Countries to meet in Abu Dhabi for UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum

© Kazzazm/Shutterstock | Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre

The event to be held from 16 to 20 October 2023 will focus on increasing investment in sustainable development to tackle cascading global crises.

UNCTAD will hold its 8th World Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), from 16 to 20 October 2023.

Taking place under the theme "Investing in sustainable development", the forum will bring together government leaders, global CEOs and other investment stakeholders.

They will tackle the key challenges brought about by multiple global crises, including the need to invest in food security, energy, health, supply-chain resilience, infrastructure and productive capacity growth in the least developed countries.

UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan and the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, on 19 January presented the priority themes of the forum.

Ms. Grynspan emphasized the vital role the forum plays in mobilizing efforts by the international investment-development community to address global challenges, which have both multiplied and converged in recent years.

"I see how investors, firms and governments are, in increasing numbers, putting sustainability and long-term value at the core of their activities," she said.

"The World Investment Forum aims to bring them all together to make a positive contribution to addressing today’s most pressing issues, including through climate finance and investment. I sincerely thank our host country partners, the Ministry of Economy and the Government of Abu Dhabi, for offering to host the forum."

The forum will take place a few weeks ahead of the annual climate summit COP28, which will also be held in the UAE. The forum will enable policymakers and other stakeholders to find solutions and reach consensus on priority issues, and its outcomes will feed into COP28 negotiations.

Important opportunity

UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan (centre) with the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi (left) and the chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa.
UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan (centre) with the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi (left) and the chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa.

"At a time when much of the world is struggling with contracting markets and a post-Covid recovery that has yet to fully take hold, UNCTAD’s 8th World Investment Forum is an important opportunity to take a long-term perspective," Dr. Al Zeyoudi said.

He said the challenges the world faces, whether systemic issues such as climate change, inequality and food security or mitigating the pandemic’s impact on trade, investment and supply chain resilience, require unity of purpose and action on an unprecedented scale.

Dr. Al Zeyoudi added: "It is fitting that the event takes place in the UAE, where we are continuously reinventing and remodeling our economy to anticipate future changes. Decades of UAE innovation are now generating a level of recognition and trust in our systems and processes, while various national initiatives have helped to attract unprecedented investment and talent, transforming our nation into a truly global business hub."

From the host city Abu Dhabi, Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, underscored the critical need to safeguard and build on the process of global reform, including the liberalization of trade and responsible investment policies.

"Against the backdrop of a highly volatile global economic landscape, the international community shares a collective responsibility to address the challenges facing the multilateral trading and development system," he said.

"It is imperative that we continue to come together, cooperate and identify much-needed solutions and alternative ways for the prosperity of all countries and humankind."

Mr. Al Shorafa said the UAE proudly embodies the ideals of openness, equality and sustainability, the pillars of its successful international business and trade doctrine.

"We will continue to work with all countries towards alleviating poverty and supporting long-term growth for sustainable development. We have a clear vision on how to scale the solutions required to help move the world forward and achieve real progress."

About the World Investment Forum

UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum is the largest global platform for high-level dialogue and action on investment and development.

It aims to produce strategies to address global investment and development challenges, to facilitate networking between global leaders in business and politics, to stimulate public and private action on investment for sustainable development, and to offer a unique opportunity to influence investment policymaking and shape the global investment environment.

The five-day event in Abu Dhabi will bring together heads of state and government, ministers, executives of global companies and stock exchanges, sovereign wealth fund managers, investment treaty negotiators, heads of investment promotion agencies and special economic zones, investment location experts, heads of international organizations, members of parliament, civil society representatives, eminent scholars and international media.