Under the directives and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, Dubai FDI, the foreign investment promotion office of the Department of Economic Development (DED), has announced that Dubai will host the XVII Annual World Investment Conference of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) from 17th to 18th of September 2012.

Held for the first time in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region, the annual meeting in Dubai will bring together thought leaders from established and emerging markets to discuss collaborative efforts, best practices and innovative strategies in the field of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Over 400 high-level representatives of 250 investment promotion agencies from more than 160 countries are expected to attend.

“Dubai is a living example of how investment and economic development can complement each other in creating and leveraging opportunities. As one of the most vibrant and progressive investment destinations in the world, Dubai is proud to host the WAIPA annual meeting and promote consultations among leading investment strategists,” said His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of DED.

“At WAIPA we encourage governments to open up to innovative thinking and take bold steps so they remain competitive in the global marketplace for investment projects,” stated His Excellency Alessandro Teixeira, President of WAIPA and Deputy Minister for Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Brazil.

The Geneva-based WAIPA is the foremost networking and information exchange platform for investment promotion agencies world over. Founded in 1995, the international association for all investment promotion and development agencies provides members with a forum to share successful approaches, influence government policy and build technical and human resource capabilities for accelerated inward and outward investment.

“By improving their business environment, removing barriers to market entry and setting up other soft as well as hard infrastructure conditions Dubai has for long created a virtuous circle where FDI leads to self-sustaining economic growth and development reinforces FDI,” added Teixeira.

The annual meeting will witness wide-ranging discussions on developing innovative strategies to capitalise on the emerging priorities in global FDI movement. Dubai’s success as an investment destination and its long-standing commitment to facilitating business and market access will be under the spotlight at the meeting. Representatives at the event will also elect a new President and Vice President for WAIPA, whose names will be announced at the event.

“Dubai is unique in that the development vision and policies in the emirate is founded on promoting free enterprise and investment. As we look to cement our status as a leading investment destination it is important to host events that foster innovation and long term relationships,” said Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai FDI who is also the Middle East and North Africa Regional Director of WAIPA.

“Foreign investment inflows to Dubai reached USD 6.2 billion (AED 23 billion) in 2011 and all indications are that it will remain on a high growth curve. A major driver of FDI to Dubai is the growing realisation that it’s the most efficient hub that can connect businesses to a 2.2 billion population living in the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent,” noted Al Gergawi.

Al Gergawi added that the WAIPA meeting will also be a valuable opportunity for Dubai to highlight its regional leadership in attracting and promoting investment. The two-day meeting will be held at the Grand Hyatt, Dubai

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