The Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of Dubai Economy, has initiated a series of webinars to connect with potential investors and partners from Japan and highlight opportunities in the vital healthcare, food and agribusiness, and technology sectors in Dubai.
The webinars, held in line with Dubai FDI’s virtual engagement strategy for 2020, are aimed to enable stakeholders to continue exploring and promoting investment opportunities at a time when in-person trade missions have been affected by the coronavirus COVID-19 restrictions.
Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai FDI, said: “Japan and the UAE historically have a strong trading partnership spanning many years. This has become deeper and more robust after the launch of the UAE’s Amal (Hope) probe to Mars from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center on 20 July 2020.”
Al Gergawi added: “The total value of non-oil trade between the two countries has surpassed AED 534 billion in the 11 years between 2009 and 2019, demonstrating the strength of the partnership. This is also evident in the fact that there are more than 10,000 Japanese companies, agencies, and brands operating in the UAE.”
In the five-year period between 2015 and 2019, Japanese projects brought an estimated foreign direct investment (FDI) worth AED 1.04 billion into Dubai, according to data from the Dubai FDI Monitor. In 2019, FDI inflows into Dubai from Japan increased by more than 171 per cent over the previous year.
The virtual outreach, being organised in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), kicked off on 02 September 2020, with the healthcare sector in focus. A webinar on the food and agribusiness sector was held on the 6th of October 2020 and the technology sector outreach will follow on the 4th of November 2020.
Muna Almaeeni, Deputy Head of the UAE Mission to Tokyo, said: “Regular dialogue between the leaders of the UAE and Japan, supported by strategic initiatives and trade missions, has strengthened the bilateral relationship over the years. Exploring new opportunities via webinars gives impetus to our existing long-term partnership.”
Dubai has positioned itself as the City of the Future to enhance stakeholder happiness. At the same time the city remains an important gateway to the region’s emerging markets, while its advanced infrastructure positions it as a global hub for trade and investment.
The healthcare webinar saw representation from Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Dubai Healthcare City Authority (DHCA) as well as Dubai FDI. Dubai’s steadily expanding population and focus on medical tourism makes it an attractive investment destination. Opportunities include Centers of Excellence in specialisations such as cardiology, neurology, and rehabilitation. The production of generic pharmaceuticals and the production, sales, and service of medical devices will also continue to be areas of focus for investment in Dubai.
Representatives from Dubai Municipality (DM) and Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza) joined Dubai FDI at the webinar on the food and agriculture sector. Dubai has developed a robust food and agriculture ecosystem as an effective counter to potential international supply chain disruptions. Strategically targeted investments and policies enable Dubai to further strengthen this ecosystem. As a major re-export centre, Dubai maintains excellent facilities for fresh produce. Dubai focusing on research and development and on agricultural technologies that offer a variety of crops and yields is also intended to cater for the needs of a growing population.
Participation from Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and Smart Dubai will be front and centre, alongside Dubai FDI, at the technology sector webinar. As a prime mover in implementing the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and incubating high-technology start-ups, Dubai is one of the first in the world to utilize the benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and machine learning, blockchain, financial technologies (fintech) and HealthIT. Along with these, Dubai is also focusing on 3-D printing, cybersecurity, and geographic information systems (GIS).
As a leading global FDI destination, Dubai recorded exceptional growth in FDI during the first six months of 2020, with 190 projects worth AED 12 billion, according to data from Dubai FDI Monitor, which uses the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) methodology to track FDI data.
Medium and high technology investments accounted for 53% of FDI attracted by Dubai in H1 2020, underlining a growing recognition among global investors that Dubai is the ideal place for technology-related investments.