The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will hold its 8th World Investment Forum at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi from 16-20 October 2023, bringing together more than 7,000 investment stakeholders from more than 160 countries.

Supported by the Ministry of Economy and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), the event will convene the world’s business and investment community to Abu Dhabi’s Falcon Economy, guiding the emirate’s next phase of economic diversification and the transition to a smart, circular, inclusive and sustainable development. Additionally, special panel discussions, keynote speeches and interactive workshops will be organised to highlight the Make it in the Emirates initiative to develop the industrial sector in the UAE in line with the country’s commitment to Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.

These events will help in exchanging ideas and best practices, enhancing dialogue and collaboration, and stimulating collective efforts to shape global investment policies and strategies.

His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said: “Hosting the 8th World Investment Forum reflects our leadership’s vision and unwavering commitment to enhance international cooperation and collective action to develop innovative solutions to benefit the global community, leveraging on the strong fundamentals of our soaring Falcon Economy to achieve the UN sustainable development goals, to contribute positively to shaping a brighter future for humanity.

“Abu Dhabi has made great strides in achieving the objectives of its diversification strategy, laying down a solid foundation to continue developing a knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy. We are fostering and incentivising talents to find solutions to current and future challenges, as well as continuously enhancing the business ecosystem to provide investors with opportunities to grow and expand. We look forward to welcoming the world leaders and  key decision makers in business and investment in Abu Dhabi to discuss ways of strengthening necessary frameworks to ensure international trade and investments are geared to achieve common goals of the international community.”

The World Investment Forum will be split into three segments including the Invest in Tomorrow: Abu Dhabi’s economic transition forum, organised by ADDED, which will take place on 18 October, the third day of World Investment Forum. The segment of the forum will provide a vital platform for business and investment community to learn about Abu Dhabi’s Falcon Economy and its attributes as a rising economic and financial powerhouse, preferred destination for talents, businesses, and investment, as well as its transformative strategies to engineer a sustainable and prosperous future.

It features keynote addresses and panel discussions, including Attracting Foreign Direct Investment in the Era of Industry 4.0: Opportunities and Challenges, which also examines why Abu Dhabi is an appealing destination for talents, entrepreneurs, and investors, and highlights its alignment with Industry 4.0’s transformative technologies and methods.

The session further delves into foreign direct investment’s (FDI) role in advancing technology and boosting manufacturing. It emphasises the importance of government policies, incentives, and clear regulations in attracting foreign investment and enhancing advanced industries. Additionally, the session highlights international trade, sustainability, social responsibility, and holistic development as key drivers for economic growth.

The Invest in Tomorrow will highlight the vital role played by startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in boosting economies through job creation, driving innovation, and contributing to economic diversification. Participants will be able to discuss the measures implemented by the government of Abu Dhabi to attract, nurture and empower talent.

The second part of the World Investment Forum will be under the Make it in the Emirates initiative of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, a panel discussion entitled Investing in the Emirates: Unlocking Opportunities for Sustainable Prosperity, highlighting programmes designed for manufacturers, investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs to set up ventures in the UAE and benefit from the country's exceptional manufacturing advantages.

In this panel, participants will showcase UAE's industrial and technological advancements, driven by the National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology launched in 2021. The strategy aims to elevate the national industrial sector's growth, GDP contribution, investment attractiveness, entrepreneurship support, product competitiveness, and establish the UAE as a global hub for manufacturing and innovation. It also aligns with the Year of Sustainability, the UAE's commitment to Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and its preparations for hosting COP28.

The session emphasises the UAE's favourable business environment, underpinned by reliable energy, strategic location, strong logistics, and advanced technology. It backs the Make it in the Emirates initiative with significant financing, thus fueling the Technological Transformation programmes that targets 1,000 projects by 2031, focusing on Industry 4.0 technologies in various sectors including healthcare, transportation, and logistics.

Finally, World Investment Forum, in collaboration with AIM Congress, will also host a side forum that includes two dialogue sessions; Digital Financial Inclusion: Moving Towards an Innovative, Interconnected, and Inclusive World Economy and Supply Chains – The Road Ahead: 2023 Challenging Questions. In addition, there will be a fireside chat and an on-platform interview.

The first panel highlights the transformative power of digital finance in improving access to financial services for underserved groups, while the second one delves into the challenges and opportunities in global supply chains, covering labour shortages, cyber threats, geopolitical tensions and climate change. It also explores the application of AI and digital technologies within supply chains and assesses how evolving legislation and geopolitical issues affect these networks.

The fireside chat The Future of Cities – Thriving Amid Turbulence examines the future of cities worldwide over the next 30 years, which is expected to witness unprecedented changes towards green cities.