The activities of the Abu Dhabi-Tokyo Investment Forum were concluded yesterday in the Japanese capital Tokyo with Japanese government leaderships, representatives of the business sectors, businessmen and investors showing notable interest. A number of state officials from the Abu Dhabi government, being members of the Abu Dhabi delegation to the forum, have unanimously agreed that the Abu Dhabi government is looking forward to creating long-term strategic relations with its international strategic partners from different countries across the world, most prominently Japan. The officials stressed Abu Dhabi’s interest in implementing major development projects, mainly those determined by the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, which will be the base for international strategic partnerships, aiming to achieve Abu Dhabi’s sustainable economic development according to knowledge-reliant principles of economy. His Excellency Mohamed Thani Al Romaithi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, in a statement he made during the forum, stressed the need for promoting the economic and investment cooperation between Abu Dhabi and Japan to the level of strategic partnership. This could be attained through the Japanese firms investments in vital areas in Abu Dhabi and the performance of a vital role in the economic development plans and projects in a manner that serves the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. His Excellency said that holding such a forum is considered a unique opportunity that will boost cooperation between Abu Dhabi and Japan in the trade and investment areas as well as the establishment of partnerships between public sector firms and corporations in Abu Dhabi and Japanese firms. He indicated that the UAE, and Abu Dhabi in particular, maintain distinguished relations with Japan, which is considered a major trade partner of the UAE. Al-Romaithi indicated that the Abu Dhabi economic delegation will invite Japanese industrial firms and corporations to establish industrial productive units in the UAE to make use of the privileges provided by the Specialized Economic Zones, mainly the Khalifa Industrial Zone of Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) that offer facilities and services to the Japanese firms and investors, especially in the areas of renewable industry and technology, electronics, petrochemicals and the car manufacturing industry. He also emphasized that the Japanese firms, by having industrial productive units in Abu Dhabi, will have the privilege of better access to the region, being the largest market for the Japanese products, something that will further enhance the competitiveness of such products due to the strategic location of Abu Dhabi and the UAE in general. His Excellency said that the prospected projects in Abu Dhabi and the Specialized Industrial Zones ensure considerable opportunities for increasing the Japanese investments and in Abu Dhabi and for the Japanese firms to enhance their cooperation with our domestic firms towards the fulfillment of the planned projects in Abu Dhabi in the years to come. He indicated that the Abu Dhabi Chamber, being a representative of the private sector in Abu Dhabi, alongside different entities and firms in Abu Dhabi, will work towards encouraging partnerships and joint projects between public-sector firms in the UAE and Japan and will act to ensure success of such partnerships. For his part, His Excellency Falah al-Ahbabi, General Manager of the Abu Dhabi Council for Urban Planning, said during the forum that “Due to Abu Dhabi’s pivotal role in boosting economic and human development, there is a need for the acquisition of such vital potentials that help towards the fulfillment of the goals caring for improved and sustainable infrastructure as well as the service facilities and the required know-how.He added that the Abu Dhabi- Tokyo Investment Forum emphasizes the fact that Abu Dhabi is heading steadily towards the fulfillment of its vision of economic diversity via the development of sustainable societies and implementing urban projects and with the highest standards possible. In his address about the Abu Dhabi Council for Urban Planning’s participation in the Abu Dhabi-Tokyo Investment Forum, His Excellency Falah al-Ahbabi, Chairman of the Council, said that this participation is intended to shed light on the Council’s commitment to the exchange of ideas and practices. It also aims to make known the process of the urban sustainable development and its importance to the Abu Dhabi vision towards boosting the proposed economic diversity process through making available a sustainable infrastructure.During the discussion forum attended by different government entities in Abu Dhabi, al-Ahbabi highlighted the council’s strategy that aims to prompt all the concerned entities in Abu Dhabi to provide information and data to create a joint vision for the future of Abu Dhabi, something which enabled all the corporations to draw up carefully studies political plans and solutions that further consolidate transparency and creativity, and contributes to manipulating investments to achieve sustainable development.
For his part, His Excellency Mohamed Hassan Al Qumzi, Executive Manager of the Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones, said the corporation continually backs the Department of Economic Development’s endeavors that aim to shift Abu Dhabi’s economic activity from oil-reliant economy into knowledge-reliant and diverse one, leaning on the promotion and development of its industrial sector. He added that the corporation is acting to encourage local investments and attract more foreign investments to its diverse zones, which leads to meeting the needs of the local Emirati and regional markets. Al Qamzi emphasized the Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones’s keenness to strengthening the commercial ties with the Asian industrial economies such as that of Japan, India and Turkey and elsewhere. The Abu Dhabi several investment forums provide an opportunity for the corporation to put forth the most prominent investment services and solutions offered by the corporation throughout the sole-window program to different local as well as international investors. With regard to the industrial cities affiliated to the corporation, H.E. Al Qumzi said “The first and second ICAD occupied an area of 39 kilometers. There was a great demand on renting such areas of land, as 27.3 kilometers have been rent so far for multiple purposes such as engineering and supplemental heavy and medium industries, steal and wood, apart from oil and gas services.”Al Qumzi indicated that the Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Free Zones has got an approval from the Abu Dhabi Executive Council to start drawing up plans necessary for the establishment of two industrial cities in al-Rowais and Zaid City in the Western District and a specialized city for cars.He said: “The studies currently undertaken by the corporation incorporates the preparation for three additional industrial cities: Building Material City, Marine Industries and Service City and Center for Logistic Services. These cities are expected to be established in ICAD 4. Whilst studies are still in their first stages, the corporation has sufficient lands to start them.”His Excellency Al Qumzi emphasized the corporation’s keenness to continue coordination and cooperation with relevant entities in the Abu Dhabi government to put forth a project to establish free industrial zones for approval by the Cabinet according to which the foreigners’ shares in some projects shall exceed 1 percent after the corporation received a number of investment applications in free industrial zones in Abdu-Dhabi.For his part, Mr. Rashed Al Baloushi, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of ADX, Operations stated during the Abu Dhabi Tokyo Investment Forum 2012 that they are persistently seeking to enhance the market potentials in order to be able to meet the needs of both clients and investors.At the beginning of his address, Mr. Al Baloushi expressed happiness for the Market’s participation in such an important economic forum that incorporates different economic figures and businessmen in one place with the aim of enhancing cooperation and coordination between the two countries, hoping that such a forum, organized by the Department of Economic Development would push forward cooperation between the UAE and Japan and consolidate operations in the stock exchange markets .He added that this forum is an opportunity for businessmen and investors to review the investment opportunities, services and privileges offered by the corporation and other economic entities in Abu- Dhabi with the aim of creating an investment climate that paves the way for Abu Dhabi to become an important financial center with unique economic potentials in the region. The Deputy Chief Executive and Director of ADX highly valued the flexible laws and investment legislations in both the UAE and Japan that encourages and backs foreign investments and create trade partnerships between local and foreign investors. He said “ADX will not spare effort to meet the requirements of Japanese firms that are seeking to derive benefits from the investment opportunities offered by Abu Dhabi, in particular, and the UAE in general.”He indicated that Japanese firms enjoy modern and advanced techniques in all fields, which will make it easy for them to market their product in the Middle East region and its surroundings, stressing Abu Dhabi’s willingness that Japanese firms will take it as a regional headquarter for their economic operations to benefit from the services and facilities provided by the city. Al Baloushi indicated that Japan’s contribution to the training of Emirati cadres and moving relevant Japanese expertise and techniques in different economic circles will lead to the exchange of expertise and knowledge between the two parties. He indicated that the Japanese experience in the investment sector is highly significant and vital owing to unique quality that can be exploited in the local sphere. Mr. Rashed Al Baloushi made a detailed explanation during the forum’s sessions about the ADX. The sessions were attended by Japanese officials and a large number of businessmen from Japan. He highlighted the market’s different phases ever since its establishment on 15 November 2000, as well as the prominent services it offers to the investors. He elaborately highlighted the three stages the market went through. He said that the market’s foundational stage incorporated the preparation of an intense work time frame to enlist more companies in the ADX. This, however, will coincide with enacting laws, legislations, systems and regulations, apart from electronic depositing of shares, being the most prominent phase and one which required preparation before market operations begin. Al-Baloushi highlighted the market’s promotional stage that laid emphasis on exhibiting the role of Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange internationally via a set of initiatives and important field plans in cooperation with the Department of Economic Development, the Stock Exchange and Items Authority and Dubai Stock Exchange. This incorporated field visits to the US, the British capital London, Singapore and China, aiming to promote Abu Dhabi as a regional and international financial circle. In the presentation he made, Al-Baloushi made an explanation of some laws and legislations which the market acted to promote such as the firms laws and stock exchange laws and financial laws. In his speech before the participants of the forum, Mr. Rashed Al Baloushi said that the ADX underwent a significant development stage after its administration pledged that all the measures and services provided by the market are ensured and technologically effective. The aim of this is to make the procedures easier for the market clients and the concerned parties, whether companies, corporations, investors or the public, in the framework of a comprehensive plan that aims to raise the standard of the ADX in line with the Abu Dhabi government vision 2030.He indicated that such measures incorporated the promotion of the (delivery for payment) DvP and the enrolment of Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) in a measure considered to be the first of its kind in the stock exchange markets in the region. The market has also set an emergency plan (BCMS) at times of emergency.Speaking of the future stage, the Deputy Chief of ADX said that according to the state’s general strategy 2021, and in view of the Economic Vision 2030 of Abu-Dhabi, the market will seek during this period to polarize institutional contributions towards the activation of the market role as a center for funding projects as well as capital investments. He added that the market will act to diversify tools of investment through putting forth new investment tools and consolidation of transactions in investment tools of limited activity. The market will also make available a legislative frame according to the best international practices towards promoting the proficiency of major transactions in order to promote the market service. Mr. Rashed Al Baloushi concluded his presentation by indicating that the number of Japanese investors enlisted in the ADX is 635 investors, 26 of them are corporations, and 609 are individuals. He pointed out that the market value of the Japanese investors’ shares is AED 29.5 million, with a total amount of shares being 17 million shares and net investment of AED 9 million.