Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, recently visited Italy and Japan to address business representatives, investors and government officials and familiarize them with the high growth sectors as well as economic opportunities in Dubai.

“The emphasis on innovation and knowledge in Dubai’s new economic strategy and the impending Expo 2020 present vast opportunities for investors worldwide, especially those with considerable expertise in developing cutting edge technologies, services and infrastructure,” commented Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai FDI.

“For Dubai FDI, 2015 has been a hectic year so far as we stepped up our investor outreach with focus on strategic markets, industries and investors.  Our mission to Italy and Japan have helped us break new channels for engagement and welcoming investors from critical industries to Dubai,” added Al Gergawi.

In Japan, the Dubai FDI delegation had two distinct levels of meetings in the capital city Tokyo and Osaka, the primary economic centre in the country. The meetings in Osaka were meant to explore co-ordination and investment facilitation while in Tokyo, the delegation held face-to-face meetings with leading Japanese businesses.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has also been signed between Dubai FDI and Nomura Research Institute, the largest consultancy in Japan for co-operation in the areas of investment and knowledge sharing. “A delegation from the UAE Ministry of Economy had toured Japan earlier this year and we sought on to build on the momentum created by such high-level engagement,” said Ibrahim Ahli, Director of Investment Promotion Department at Dubai FDI.

“We held discussions with the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC) in Osaka on working together to connect their clients to Dubai, and in Tokyo we exchanged ideas with the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) on how Japanese businesses can better serve markets in the Middle East and adjoining regions through Dubai,” Ahli added.

A survey conducted by JETRO among Japanese businesses in Dubai and the Northern Emirates in 2014 showed 80% of them targeting business expansion, with a 30% aiming for a third country or region. Driven by expectations of improved sales in local markets, 60% of the companies surveyed also expected an upturn in profits.

In Italy, the Dubai FDI team met with representatives of 30 reputed companies from the healthcare, fashion, construction, information & communication technology (ICT), heavy engineering, and electronics industries across four cities – Rome, Ancona, Florence and Brescia. The four days of B2B meetings were facilitated by Dubai FDI’s Italian partner Diacron and leading Italian bank Unicredit.

“We had a highly successful round of meetings as the businesses we meet were chosen by Unicredit from among their clients based on their investment capabilities and preferred markets. Many of these are leaders and innovators in their respective sectors, for example, one of them is a leading player in the evolving area of digital bacteriology,” said Ahli.
Dubai FDI had also toured Italy over the last two years and the 2014 visit covered the cities of Milan, Florence, Vicenza and Rome.