Source: Khaleej Times
The UAE’s diversified economy has proved to be resilient to the decline in global oil prices and trade, affirming its status of a safe investment hub for foreign investors. This was echoed by prominent people from the industry at the Global Leaders Forum organised by Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East.
Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment Development Authority (Shurooq), said: “There is a huge appetite for foreign investments and we need a framework for the same. Foreign direct investment accounts for around 2 per cent of the UAE’s GDP. We hope to achieve the UAE’s target of FDI accounting for 5 per cent of its GDP by 2021.”
Most speakers at the inaugural edition of the Global Leaders Forum, held in Dubai on Tuesday, said the new trends define the ‘new normal’ requiring public and private sector organisers to think and operate in new ways, helping to create sustainable economic models that ensure inclusive growth, innovation and creativity, industrial competitiveness and the ability to attract investment.
Hussain Sajwani, chairman, DAMAC Properties, said: “The UAE economy is most vibrant and open to investments with diversification being vital for its growth. Digital adoption is key to the growth of leading sectors. A lot needs to be done by the government to encourage the young local population to work in the private sector, which is currently at low levels. A competitive and sustainable economy can be achieved by encouraging the increased participation of the young local population in the workforce.”
This was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Driving Investments and Building a Robust Financial Sector’ which deliberated on new financial norms and investment avenues with focus on ICOs and IPOs.
Speaking at a panel on ‘Building Smart Transformation’, Alisha Moopen, CEO of Aster & Medcare Hospitals & Clinics for the GCC, said: “We live in an era where digital technology is being adopted by all sectors globally to improve the quality of life. However, quality of life is intrinsically linked to the health of a person. While digital technology can improve access and quality of services, drive growth, wealth and abundance, it is still the human behaviour which determines how people respond to one another.
“Be it through intuition, imagination or common sense, people bring in the human touch or human element which remains the core essence of healthcare. As I see, cognitive systems are essential to improve efficiency but it has to work collaboratively with natural human instincts to ensure that we deliver the best value. I am glad this forum has brought together globally recognised leaders to address and outline the best measures to shape a better future for our people, reduce inequality in the world at large and aim for shared prosperity.”
Nimish Makvana, honorary director of IOD – UAE chapter, past chairman ICAI – Dubai and partner – Crowe Horwath UAE, said: “The future will depend a lot on innovation and value creation. The sustainability of business models is changing with a change in dynamics of business. The vision and strategic initiatives by the rulers of the UAE is inviting FDI. The UAE is positioned as one of the top places in the region for investment and looks very attractive when looked at in terms of trust and opportunities.”
Anshu Vats, partner, public sector, Oliver Wyman, said: “It is good for entrepreneurs and business leaders of the UAE to see and hear from the global, and more importantly local government and commercial leaders. The exchange of ideas and perspectives will be critical in capturing the potential of the new economy.”