ABU DHABI, 4th March, 2023 (WAM) — The role of the UAE in global trade, investment and growth, as trade and investment industry leaders from around the The conference on “The Power of Investment & Growth” will be held at Investopia Conference 2023 in Abu Dhabi on March 2-3.
The discussion was moderated by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Chris Cox, Global Head of Trade and Working Capital Solutions, Citigroup, Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO of Africa Finance Corporation, and James Zhan, Senior Executive. Director, Investment and Enterprise Division, UNCTAD.
Al Zeyoudi addressed a question from session moderator Maria Ramos about the country’s 78% increase in trade figures year-on-year.
He also noted that the reshuffling of the global economic center of gravity presents an opportunity for the UAE to position itself as a key player in global value chains. Additionally, rising protectionism worldwide, coupled with the spread of the pandemic, is expected to cost the global economy around $3 trillion by 2025. To avoid the negative impact of these trends, the UAE is redefining supply chains and forging new partnerships.
He added that in 2021, the UAE’s trade volume will see a staggering 17 percent growth, totaling AED2.3 trillion. The country has established three new trade agreements with partners, in addition to existing agreements in the Arab world.
In addition, Dr. Al Zeyoudi highlighted the UAE’s commitment to sustainable development, noting that 25 percent of the country’s electricity comes from clean energy sources and 75 percent is considered one of the cleanest conventional sources of energy.
Dr Al Zeyoudi expressed trust and confidence in the UAE’s ability to continue to attract investment and achieve strong trade growth in the coming year.
Meanwhile, Samaila Zubairu, chief executive of the Africa Finance Corporation, highlighted that the electric vehicle market will grow to $50 billion by 2050, with electric vehicles and batteries requiring 2.5 million tonnes of minerals and metals, many of which are located in Africa.
During COP28 she highlighted the need to improve the process and enliven the voluntary carbon market, and encouraged companies to participate in achieving net zero goals.
Chris Cox, global head of trade and working capital solutions at Citi, spoke about the challenges of global supply chains and highlighted the importance of digitization and logistics incentives as trade remains fragmented.
Cox also highlighted the significant growth of supply chain financing solutions.
Cox mentioned the importance of supporting SMEs through a development agency focused on sustainability, and Citi’s commitment to increasing the pool of capital available to SMEs.
James Zhan, senior director of investment and enterprise at UNCTAD, said global trade can be harnessed through investment for sustainable growth. Despite recent trends of slow globalization and deglobalization, climate transition needs and financing needs are growing rapidly. Policy-driven investments, such as the EU’s $300 billion investment and US efforts in Africa, are moving things forward.
The theme of Investopia Conference 2023 is “Envisioning Opportunities in an Era of Change” with three sub-themes: Envisioning Opportunities in Today’s Economy, The Future of National Wealth, and Growth Opportunities in an Era of Decarbonization.
This year’s conference included 35 sessions and roundtables, bringing together more than 2,000 investors, government officials, thought leaders and entrepreneurs from more than 40 countries.