His Excellency Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), discussed regional and global investment dynamics alongside the world’s leading global infrastructure and institutional investors during a panel session as part of the virtual series of the World Government Summit.
Speaking during the session titled ‘Regional and Global Investment Dynamics in the New Normal,’ H.E. Dr. Al Jaber explained how despite the impact of COVID-19 on global economies, the United Arab Emirates’ trusted business environment continues to attract world-class investment opportunities, following ADNOC’s announcement this week of the world’s largest energy infrastructure transaction valued at $20.7 billion (AED 76 billion).
Commenting alongside Laurence D. Fink, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock; Bruce Flatt, CEO of Brookfield Asset Management; Francesca McDonagh, Group CEO of Bank of Ireland; and Adebayo Ogunlesi, Chairman and Managing Partner of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP); H.E. Dr. Al Jaber highlighted the UAE and ADNOC’s strong track record of attracting strategic foreign direct investment (FDI) and stressed that the UAE offers great potential for additional investment opportunities across multiple sectors.
“The UAE has created a safe, reliable, and stable business environment that is underpinned by a robust regulatory framework and unique partnership model. The $20 billion deal we announced this week highlights the world-class nature of the UAE’s energy assets and infrastructure base, and their low-risk and stable income-generating profile. Getting a transaction of this size and complexity over the line, in a tough economic climate demonstrates the continued confidence of the global investment community in the UAE as a highly trusted, go-to investment destination,” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said.
H.E. Dr. Al Jaber emphasised ADNOC continues to create attractive investment opportunities and is open to new partnerships that make economic sense.
“At ADNOC, we continue to develop investment opportunities across our value chain that make smarter use of our capital and more proactively manage our portfolio of assets. We are investing $45 billion, together with partners, to create in the city of Ruwais one of the largest refining and petrochemical complexes in the world,” H.E. Dr. A l Jaber said.
Outside of ADNOC, there are great opportunities for international investors across multiple sectors of the UAE’s economy, H.E. Dr. Al Jaber noted, citing examples from the UAE’s world-class logistics and services sectors, its long-established renewable and clean energy sectors, its developing industrial and agricultural sectors, as well as its growing expertise in the healthcare, tech and biotech space. “In short, the UAE offers great potential for additional investment opportunities that provide an attractive risk-return profile to high-quality long-term investors,” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said.
Commenting on the attraction of the UAE as an investment destination, Flatt said: “We are thrilled to increase our investment in the UAE and expand into the infrastructure sector in the country. We first established on the ground operations in the UAE over 15 years ago. This has enabled us to gain an understanding of the local business, regulatory, and broader cultural landscape. Our approach is to choose countries selectively, stay forever, and grow incrementally. We invest in countries that have investment scale, a culture of respect for capital, and an ability to operate to the high global standards that we uphold everywhere we do business.”
H.E. Dr. Al Jaber also shared insights on how the UAE continues to ensure the health and safety of everyone living in the country as it reopens the economy.
“The UAE’s response to COVID-19 has prioritized the health and safety of everyone living here with an approach that focuses on comprehensive testing as the first and best line of defence against the virus. This continues to be the case, as we begin to carefully reopen the economy. So far, the UAE has carried out over 3 million COVID tests – that’s the highest per capita ratio in the world,” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber added.