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President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has issued the first two laws of 2019. Law No.1 is on the establishment of an Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and Law No.2 on regulating partnerships between public and private sectors.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Office will be responsible for executing a comprehensive strategy to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Abu Dhabi.
As part of the Emirate’s Ghadan 21 programme, ADIO’s activities will expand to include key levers to accelerate economic growth such as Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and targeted incentives for Abu Dhabi’s priority sectors such as technology, tourism, and advanced manufacturing.
Saif Mohamed Al Hajeri, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said, "The formal establishment of ADIO is an important milestone for Abu Dhabi’s economic development. With a growing, diversified economy, it is essential we continue to attract inward investment from international players. Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s most attractive investment destinations and I am confident that ADIO will drive further progress in line with our economic strategy."
Elham Abdulghafoor Mohamed AlQasim, acting CEO of ADIO, added, "Abu Dhabi offers local and international private sector actors a vibrant economy, stable political system and business friendly regulatory environment for investment. Our goal is to channel FDI towards priority sectors and enhance private sector participation in strategic projects where there are growing opportunities. We want to boost economic growth and competitiveness by executing an ambitious, targeted FDI strategy and driving partnership across the private and public sectors, where there are global precedents of private sector participation in priority public sector projects. Our thanks and gratitude to the Government’s leadership for enabling the continued development and diversification of the economy."
ADIO will implement the FDI strategy through a range of strategic programmes, including the establishment of a PPP Centre of Excellence. This platform will be designed to deliver best practice and develop attractive investment models for international and local investors, in line with the Government of Abu Dhabi’s economic strategy.
The PPP framework will bolster FDI inflows and enhance the private sector’s participation in key strategic sectors such as technology and the creation of urban infrastructure as well as the provision of services in education, healthcare, housing and transportation. ADIO will also support investors in making commitments in line with Abu Dhabi’s economic strategy and work with government and private sector partners to use financial, technical, and regulatory criteria to screen proposed projects and assess their feasibility for PPP.
With the UAE capturing 37 per cent of 2017 FDI flows into the Middle East and North Africa region, the UAE’s FDI stock has increased from US$64 billion to $130 billion since 2010. In addition, Abu Dhabi’s Ghadan 21 programme and the reform of business and investment regulations is contributing to the advancement of a vibrant commercial ecosystem around key sectors and helping build an attractive FDI environment.
As the gateway for all inward investment into the Emirate, ADIO’s mandate includes providing guidance to investors and promoting Abu Dhabi as a world-class investment destination. With its location at the heart of the Middle East and the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, the Emirate already offers unique trade, industry and tourism opportunities. And with a rapidly diversifying economy that is increasingly integrated into global supply chains, a stable and well-capitalised banking sector, a flexible and highly skilled labor force and excellent infrastructure, ADIO will build on these strong existing economic fundamentals to accelerate FDI and create new opportunities for people of the UAE.
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