Abu Dhabi to host UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum; Key focus on sustainable economic recovery

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The eminent global platform for investment and development, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) World Investment Forum will convene in Abu Dhabi from October 17 to 21 this year to explore ways for countries to sustainably recover from the pandemic.

During a virtual media briefing held last day, the director of the investment and enterprise division at UNCTAD, James Zhan stated that this year the event will discuss various steps to bring a sustainable recovery. “It aims at addressing key emerging challenges and opportunities arising from the pandemic and beyond. It also aims to explore ways and means to mobilize investments for sustainable and inclusive recovery.”

The pandemic, which disrupted the global trade and travel and tourism sector pushed the world’s economy into the deepest recession since the 1930s. According to UNCTAD, the health crisis has slumped foreign direct investments by 42 percent in 2020. The foreign investment flows fell to $859 billion by the end of last year, which is $1.5 trillion lesser than in 2019.

The stimulus measures and the vaccine rollout in many countries are helping economies to bounce back to a pre-pandemic. The global output is set to expand 6 percent this year after shrinking 4.4 percent in 2020, as per International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The UNCTD World Investment Forum was last held in Geneva, 2018 and it attracted 6,600 participants from 150 countries like key decision-makers in the government and the private sector.

The UNCTAD expects FDI to continue falling this year despite better economic prospects, it said in a report in January.

The measures taken by the UAE and Abu Dhabi to cope with the challenges arising from the pandemic and their vision for long-term sustainable development are the key reason for choosing the emirate to host the event, Mr. Zhan stated.

“Besides, Abu Dhabi has been hosting many multinational companies and the UAE also, and that gives additional incentives for us to have the World Investment Forum this year (in Abu Dhabi) so that we can have more interaction with business,” Mr. Zhan said.

Expo 2020, which is going to be held later this year in the UAE, can also benefit the World Investment Forum in terms of participation, speakers and in terms of showcasing.

Related: Global economy to uptick 4.7% in 2021; UNCTAD report