The sessions focused on ASEAN and the Russia region as well as brought to focus investment destinations as Namibia, Moscow and Armenia
Abu Dhabi, UAE, 8 May 2023: The 12th edition of the The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), the world’s leading investment platform, featured a series of regional and destination forums that highlighted investment opportunities in various parts of the world.
South East Asian Region
One of the key region in focus was the The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. Comprising of 10 economies, The ASEAN region has been among the fastest-growing regions in 2022 and is expected to remain so in 2023. With varying economic sizes, diverse markets, and a fast-moving population, Southeast Asia presents tremendous opportunities for global investors. This session highlighted how the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), under Indonesia’s Chairmanship of ASEAN, has set its priority, agenda, and legacy for regional policy reforms, focusing on digital transformation, sustainable development, health resilience, trade and investment facilitation, and food security.
This session featured esteemed speakers, including M. Arsjad Rasjid P.M., Chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council and Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) focusing on growth of ASEAN region. Additionally, a panel discussion moderated by Steven Marcelino, CEO & Managing Partner of Equatorise Advisory UK, saw insightful discussions byDr. Aladdin D. Rillo, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), Andrew Naylor, Global Head of Public Policy, World Gold Council, and Supervisory Board Member, EU-ASEAN Business Council, Kartika Candra Negara, Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Dubai and Muhammad Yusrizki, Chairman for Net Zero Hub, KADIN and Tony Wenas, Vice Chairman for Investment KADIN Indonesia and CEO of PT Freeport Indonesia.
Experts discussed how ASEAN Centrality aims to create a more inclusive future for the Southeast Asian region by leveraging its diverse markets, fast-moving population, and recent developments in sectors such as sustainable energy and high-tech industry. With the region expected to remain among the fastest growing in 2023, the session focused on strengthening cooperation to experience development in the upcoming years, and what global investors can do to tap into the opportunities to be part of this highly promising regional growth.
Another session in focus was Russia, that brought together experts and stakeholders from Russia and the Middle East to discuss the growing trade and economic ties between the two regions. The event highlighted how the increasing cooperation is leading to a favourable investment climate and opening up new opportunities for businesses to expand their operations and collaborate on large joint projects.
This session was moderated by Mikhail Khomich, Managing Director of VEB.RF; Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives for Special Projects. It featured speakers as Maxim Reshetnikov, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, Alexander Stuglev, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Roscongress Foundation, Khaled Hanafi, Secretary General, Union of Arab Chambers, Elena Astapenko, Director, Department of Pharmaceutical Provision and Regulation of the Circulation of Medical Devices, Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Vadim Lobov, President, Synergy Corporation, Dmitry Kudlay, Vice President for the Implementation of New Medical Technologies, Generium, Sergey Cheremin, Minister and Director, Department of Foreign Economic and International Relations of Moscow, Moscow Government; Chairman of the Board, Business Council for Cooperation with India, Aleksandr Petrov, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Medicines, Development of the Pharmaceutical and Medical Industry, Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Health Protection. It also featured participants as Andrey Terekhin, Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in the United Arab Emirates, Maximov Alexander, Honorary Representative of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation in the Middle East.
During the session, the specific areas of cooperation that the Middle East countries are interested in were also discussed. This included investment activity, the development of high-tech sectors of the economy, urban development, healthcare, and social and cultural sectors. Participants explored the potential for development in these areas and how they can work together to create mutually beneficial projects.
The discussion also focused on the new geopolitical challenges facing the region and how they could affect the development of relations between Russia and the countries of the Middle East. The experts highlighted that while these challenges could be seen as a barrier, they could also present an opportunity for the two regions to work together more closely and develop successful joint business initiatives.
Overall, the session provided a platform for experts and stakeholders to exchange ideas and explore the potential for collaboration between Russia and the Middle East. It highlighted the importance of building strong economic ties and partnerships between the two regions to promote growth, create jobs, and enhance the well-being of people in both regions.
The Moscow Destination Forum also showcased the city’s status as one of the world’s largest urban economies and the largest in Russia, with a comfortable business environment and support for business initiatives. Moscow offers access to high-quality labour resources, scientific and educational potential, and is among the world’s leaders in terms of innovative attractiveness. The forum also highlighted Moscow’s focus on sustainable development and efforts to implement the principles of ESG.
This session featured speakers as H.E. Sergey Cheremin, Minister of Moscow City Government Head of the Department for External Economic and International Relations of Moscow, Alexander Pinsky, Director for International Activities of Sitronics Group, Mr. Artemy Urodovskikh – VP of Business development, Big3 LLC, Maria Bogomolova, CEO of Moscow Agency of Innovations and Dmitriy Markov, CEO of Vision Labs LLC.
The forum provided a platform for investors to interact with local businesses, government officials, and other stakeholders, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of the investment climate in Moscow. Participants engaged in discussions on topics such as regulatory policies, infrastructure development, and investment incentives. The city’s strategic location between Europe and Asia, combined with its rich cultural and historical heritage, make it an attractive investment destination for a wide range of industries.
Commenting on Metropolises investment strategies for sustainable development, H.E. Sergey Cheremin, Minister of Moscow City Government Head of the Department for External Economic and International Relations of Moscow said, “The country’s economy is the largest in the world. The comfortable urban environment and the socially oriented sustainable economy have largely contributed to the steady investment growth in the country. It is to be noted that the country is one of the world’s largest ecosystems and will soon have year-round river transport, making it a good and healthy opportunity for investors looking to participate in the country’s future plans for economic growth.”
Speaking about The Moscow Innovation ecosystem, Mrs. Maria Bogomolova – CEO of Moscow Agency Of Innovations said, “The purpose of this corporation is to bring together the efforts of the local government, corporations and technology companies to develop cutting-edge technology. The corporation will aid on pilot testing the start-ups, find investors, and extend invite to the international corporations as a speaker in the investors Forum in Moscow etc.”
Furthermore, Mr. Alexander Pinsky – Director of International Activities, Sitronics Group presented the Sitronics Group; a company with an idea of smart city technology. He said, “We are a company of the future. Investors are able to use this technology as a way to invest into the future. This type technology make and generate direct profits.”
Mr. Artemy Urodovskikh – VP of Business development, Big3 LLC introduced The Big Three software which is a tool to optimize on how to save upto 30% of waste management. He said, “The B3 Universal platform has enabled the country to reach a fundamental new level of automation. We are poud of this achievement and are hoping that this platform will help us further our growth.”
Mr. Dmitriy Markov – CEO of Vision Labs LLC said “Machine learning experts specialize in the development of goods and solutions for face recognition, object detection, augmented reality, and virtual reality, making Moscow one of the world’s most innovative cities. We are proud to be a major contributor here.”
The session also highlighted the growth that Moscow had witnessed 20 percent more number of enterprises over the last year. The manufacturing industry grew by 10.2 percent, while construction work increased by 13.4 percent. Also, over 100 innovations were implemented in 2022 Through the forum, Moscow was able to showcase its competitive advantages and investment opportunities, including the development of its transportation infrastructure, technology sector, and industrial parks. The city is among the world’s leaders in terms of innovative attractiveness, and it tops the Innovation Infrastructure index. To date, there are 3 innovation clusters, 51 technoparks, and over 100 co-working spaces in the city.
The forum also allowed participants to network with other investors and businesses, providing them with valuable insights into the city’s investment landscape. Overall, the Moscow Investment Destination Forum was an essential platform for Moscow to promote itself as a leading investment destination, and for investors to explore the city’s vast investment potential.
Africa Region, Namibia in Focus
Another destination in focus was Namibia. This session highlighted the country’s potential as an investment hotspot, citing that the country has a GDP of USD 13 Billion in 2022, exports worth USD 3.2 Billion in 2021 and imports worth USD 4.8 Billion in 2020.
In addition, the country is rich in oil and gas, as well as large-scale projects in renewable energy, particularly green hydrogen. The country’s impressive tourism landscape, emerging MICE sector, and opportunities in agriculture were also highlighted.
Key speaker Nangula Nelulu Uaandja, Chief Executive Officer of Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) highlighted what makes Namibia a potential investment hotspot. She said, “Apart from the energy sector and Namibia’s tourism landscape, featuring breathtaking landscapes, diverse cultures, and rich wildlife, agriculture is another important sector in Namibia. Around 70% of the population depends directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoodswith the country exporting high-value fruits to key markets such as the UAE, UK, and EU market. Investors can find investment opportunities across the entire value chain of both the livestock and horticulture industries.”
This exciting session presented an opportunity for investors to explore the country’s investment landscape, learn more about the business climate, and network with key stakeholders. In addition, the session also shared Namibia’s aspirations for Golden Visa, Sector Focused Investment Promotion Drive – Green Industrialisation, Impactful Investments Incentive Scheme, Cybercrime Bill & Data Protection Bill and more. In addition, IRIYA JONA, KELP BLUE NAMIBIA REPRESENTATIVE highlighted the vision of the KELP BLUE is the potential cultivation of the Giant Kelp” macrocystis pyrifera” which is also known as seaweed. Iriya also highlighted how Kelp forests helps sustain healthy marine ecosystems, providing food and shelter for countless species.
Lastly, the session closed with remarks by Jessica Hauuanga, Head of Investment Experience Retention and Aftercare Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board. He stated, “Namibia has great economy and a massive potential for investors. The key sectors in the country’s industry are the main drivers of Namibia economy opening up investors opportunity and promoting the beauty of the country as well.”
In addition, the event also highlighted The Republic of Armenia as an Investment Destination. It emphasized the country’s location as a vital trade route connecting Europe and Asia, offering easy access to different parts of the world. The Armenian government is taking considerable steps to improve the business climate and create favourable conditions for investments in sectors such as energy, infrastructure, technology, agriculture, food processing, tourism, and textiles. The country’s access to large export markets with preferential conditions were also highlighted. It also focused on how compared to period between Year 2021 and Year 2022, the economic activity growth has increased by 14.2%.
Spearheaded by experts as Mrs. Alina Yegiazaryan, Head of the Investment, Promotional and Foreign Relations Enterprise Armenia, the event featured speakers as H.E Mr. Karen Grigoryan, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to the UAE, Mr. Vahan Kerobyan, Minister Of Economy of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Levon Ohanesyan, General Director Enterprise Armenia and Mr. Edik Harutyunyan, Senior Manager Of Investment Promotion and Foreign Relations Enterprise Armenia
In this session, Mrs. Alina Yegiazaryan introduced Armenia as a country with a vibrant economy and a country with great opportunity for investors.
H.E Mr. Karen Grigoryan speaker stated, “Though the country has recorded regional instability due to the Covid pandemic, the country remains a reliable hub for investors connecting Middle East and Europe markets. Not only does the country has comprehensible tax system but a stable local currency and competitive market. Cheap electricity, and great partnerships make Armenia a great investment destination.”
Mr. Vahan Kerobyan emphasized on the country’s economic data growth. He said, “The economic development of Armenia has increased from Year 2021 to Year 2022 by 12.6%. This growth has been as a contribution from the country’s key industries in Finance, IT, Manufacturing & Construction. This makes the country reliable partners for investment and successful growth.”
Mr. Levon Ohanesyan said, “The increase in the country GDP, is one of the key highlight of appealing investment location to foreign investors and the Armenia government is committed to providing solid support to new and potential investors as early as their initial stages as they contribute to the economy of the country.”
Mr. Edik Harutyunyan said, “The investment climate of Armenia is stable and solid for the country’s economic growth, which is favorable to the business development. Moreover, the government of Armenia is committed to provide safe and support programs to the investors in exchange to investing opportunities in the country’s economy. The economy of the country is comprehensive, reliable and free of charge and has a great potential to new investors.”
In this session, experts highlighted that an essential aspect to consider when investing in Armenia is its access to large export markets with preferential conditions. Thanks to Armenia’s diversified economic relations, its products can be exported to a consumer market of 1 billion people with 0% or reduced customs duties.
With its educated workforce, strategic location, and supportive business environment, Armenia has the potential to become an attractive destination for foreign investment in the years to come.