The Annual Investment Meeting is a conglomerate of corporate leaders, policy-makers, regional and international investors, and experts who provide strategies, and knowledge on attracting investment.
AIM Congress's focus for 2023 was on fostering and harnessing new potentials for global economic development. As World Investment Forum’s partner, AIM Congress held a discussion wherein excellencies, ambassadors, and experts from around the world came together to share their thoughts on the big paradigm shift in the investment landscape, the challenges faced by the countries and the business leaders and finding solutions to overcome it.
Opening the session, H.E. Dawood Al Shezawi, President of AIM Global Foundation, said, “I take pride to be present in front of you all. Every year experts in the field of investment gather to share knowledge and strategies to attract investment in the Annual Investments Meeting now rebranded as Aim Congress. Committed to adding value to its members, AIM Congress runs all its initiatives on three impacts – economic, environmental, and social. Without these, the work that we do has no value. We have also developed AIM Academy wherein we made programmes, shared experiences and knowledge. Our programs are designed to look into different subjects, the main focus being FDI. We target entrepreneurs and prepare them for digital challenges. And we help cities on how to go about investment. I wish you success at this conference and thank you to all the speakers for your time.”
H.E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area, said, “Africa is facing investment challenges due to the absence of harmonized regime and dispute mechanism. This downturn has implications for Africa’s development. This projection of future potential for a competitive market is aimed to invite investors to look at Africa with a fresh view.”
H.E. Wamkele Mene made an official announcement that the African Continental Free Trade Area has signed an MOU with the AIM Congress, in which this platform is required to enable investment facilitation and raising awareness of investment climate in Africa, educating dialogues about how the countries’ political challenges be improved.
The session then convened a panel discussion on digital financial inclusion and its move towards an innovative, interconnected, and inclusive world economy.
Digital technology is rapidly evolving, and financial inclusion is one of the key pillars of the global poverty reduction agenda, which aims at developing transition economies. The panel highlighted the opportunities and the advanced transformation of digital finance, which has successfully improved access to finance for the poor, women, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and other excluded segments.
Commenting on this, Sherif Elmasry, CEO of Maverika, highlighted that at a strategic level, digital transformation is a key driver.
"10 years ago, digital technology helped reduce entry barriers to expand and reach the underserved community. The advancement of biometric technology has enabled access to people to secure transactions from the comfort of their homes. These were the real innovations that technology brought in," she noted.
Ali Al Balooshi, CEO of EcoX Group, said that the technological advancements would not only benefit businesses but also individuals, especially the ones living in underdeveloped areas or countries.
Speaking about how fintech is shaping up the digital area, Vikash Sharma, Founder – Group CEO, IC1101 Inc. said that digital finance inclusion is only possible till the time the particular country’s banking and bureau system is tech-enabled.
Another panel discussion highlighted the challenges faced in the supply chain sector. Each expert spoke about the current challenges experienced in supply chain management and shared solutions to overcome them. Sonya Janahi, a Board Member of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce, said that there have been logistical concerns in getting raw materials and food security since 2020, and conflicts around the world make it more challenging, leading to increased prices of logistics. She added that there are countries that can provide food security, and unity is crucial to overcome such a challenge.
Amb. Michael Aaron Oquaye, CEO - Ghana Free Zones Authority highlighted that if the businesses are not able to increase salaries to deal with inflation or market forces then the government will also not be able to provide any cushion resulting in primary sectors getting affected to the core.
The other panelists highlighted that the supply chain sector is trying its best to remain ahead of time by making use of drones to deliver essentials to countries that are in need. They closed discussions by talking about changing legislations of the supply chain sector and applying AI and other augmented reality technologies to foster it.