Investopia 2024 holds 11 panels exploring investment opportunities in new economy

The opening day of Investopia 2024, held at St. Regis Sadiyaat in Abu Dhabi, witnessed 11 panel discussions featuring 37 experts, who offered their insights into investment opportunities in the new economy sectors, technology, the circular economy, the creative economy, hospitality, sports and aviation. Attendees who witnessed these sessions included investors, economists, leading government officials, policy-makers, and entrepreneurs from around the world.

One of the morning panel sessions considered macroeconomics in the context of where the global economy is moving post COVID-19, how a successful COP28 is setting all countries on a sound footing to tackle climate change, what the impact of the outcome of the US Presidential election will be; and why the global economy remains resilient to geopolitical shocks.

Under the theme New Economic Frontiers Unveiled: Navigating the Unknown, the panel discussed factors driving the new economy sectors, markets and the role of governments and the private sector in optimising economic growth.

Participants in this session were Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund; Dr. François Bourguignon, Honorary President of the Paris School of Economics; and Dr. Nathan Sheets, Chief Economist at Citi; and John Defterios, Professor of Business Administration at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Dr. Mohieldin highlighted the necessity of paying attention to low and middle-income countries in a changing global economic trend and cited Africa, where the continent grew for many countries from being a low-income region to becoming middle-income. “Middle-income countries and the middle class populations are being squeezed, and mid-sized enterprises do not have the same support as SMEs,” Dr. Mohieldin said.

“The middle needs investment, but [the situation] is not being discussed,” he added, and went on to underline the urgent need for investment in human capital, education and infrastructure. Dr. Mohieldin also noted that debt and development problems remain among the most critical issues facing the global economy and are of great concern to investors worldwide.

Dr. Bourguignon drew attention to the urgent need to take more steps to achieve carbon neutrality to avoid the future repercussions that any additional delay in responding to climate change could cause. He explained that the current framework in place for the manufacturing and production of global goods needs to be replaced with a new one.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sheets expressed a more optimistic view about the global economy’s health, suggesting that an ever-advancing technology ecosystem has confronted many challenges the world has faced in recent years.

Concerning the UAE’s economy, Dr. Bourguignon said that what enables the country to face the economic challenges the world is its flexibility and resilience.

In another panel, John Defterios, Professor of Business at NYU Abu Dhabi, spoke to three government officials. Ryad Mezzour, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Kingdom of Morocco; Jose-Maria Figueres, Former President of Costa Rica; and Valentino Valentini, Deputy Minister for Enterprises and Made in Italy; all contributed to a lively debate under the theme: Navigating the New Economy: Global Economic Trends Challenging Governments where the four discussed today’s rapid economic developments, technological and digital advancements, renewable energy and issues facing globalisation.

Another panel discussion saw Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Managing Director and CEO of Mubadala Investment Company, present a comprehensive review of the new investment sectors the company has identified and spoke about the necessity of innovating new investment methods and responding intelligently to the challenges and investment opportunities arising from recent global economic changes.

In yet another session titled ‘Investing in the Creative Economy’ with Idris Elba, the renowned British actor, musician, and director, Elba noted that there are several untapped investment opportunities in the creative economy.

The opening day of Investopia 2024 also hosted a roundtable titled: ‘Family Offices: Catalysing ESG and Shaping the Future’ with Standard Chartered Bank and the UAE-UK Business Council, which acknowledged sustainability as a key pillar in the new economy.