His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, has delivered the keynote address at the opening of the 13th edition of the AIM Congress in Abu Dhabi.

The opening ceremony saw the participation of His Excellency Andry Rajoelina, President of the Republic of Madagascar; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Saud Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Ras Al Khaimah; Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance; His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of State, Sheikh Khalid bin Saud Al Qasimi, Vice Chairman of Ras Al Khaimah’s Investment and Development Office; His Excellency Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology; His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade; and His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League.

The congress, held under the theme Adapting to A Shifting Investment Landscape: Harnessing New Potentials for Global Economic Development, runs for three days until 9 May 2024 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), with His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Sar Al Qasimi as Guest of Honor.

During the event’s opening keynote address, His Highness emphasised how the UAE’s investment journey has evolved and expanded over time, highlighting that the country has become a key source of FDI on a global scale.

His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi said: “The UAE has always understood that development can, and should, be reciprocal. I am convinced that by joining forces, we can establish a new investment landscape, with growth that is inclusive, sustainable, and as far as possible, universal.

“The UAE has demonstrated that when wisdom and a sense of duty meet vision and hard work, anything is possible. The commitment shown by our President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to our people and our future inspires us all, and His Highness has shown that, with the right vision, and the right plan, dreams can come true.”

On the UAE’s economic development since its foundation, His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi said that it would have remained a dream had it not been for continual and strenuous effort.

His Highness said: “A dream is just a dream without hard work. Without a vision and a plan, and without a good strategy, work without purpose may lead to chaos and a waste of a country’s resources. When it comes to delivering outcomes, wisdom and a sense of duty are the differentiators.”

His Highness went on to detail how the UAE has achieved such levels of investment and economic and social development.

His Highness said: “Firstly, we channeled our strategic wealth into the construction of infrastructure, and the formation of robust institutions. Secondly, we concentrated on the soft infrastructure – the establishment of a regulatory, legal and commercial environment that gives investors’ confidence. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, we nurtured our greatest asset, our people, understanding that to thrive we needed to educate the generations, and the leaders, to come.”

AIM Congress 2024, supported by the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development as the lead partner, witnessed significant attendance on its first day. Notable attendees included Ministers, Government Officials, and decision-makers from around the world, in addition to leading investors, major corporations, startups, small and medium-sized enterprises, international organizations, and more than 12,000 visitors from over 175 countries.

AIM Congress, an initiative of the AIM Global Foundation, aims to formulate investment strategies and policies, promote investment and economic opportunities, enhance international economic relations, and devise innovative solutions to address current and future global challenges and developments, ultimately striving towards a prosperous and sustainable global economy.

The opening ceremony included keynote speeches and live panel discussions with senior policymakers and top business leaders, aimed at exchanging knowledge, experiences, and insights with participants, exploring strategies for adapting to global investment landscape transformations, and finding solutions to address challenges.

The list of speakers featured prominent officials and influential economic figures, notably also including a keynote speech by His Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League.