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3rd AIM Conference Underway In Dubai   
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The Third edition of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) Conference, which seeks to provide the audience through a series of keynote speeches and case studies, a realistic insight on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and an in-depth review of investment opportunities arising from economically resilient markets, has opened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

AIM is the world’s first Emerging Markets FDI-focused event to offer a blend of trade fair and intellectual features aimed at enriching institutional, corporate and individual investors attending with a comprehensive set of guidelines for their future investment decisions in high growth regions.

This year’s forum themed; “A Future International Economic Landscape In The Making, Implications on FDI and The Economic Growth Prospects Of Frontier & Emerging Markets”, will provide a strategic platform that delivers ready-to-invest cases and how-to-invest methodologies.

Running from April 30 to May 2, it will provide attendees and participants with an exceptional networking platform and the opportunity to forge and consolidate valuable personal and business contacts, and also enhance investment flows towards Africa in sectors like infrastructure, energy, agriculture, mining, tourism and many others given the attractive Return on Investment levels in Africa compared to other continents.

The 3day conference is being organized by the Ministry of Trade, United Arab Emirates, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

In a Ministerial Panel Discussion on the main theme of the Conference, the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Carlos Lopes, who made a strong case for investing in Africa, deployed the tendency of casting the continent as riddled with corruption.

“...we still have this problem of perceiving that corruption is endemic in Africa; it is not. It exists in Africa surely, but what about corruption in Asia? It’s a pretty well-known established fact…what about trying to understand other very complex issues about the potential of Africa…and then you will see that the future is really with Africa,” he said.

Some of the delegates at the AIM conference
According to him, investors normally consider Africa “as a risk investment zone”, stressing that the time has come for Africa to have its “own strategy”.

“Africans ought to have their own strategy. It is not going to happen by charity…Africans have to be smart. And to be smart means that you have a plan, you have a strategy…I think it is important for us to keep in mind that this is valid for every partner. It is about having a strategy and making sure that Africa is conscious of its potential,” added.

Earlier in the day, one of the Keynote speakers, Karl Sauvant, Resident Senior Fellow,, Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable Int Investment and former Director of the UNCTAD Investment Division, in his address quoted an African proverb about the lion and gazelle to drive home the point that one needs to be swift daily to be successful.

“Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death.….I guess the morale of the story is that it does not matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle, an investment promotion agency or a multi-national enterprise, when you get up in the morning, you better run as fast as you can if you want to be successful,” he said.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who officially opened the investment forum, later took a tour of the exhibition grounds with the delegates.

Ghana's stand, quite an impressive one, seem to be the center of attraction together with a couple of others, thus it was of no wonder to see potential investors flock the place to interact with officials of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC).

Asked why they decided to visit the Ghana stand set up in part by the JOSPONG Group of Companies and the GIPC, some of the delegates responded that they wanted to know more about the great opportunities with respect to the oil and gas industry, manufacturing, infrastructure, among others.
Source: From Nana Kwadwo Asante Agyemang/Dubai/UAE

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