Enhancing public and private investment, and also ensuring that this effectively translates into higher growth and employment, have long been significant policy challenges in the Arab world. This is indeed key to promote higher standards of living and provide jobs to young and rapidly growing populations.
Arab countries have put much emphasis on acce¬lerating industrialization and the transfer of know-how through intensified investment activities. Especially in the GCC countries, industrialization is actively promoted in order to gain further know-how, import new technologies, and diversify the national economies.
But investment needs a strategy, and a strategy that go beyond the core competence of hydrocarbons is often not easy to define. While there is a general consensus for the need of further industrialization in the Arab World the drive for diversification coincides with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and challenges are considerable, including that classic industrialization may actually be partially outdated.
Addressing the investment challenge is even more urgent and difficult now that Arab countries face meanwhile a less supportive external environment, especially lower oil prices and less money available for investment outside the main blocks for investment.
The success of each country’s strategy will depend on several factors, such as human resources, regional integration, a true opening of markets, and a reliable framework for foreign investors.
To identify the main obstacles in this development, this panel aims to discuss possible strategies for implementation and explain success stories in various Arab countries.
The panel will also look into possible know-how transfer from selected German industries to the Arab World, especially with direct investments in mid-market companies.
- FDI in both ways: What is the strategy? What should be the focus? What are the challenges?
- How to put in place adequate laws, policies and regulations to stimulate investments in the right direction?
- How to mobilize and redirect existing local financial outlays, both public and private, towards supporting sustainable development programs, plans, and activities?
- How will the transition currently underway in the global economy affect investment policies in Arab countries?