-makers and investors from the Arab world. We have observed a significant interaction between the audiences, who were keen to open communication channels. We hold this conference in the UAE to empower the Arab countries to benefit from the UAE's successful economic experience. First day's topics were truly attractive to many of the participants and we expect a similar turnout tomorrow," added Al-Rumiathi.
"The organization and attendance of this year's event has been impressive. Many new insights about the role of investment funds in promoting investments were presented. Also, several participants introduced inspiring and creative projects. We have prepared a schedule to discuss specific and clear topics of interest to investors, especially those dedicated for micro and small companies," said Dr. Imad Shehab, secretary general of the General Union of Arab Chambers.
In addition to the opening session, ABIC includes sessions for entrepreneurial and innovative projects from SMEs, requirements of the economic environment, policies and incentives, funding mechanisms and the role of banks, the role of supporting institutions mainly the experience of those in the UAE, smart cities and renewable energy sources, in addition to reviewing a number of other leading Arab investment case studies. — SG

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