The Islamic Development Bank Group, in cooperation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, organized a webinar on the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Global Investment Outlook

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group hosted a webinar on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global investment outlook, which was organized in collaboration between the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Country Strategy and Cooperation (CSC) Department, IsDB on 17th November 2020 to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on FDI and trade in OIC member countries.

The Islamic Development Bank Group, in cooperation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, organized a webinar on the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Global Investment Outlook

 The main objective of the webinar is to present the key findings of the World Investment Report 2020 – International Production Beyond the Pandemic with a highlight on FDI trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide, at the regional and country levels and emerging measures to improve its contribution to development. In addition to presenting IsDB Group Strategy during COVID-19 and its impact on OIC Member Countries and Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs).

The Webinar also proposed adopting policies and strategies to revive investment and trade in member states to advance investment promotion activities, in order to support the IsDB Group efforts to assist Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) in member countries by assisting them in devising appropriate investment and trade policy responses to the ongoing pandemic

Mr. Oussama Kaissi, CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), stated that “the COVID-19 pandemic has created a devastating global health crisis. According to UNCTAD’s 2020 World Investment Report, global flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) will be under acute pressure this year as a direct result of the pandemic. In order to combat these implications in member countries, IsDB and its group members have implemented a number of initiatives to maintain trade and investment flows. ICIEC will be an important part of the long-term recovery, supporting the growing demand for risk mitigation solutions”.

Mr. James Zhan, Director, Investment & Enterprise Division, UNCTAD, made a presentation which highlighted the key findings and policy recommendations found in its World Investment Report 2020: International Production Beyond the Pandemic.

Mr. Amadou Diallo, the Acting Director-General, Global Practices at the Islamic Development Bank in his speech stated that during COVID-19, the Bank provided technical assistance programs for the Islamic Development Bank Group such as RCI and ITAP to support the Member Countries by assisting them in developing suitable plans for investment and trade policy to confront the ongoing Corona pandemic. This is in the framework of a tripartite approach centered around the “response, recovery and rebuilding” pillars.

Mr. Mohammed Bukhari, Senior Investment Promotion & Regional Cooperation Specialist, CSC Dept., IsDB delivered a presentation on the impact of COVID-19 on MCs, particularly in foreign direct investment (FDI), domestic investment and investment promotion agencies (IPAs).

It is noteworthy that the private sector institutions of the Islamic Development Bank Group played an important role during COVID-19, as Mr. Asheque Moyeed, Division Head, Infrastructure & Corporate Finance,  the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) made a presentation which focused on the efforts related to promoting investment in member countries, where the IsDB Group private sector institutions pledged with IsDB to provide $ 700 million to stimulate investment, finance trade, investment insurance and export credit in member countries. Two D-8 Egypt and Turkey are going to utilize around $270 million of this package.

The webinar brought together over 500+ participants from 113 countries, including government officials, Presidents & CEOs of local/international private sector companies, multilateral and financial institutions, individual investors, entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce & Industry, business associations, and investment promotion agencies

Successful Swiss WBP Forum with Great Keynotes & Discussions

Women’s Brain Project (WBP)

WBP is a Swiss-based international non-profit organization (www.womensbrainproject.com) focused on sex and gender determinants of brain and mental health as a gateway to precision medicine.

WBP’s mission is “Identifying specific needs related to women’s brain health, advocating for change, and positioning the findings for the benefit of the society.”

In September 2020, WBP held an international Forum out of Zurich, Switzerland. You can still register and access all the content, from insightful keynotes to the recordings of the live discussions, see below:

WBP Forum 2020

CFI.co’s Chairman Tor Svensson is an adviser to and keen supporter of WBP. See his keynote speech for the Forum here:

Should you wish to make a charitable donation for the new WBP research centre of excellence under planning in Switzerland, please contact Tor Svensson at email [email protected] to discuss.

For further info contact: www.womensbrainproject.com

H.E. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi Minister of State for Foreign Trade: Remarks

Annual Investment Meeting 2020

21 October 2020

AIM Digital 2020
AIM Digital 2020

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Esteemed Guests,

It is my distinct honor to welcome you to the UAE’s first-ever digital edition of the Annual Investment Meeting. Thank you to everyone participating, including our panelists from the Governments of Costa Rica, Canada, Nigeria and Russia. Today’s discussion on how countries are ensuring the free flow of trade and investment could not be more timely, especially as the world grapples with the economic recovery and moves toward building a more resilient, post-COVID economy.

As you know, the pandemic has significantly impacted global markets, creating new challenges for trade and investment. According to the United Nations’ 2020 World Investment Report, global FDI flows are estimated to decrease by up to 40% this year, dropping well below their value of $1.54 trillion in 2019. This would bring global FDI below $1 trillion for the first time since 2005. Global FDI flows are expected to decline even further in 2021, by 5% to 10%, and only in 2022 do we expect to start seeing markets recover.

While the challenges ahead are enormous, the UAE sees tremendous opportunity for governments and business leaders to work together through trade and investment to reshape policies, create new partnerships, leverage new technologies, and build a future global economy that is more diverse, inclusive, and sustainable. We know that FDI can bring new technology and know-how, lead to new jobs and growth, and is often the largest source of finance for economies – making today’s discussion even more imperative.

For the UAE, FDI has played a critical role in our economic growth. In 2019, the UAE was the largest recipient of FDI in the region, largely due to our increased focus over the years on enhancing local conditions to attract FDI. With policies and measures in place, such as our Foreign Direct Investment Law enacted in 2018 to further open the UAE market to investors in certain sectors, and the issuance of our Positive List, which allows for greater foreign investment across 122 activities, the UAE was able to increase our FDI value by 32% in 2019. The UAE also came in 16th of 190 countries in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2020 Ranking due to our digitization strategies and promising business regulatory environment.

The UAE is continuing to refine and implement policies that will maximize competitiveness, increase collaboration, and provide opportunities to facilitate trade and investment. Our aim is to become the #1 country for foreign investment, target zero contribution from oil to our GDP in the next 50 years, and support research, development, and innovation. The UAE’s trade and investment strategy is centered on economic diversification and focuses on enhanced investment in industries such as communications, Blockchain, artificial intelligence, robotics, and genetics. We are also initiating measures to strengthen our position as a regional leader in supplying financial and logistical services, infrastructure, energy supplies, and other services.

The UAE believes that increased partnership and cooperation with governments and the private sector will be key to achieving our objectives. We view platforms such as the Annual Investment Meeting as instrumental in bridging the gap between nations and supporting global efforts to strengthen international trade and investment. Through this platform, we hope that participants will uncover new, innovative ideas and investment opportunities needed to build back better and ensure a strong post-COVID recovery.

Thank you.

Day 2 of Annual Investment Meeting’s First Digital Edition Continues to Gain Momentum

  • H.E. Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade: Our aim is to become the #1 country for foreign investment, target zero contribution from oil to our GDP in the next 50 years.
  • Successful Investment Roundtables for Energy and Agriculture concluded with strategies to facilitate sustainable, smart and scalable investments.
  • Startups took virtual centerstage as they competed at the Global Champions League 2020
AIM Hub
AIM Hub

Dubai, October 21, 2020 –  After the huge success of its opening day, AIM Digital, the first digital edition of the Annual Investment Meeting, continued to gain momentum as it reached Day 2. The three-day mega digital event, an initiative of the Ministry fo Economy, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, concluded its second day with interactive activities that catalysed investment-generation, knowledge-enhancement, and local, regional and international collaborations.

Joined by more than 15K participants from over 170 countries, including 70+ high-level dignitaries from across the globe, the second day of AIM Dıgital witnessed a wide range of major events, from the Conference, Exhibition, Investment Roundtables, and Regional Focus sessions to Conglomerate Presentations and Startups competitions; all geared towards providing opportunities to achieve a digital, sustainable & resilient future.

AIM Digital: Virtual Village
AIM Digital: Virtual Village

In his keynote speech in the FDI session, Ministers Roundtable: Adapting to the New Flow of Trade and Investment, His Excellency Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said: “It is my distinct honor to welcome you to the UAE’s first-ever digital edition of the Annual Investment Meeting. Thank you to everyone participating, including our panelists from the Governments of Costa Rica, Canada, Nigeria and Russia. Today’s discussion on how countries are ensuring the free flow of trade and investment could not be more timely, especially as the world grapples with the economic recovery and moves toward building a more resilient, post-COVID economy. The pandemic has significantly impacted global markets that created new challenges for trade and investment. While the challenges ahead are enormous, the UAE sees tremendous opportunity for governments and business leaders to work together through trade and investment to reshape policies, create new partnerships, leverage new technologies, and build a future global economy that is more diverse, inclusive, and sustainable. We know that FDI can bring new technology and know-how, lead to new jobs and growth, and is often the largest source of finance for economies – making today’s discussion even more imperative.”

He further stated that FDI has played a critical role in the UAE’s economic growth, with policies and measures in place, such as the Foreign Direct Investment Law enacted in 2018 to further open the UAE market to investors in certain sectors, and the issuance of Positive List, which allows for greater foreign investment across 122 activities, and increasing the UAE’s FDI value by 32% in 2019.  He also mentioned that the UAE came in 16th of 190 countries in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2020 Ranking due to the country’s digitization strategies and promising business regulatory environment.

AIM Digital: Main Registration Page
AIM Digital: Main Registration Page

His Excellency Al Zeyoudi furthered: “The UAE is continuing to refine and implement policies that will maximize competitiveness, increase collaboration, and provide opportunities to facilitate trade and investment. Our aim is to become the #1 country for foreign investment, target zero contribution from oil to our GDP in the next 50 years, and support research, development, and innovation. The UAE’s trade and investment strategy is centered on economic diversification and focuses on enhanced investment in industries such as communications, Blockchain, artificial intelligence, robotics, and genetics. We are also initiating measures to strengthen our position as a regional leader in supplying financial and logistical services, infrastructure, energy supplies, and other services.”

He added: “The UAE believes that increased partnership and cooperation with governments and the private sector will be key to achieving our objectives. We view platforms such as the Annual Investment Meeting as instrumental in bridging the gap between nations and supporting global efforts to strengthen international trade and investment. Through this platform, we hope that participants will uncover new, innovative ideas and investment opportunities needed to build back better and ensure a strong post-COVID recovery.”

Furthermore, world-class speakers shared their viewpoints in Day 2 of the Conference highlighting Foreign Direct Investment, Foreign Portfolio Investment, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Startups, Future Cities, and One Belt, One Road, including H.E. Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum, Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment of The Federal Republic of Nigeria; Victoria Hernández Mora, Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce of Republic of Costa Rica; Hon. Victor Fedeli,  Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade of Ontario, Canada; and Sergey Cheremin, Minister of Moscow City Government Head of Department for External Economic and International Relations, among others.

Two Investment Roundtables were also held successfully at the second day of AIM Digital, concluding  with strategies to facilitate sustainable, smart and scalable investments. The Energy Roundtable was led by Laszlo Varro, the Chief Economist of International Energy Agency, which works with countries around the globe to structure energy policies towards a secure and sustainable future. Among the notable participants include H.E. Arifin Tasrif,  Minister for Energy & Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia; and H.E. Gabriel Obiang, the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea. The Agriculture Roundtable was led by Islamic Development Bank Group, the multilateral development bank working to promote social and economic development in Member countries and Muslim communities worldwide, delivering impact at scale.

In addition, the second set of National Winners competed on Day 2 of the AIM Global National Champions League. Overall,  a total of 65 countries competed at this international startups competition. The top five global champions that will win a total prize of USD50,000 will be announced on the last day of AIM Digital. The competition was launched in a bid to help startups in maximizing their potential to attract funding and promote their business ideas to a global audience, getting utmost exposure and expanding their network.

Participating in the Conglomerate Presentation feature of AIM Digital is Elsewedy Electric led by Eng. Ahmed Elsewedy, its President and CEO. Elsewedy Electric began as a manufacturer of electrical components in Egypt 80 years ago, and Electric has evolved into a global provider of energy, digital and infrastructure solutions with a turnover of EGP 46.6 billion in 2019, operating in five key business sectors, namely Wire & Cable, Electrical Products, Engineering & Construction, Smart Infrastructure and Infrastructure Investments. As part of its commitment to sustainability, it has established green energy and smart metering projects across Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

AIM Digital: Exhibition Booth
AIM Digital: Exhibition Booth

The Regional Focus Sessions featured the regions of Asia and Latin America and explored the risks, challenges and opportunities for growth and regional cooperation.  Regional Focus Session on Asia brought together government officials and investment authorities from the ASEAN Member States and discussed their strategies to create a borderless and sustainable bloc that will push organic growth, as well as their approaches to gain resilience in the economy. Regional Focus Session on Latin America highlighted the significance of regional and international partnerships to combat the current pandemic and boost trade, investments and employment within the region.

Moreover, Country Presentations on Day 2 presented the outstanding features and investment opportunities in Colombia, Egypt and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia which highlighted the countries’ status as attractive investment destinations.

Another highly anticipated event in the largest virtual gathering of the global investment community is the announcement of winners for the Investment Awards and Future Cities Awards which will take place on Day 3 of AIM Digital.  AIM Investment Awards will grant recognition to the world’s best Investment Promotion Agencies and the best FDI projects in each region of the globe that have contributed to the economic growth and development of their markets.   Likewise, AIM Future Cities Awards will give tribute to the best smart city solutions providers and for outstanding projects that have resulted to enhanced operational efficiency and productivity, sustainability, and economic growth.

Day 1 of AIM Dıgital welcomed the presence of globally renowned personalities such as the UAE Minister of Economy, His Excellency Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri who emphasised the vision of UAE’s  wise leadership for the post-COVID era, reflecting great significance to enhancing the readiness of the country’s government sector, raising efficiencies and performance at the federal and local levels. Keynote remarks were delivered by H.E. Juri Ratas, the Prime Minister of Republic of Estonia; H.E. Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of the Republic of Tatarstan; H.E. Dr. Bandar M. H. Hajjar, the President of Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB Group); H.E. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED); and Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

AIM Digital: Virtual Lobby
AIM Digital: Virtual Lobby

The UAE Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, underlined in his Keynote Address for the SME Pillar, that it is crucial for Startups and SMEs to be given opportunities to bounce back from the impact of pandemic and provide a conducive environment that will empower them to have the capability of supporting growth and success.

The Global Leaders Debate featured prominent keynote debaters such as Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP); Mohamed Alabbar, the Founder of Emaar Properties, Alabbar Enterprises and Noon.com; Mohammad Abdullah Abunayyan, the Chairman of ACWA Power; and Arkady Dvorkovich, the Chairman of Skolkovo Foundation, who discussed the strategies to restructure the economies in overcoming the consequences of the pandemic.

The first digital edition of the Annual Investment Meeting with the theme “Reimagining Economies: The Move Towards a Digital, Sustainable and Resilient Future, will be held until the 22nd of October 2020.

For more information on AIM Digital, visit www.aimcongress.com

About the Annual Investment Meeting

The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) is an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. AIM is the world’s leading investment platform with over 16,000 participants coming from more than 140 countries. Over 400 exhibitors and co-exhibitors, 60+ high-level dignitaries, 150+ investment specialists and experts have participated in AIM 2019.

Two Weeks to go for the 1st VIRTUAL Edition of Global WoodShow: 7 – 9 September, 2020

31 August, 2020: The first virtual edition of Global WoodShow is all set to take place from 7 – 9 September, 2020. Exhibitors and visitors will be able to avail an umpteen amount of benefits such as reduced participant cost, networking with elite industry experts, promotion of brand scope and portfolio digitally, increased return of investment, direct networking and chatting opportunities between exhibitors and visitors, exclusive deals on offer and strong opportunities to close business deals with serious buyers virtually.

Two Weeks to go for the 1st VIRTUAL Edition of Global WoodShow: 7 – 9 September, 2020

To ease the B2B meetings, video meetings shall be conducted through the platform which will allow the participants to easily connect and put forward their ideas and best practices. Keen exhibitors seeking an incomparable chance at attaining global exposure can launch their latest products and technologies. 24 hours of online interaction will be provided by the WoodShow portal which will cater to all your immediate inquires. For any queries, participants can interact with agents through the live chat or browse through the questions (FAQs) on the portal.

Visitors can register their virtual visit through the following link: https://event10x.com/event/woodshow-global/register?registerAsParticipant=true and attend the show from 9:00am to 6:00pm daily (Dubai time, GMT+4).

The Global WoodShow is the leading destination for wood specialists, professionals, entrepreneurs and key leaders from over the last 15 years. Their premium shows have been running successfully across Dubai, Cairo and Gabon covering Middle East, North Africa, Western and Central Africa with 100,000+ Visitors, 500+ Exhibitors and brands and 100+ participating countries.

Global WoodShow

Acknowledging the ongoing circumstances of the current global crisis creating uncertainty, travel bans and restrictions, The Global WoodShow aligns with all precautionary measures and has initiated a safe virtual exhibition to encourage business continuity and continue supporting the wood and woodworking industry. Participants can engage in a virtual business-to-business meeting place for the wood, wood accessories and woodworking machinery industry. Suppliers, manufacturers & machinery companies can showcase their products, innovative technologies, production scenarios and large-scale machinery virtually.

Mr. Dawood Al Shezawi, President, WoodShow Global Organizing Committee said, “The WoodShow promises to provide a high-quality annual business event that will offer abundant opportunities to industry professionals. It will be a valuable experience as we bring key decision makers from the industry to you. This virtual platform will gather exhibitors from countries around the world with no travel hassle. You will not only be able to interact with your suppliers safely but also open up new doors to reactivate your business.”

Find out more at http://www.woodshowglobal.com/

The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development open for business

The Hague, November 15, 2019 – The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) has officially been launched in the presence of government officials, NGOs, investors, politicians and other interested parties. In May of this year, the DFCD was awarded to the consortium of Dutch development bank FMO, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-NL) and Climate Fund Managers (CFM). “Today’s launch means that the DFCD is officially open for business,” said Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer at FMO. “The consortium is keen to connect with innovative entrepreneurs with climate-related businesses and with private investors keen to mobilize much-needed funding from the private sector to join us in our mission to create a more climate-resilient world.”

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face today. It is already affecting people and nature across the globe, with developing countries being most impacted. “The poorest communities are the most vulnerable to climate change. Poor farmers and others at the bottom of the pyramid suffer and lose their livelihoods even with small changes in rainfall patterns or temperature”, as Meike van Ginneken, Chief Executive Officer at SNV explained.

There is an urgent need for investment to enable vulnerable communities and ecosystems to adapt to climate change. Carola van Rijnsoever, Director of Inclusive Green Growth, and Ambassador for Sustainable Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: „The challenge we face to help communities adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change is enormous, and the case for action is incredibly clear. We cannot do this with governments alone. We need all stakeholders to be strong enough to confront this challenge. The set-up of this consortium in which finance and NGOs come together, is unique and uniquely positioned to do this.“ The government of The Netherlands has committed to addressing this need through the DFCD, making EUR 160 million available in the period 2019-2022 for climate adaptation and mitigation, of which at least 50% is earmarked for climate adaptation projects.

DFCD is a direct response to the increasing demand for climate adaptation projects that have to date suffered from a lack of funding compared with mitigation efforts. Linda Broekhuizen adds: “In 2018, USD 612 billion was invested in climate mitigation which is important and much needed. In contrast however, only 5%, USD 30 billion, was invested in adaptation. Adaptation may have to be USD 180 billion a year if the 2030 goal is to reach the USD 1.7 trillion as required according to the most recent report of the Global Commission on Adaptation.”

To help bridge this funding gap the DFCD aims to mobilize upwards of EUR 500 million from private sector investors. Andrew Johnstone, Chief Executive Officer of Climate Fund Managers adds: “The opportunities are there. Take water for example: 80% of the world’s wastewater enters rivers and oceans untreated and by 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water stressed areas. Neither the private nor the public sector is doing enough, but together the investment potential is enormous, as is the impact to be delivered.”

This partnership of NGOs and financiers seeks to develop and finance sustainable private sector solutions to enhance resilience to the effects of climate change. These projects will boost the health of freshwater, forest, agricultural and ocean ecosystems, and improve water management.

“The consortium takes a landscape approach through investing in projects which are planned in an inclusive manner, and build on a solid understanding of the landscape, ecosystems and communities. In this way these projects will contribute to healthier ecosystems,” said Kirsten Schuijt, Chief Executive Officer of WWF-NL. “New and incredibly exciting in this consortium is that there is early-stage funding available to convert adaptation opportunities into bankable projects.” 

WWF and SNV take on the key role of developing climate-relevant projects from an early-stage idea to a bankable business case. Climate Fund Managers and FMO provide investment capital, delivering projects to full operations. This combination of early-stage involvement with full life-cycle funding will ensure lasting, long-term impact that contributes to the Paris Agreement and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Interested parties can contact the DFCD through: www.thedfcd.com.

The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development open for business
In picture from left to right the DFCD partners at the official launch event in The Hague: Andrew Johnstone, CEO of Climate Fund Managers, Kirsten Schuijt, CEO of WWF-NL, Linda Broekhuizen, CIO of FMO, Albert Bokkestijn, project manger DFCD at SNV, Carola van Rijnsoever, Director of Inclusive Green Growth, and Ambassador for Sustainable Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In picture from left to right the DFCD partners at the official launch event in The Hague: Andrew Johnstone, CEO of Climate Fund Managers, Kirsten Schuijt, CEO of WWF-NL, Linda Broekhuizen, CIO of FMO, Albert Bokkestijn, project manger DFCD at SNV, Carola van Rijnsoever, Director Inclusive Green Growth, and Ambassador Sustainable Development, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

NDB President reports to BRICS leaders at 11th Summit in Brasilia, Brazil

NDB President reports to BRICS leaders at 11th Summit in Brasilia, Brazil

On November 14, 2019, Mr. K.V. Kamath, President of the New Development Bank reported to the Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa during the 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia, Brazil.

“Thus far, the NDB has approved 46 projects for USD 12.8 billion in our member countries. By the end of this year, we expect the approvals to reach about USD 15 billion. In 2020, we are targeting approvals of USD 8-10 billion,” said Mr. K.V. Kamath.

“We are measuring the impact of our work through our contributions to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals that our members have committed to. We are also supporting projects that address some of the core developmental needs in our member countries, as articulated in their development agendas,” said the NDB President.

NDB President reports to BRICS leaders at 11th Summit in Brasilia, Brazil

Mr. K.V. Kamath highlighted operations of the Bank in its member countries:

  • In Brazil, the NDB is supporting improved physical connectivity of remote areas to logistical hubs while simultaneously laying the infrastructure for enhanced digital connectivity.
  • In Russia, in addition to financing infrastructure that will conserve and improve accessibility to historic and cultural centers, the Bank is moving into new areas such as bringing digital technologies to the judicial system, expanding higher education and supporting railway sector.
  • In India, the NDB is investing in improving connectivity of rural areas to markets and opportunities, as well as in better management of water resources.
  • In China, the Bank is contributing to the rehabilitation and restoration of environmental assets that were adversely impacted during the phases of rapid growth and lending for innovative green technologies.
  • In South Africa, the NDB is assisting energy and water projects, two areas that are at the heart of the country’s economic and social challenges.

“NDB has thus far received USD 5.6 billion in capital, including advance payments of the fifth instalment by China and Russia. We expect to receive the balance USD 900 million of the fifth instalment from our other three members by January 2020,” stated the NDB President.

“The Bank’s Africa Regional Center in Johannesburg has proved that on-the-ground presence makes a big difference to our work. Our Brazil office is already staffed and ready to open and we await completion of necessary formalities. Preparations for our office in Moscow are at an advanced stage and we will open this office early next year. We will follow that up with our Delhi office in the first half of 2020,” added Mr. K.V. Kamath.

“Going forward, the Bank is capable of sustaining between USD 8-10 billion of annual lending. With the initial USD 10 billion of capital that has been provided to it by the founding members, by 2027, the Bank can achieve a total asset book of about USD 50 billion.”

“As and when the decision is taken to admit new members to the Bank, and capital from these new members is received, the Bank can grow further. Under this scenario, it can achieve a total asset book of about USD 90 billion by 2027,” projected the NDB President.

Background Information

The NDB was established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. To fulfill its purpose, the NDB will support public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments. According to the NDB’s General Strategy, sustainable infrastructure development is at the core of the Bank’s operational strategy for 2017-2021. The NDB received AA+ long-term issuer credit ratings from S&P and Fitch and AAA foreign currency long-term issuer rating from Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR).

Read the full text of the President’s Report on the NDB website: https://www.ndb.int/president_desk/report-of-the-president-2019/ 

Inaugural SDGs Impact Summit to Urge Cross-Sector Collaboration Between the Global North and South to Accelerate SDGs Action

15th – 16th November 2019, New Delhi, India

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were first established at the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 by 193 world leaders, with a commitment to ending global poverty, reducing inequalities and tackling climate change by 2030. With only 10 year’s left to achieve the SDGs, a high-level international forum – SDGs Impact Summit – has been conceptualised with a special focus on unlocking the innumerable potential of a collaboration between the Global North and South in accelerating action on the SDGs. Hosted and spearheaded by the Global South, the first edition of the Summit will bring the focus to India, the world’s youngest and second most populous country, and takes place on 15th and 16th of November at Taj Palace Hotel in New Delhi.

Inaugural SDGs Impact Summit to Urge Cross-Sector Collaboration Between the Global North and South to Accelerate SDGs Action

Whilst the Global North holds one quarter of the world’s population but controls four-fifths of the world’s income, the Global South inversely bears three quarters of the world’s population with access to only one fifth of the world’s income. As two separate and independent entities, the Global North and Global South houses the resources and capability to solve the world’s most prevalent issues, yet this remains firmly locked and restricted by the lack of interconnectivity and collaboration by the two. By bringing the Global North and Global South together as one force with a common blueprint, the SDGs Impact Summit aims to bridge this economic and resource divide, by connecting borders, unleashing innovation and localising solutions to address complex world issues and explore solutions to achieve the SDGs by 2030 and unlock a truly global alliance for good.

The Summit will convene a cross-sector, cross-continental collaboration between a dynamic and unusual coalition of leaders and changemakers across business, celebrity, polity, academia, NGOs and activists. Together they will inspire on-ground action by encouraging constructive and open dialogue, story-telling and lesson sharing, which will in turn help to galvanise the formation of partnerships from individuals and organisations within the Global North and South, committed to accelerating progress to achieving the SDGs by 2030.

The Summit will include Plenary and Speed Talk Sessions as well as a Hackathon in search of the next generation of disruptors. Audiences within and beyond the Global South will be encouraged to mobilise action to address some of the pressing issues of the decade including climate change, inequality, poverty, hunger, gender equality, education and government accountability, broadly segmented into four thematic areas – People, Prosperity, Planet and Partnerships.

The World We Want is Founded by Natasha Mudhar, an SDGs campaigner and advocate, who was also appointed India Director of Project Everyone, an organisation co-founded by filmmaker Richard Curtis to launch and popularise the SDGs when they were launched in September 2015, to 1.3bn people in India. Speaking ahead of the global announcement for the SDGs Impact Summit, Natasha said: “Currently, the discourse surrounding achieving the SDGs has been predominantly hosted by the West, which has somewhat limited the offering of the Global South. Without support and engagement from the South, the achievement of the SDGs will not be possible.

“We are living in an era by which the resources to ensure the sustainable future of our planet and human race are available. Yet these resources cannot be fully utilised until we explore the true potential of cross-sector collaboration, where the North meets South, East meets West, private sector meets public, business meets government, innovation meets investment and entrepreneur meets activist. The Summit will provide an interactive stage to the international rule breakers, problem solvers, storytellers, thought shapers and renegades with a cause who are committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and will unlock unimaginable possibilities between the Global North and South. The vision behind this Summit is to become the blueprint and facilitator for change as we move into the final decade of delivery from 2020.”

The SDGs Impact Summit will coincide with the launch of key initiatives to inspire advocacy and SDGs action.

The World We Want has conceptualised a 10-year grassroots plan starting in 2020 and begin-ning in India before rolling out to other Global South countries, to support the nation to acceler-ate its progress in achieving its targets by 2030. Agenda 2030 India will focus on cultivating cross-sector collaborations between corporates, celebrities, NGOs, young changemakers, aca-demia and policy officials through the launch of SDGs Hubs. Each Hub will be aligned to specific SDGs, SDGs targets and the government’s national and local agendas. The coalition members will raise awareness of the SDGs targets, leverage their networks to demonstrate action, show-case inspiring stories and mount a disruptive campaign to build a demand for change.

Hello! India Magazine will publish a special issue, Power of Giving on stands in January 2020, marking the countdown to a Decade of Delivery. The special edition issue will be aligned to SDGs and will spotlight the world’s most impactful thought-leaders and changemakers across multiple sectors. The special edition will coincide with the Hello! India Power of Giving Gala Ball & Changemakers Awards.

The World We Want with partners Global Goals World Cup, will organise a special mixed gender celebrity version of the flagship football match for SDG5: Gender Equality in 2020.

“We are not content with a singular event to pedal the success of the goals. The SDGs Impact Summit has been conceptualised to be a clarion call for an ongoing strategic plan of action across the proceeding decade. The SDGs can only be achieved with continuous calls to action, which can be achieved as the Summit takes place on an annual basis. One single sector cannot possibly solve the world’s problems by themselves, but a universe of stakeholders in tandem can”, Natasha added.

To register your interest to partner or to attend, log onto sdgsimpactsummit.com

Join the Conversation!

#SDGsImpactSummit

For more information, please contact:

Sterling Media

Tel: +44 20 7801 0077

Email: [email protected]

About the SDGs Impact Summit

The SDGs Impact Summit is a high-level international forum with a special focus on unlocking the innumerable potential of a collaboration between the Global North and South in accelerating action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Whilst the Global North holds one quarter of the world’s population and controls four-fifths of the world’s income, the Global South inversely bears three quarters of the world’s population and has access to only one fifth of the world’s income. The SDGs Impact Summit has been specifically conceptualised to bridge this economic and resource divide, by unlocking borders, unleashing innovation and localising solutions to address complex world issues and explore solutions to achieve the SDGs by 2030. The multi-sector event will convene a dynamic coalition of sector leaders and changemakers across business, celebrity, polity, academia, NGOs and activists to encourage on-ground action through Plenary and SpeedTalk sessions, Hackathons, SDGs Marketplace and other impactful activities. The annual summit will be an interactive space for coalition building and to galvanise action within and with the Global South to address some of the pressing issues of the decade including climate change, inequality, poverty, hunger, gender equality, education and government accountability, broadly segmented into four thematic areas– People, Prosperity, Planet and Partnerships.

About The World We Want

The World We Want (WWW) is a global impact enterprise working with organisations and individuals to accelerate the progress to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. WWW aims to utilise its global reach and expertise to convene governments, corporations, celebrity and popular culture. government, campaigners, civil society, individuals and not for profits, leveraging ideas, networks and technologies to bring visions to life and create sustainable solutions. The World We Want will be powered by “Accelerator” ventures aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on convening leading organisations, corporations, public figures including celebrities, campaigners and thought leaders around the world to awaken social consciousness and drive meaningful change. Ventures include using expertise to help organisations add real meaning to the lives of stakeholders, identifying and developing the change makers of the future, empowering the world’s citizens through supporting open data policies, harnessing the power of celebrity and pop culture to entertain and inspire audiences and supporting critical impact projects through an ethical investment fund. With an international team, WWW has been co-founded by Teji Singh and Natasha Mudhar, seasoned entrepreneurs with a commitment to doing well, by doing good. They are also the driving force behind the award-winning global business and communications consultancy Sterling Group.

See CFI.co’s SDG Coverage

Employers play a vital role in supporting employees with cancer, says Unum

6 November 2019 Leading employee benefits provider, Unum, hosted an event yesterday (5th November) to highlight how important it is for employers to provide the right support for employees impacted by cancer throughout their journey from diagnosis through treatment to recovery and possible return to work.

Employers play a vital role in supporting employees with cancer, says Unum
Employers play a vital role in supporting employees with cancer, says Unum

Guest speakers included former BBC presenter, and current Classic FM host, Bill Turnbull. Bill talked openly about his ongoing battle with prostate cancer, after being diagnosed in 2017, and how it has affected him both personally and professionally.

It is an accepted fact that now one in two people in the UK will get cancer in their lifetime[1]. In the context of an ageing work force, 125,000 of working age adults are diagnosed with cancer annually[2], meaning that cancer is becoming an issue which will impact most businesses whatever the size.

In 2018 cancer was the top cause of long-term sickness absence claims paid by Unum.

Upon returning to work, Unum’s research found that 28% of workers with cancer, or who have had cancer, said they didn’t receive any support, or the support they did receive fell below their expectations when they were at work following their diagnosis.

84% agreed their loyalty towards employers could have been influenced by the amount of support they received, and 3 out of 4 workers worried about the cost of cancer and how their families would cope with loss of income if they had to give up work.

A panel of corporate wellbeing and cancer care specialists, moderated by Unum’s HR Director Liz Walker, discussed that the key issues affecting employees include dealing with the feeling of fear that comes after a cancer diagnosis; fear of losing their job and fear of not being able to support themselves. Employees can also struggle with the lasting physical effects of cancer treatment after returning to work, including fatigue, as well as lack of confidence from being out of the workplace for a period of time.

The panel also highlighted that what can affect employers and line managers the most is speaking about a cancer diagnosis with an employee. This can be a sensitive and challenging conversation and one which they have not always been trained for, which could mean they struggle to provide the support needed. 

Employers can help by ensuring that the right support is put in place to help the employee throughout their treatment and possible return to work. The panel agreed that one effective way of doing this is to ensure all guidelines and advice relating to cancer are available in one place, easily accessible to both employees and employers.   

Unum is enhancing the cancer support it offers through its Critical Illness cover, including the introduction of Unum’s ‘Cancer Pathway’, which provides consultation assistance to patients, helps with managing symptoms, a medical concierge, and psychological and post-treatment support.

Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants (VRCs) are also available to work closely with employers to put together a plan to help recovering employees return to work when they’re ready to do so.

[email protected], Unum’s new app powered by Square Health, gives employees access to enhanced health support and is available with Unum’s Group Income Protection policies at no additional cost. Four key services are available to employees and their families through [email protected]: a remote GP service, a second opinion, mental health support and physiotherapy. The second opinion service can be particularly important after an initial cancer diagnosis to ensure an employee receives the most effective treatment, tailored to their unique needs. [email protected] provides access to specialist consultants who can offer either a face to face or video consultation.   

After the panel discussion, speakers and attendees networked with the Unum team as well as Unum’s support service providers and partners including reframe (formerly HSC), a UK provider of specialist cancer support, and Maggie’s, a charity that offers free emotional and practical help for people with cancer and their families.

Bill Turnbull says: “It’s been two years since my diagnosis and my life has changed forever. While I’ve had my ups and downs, it’s been the support of those around me who have helped me, and this extends beyond my family and friends to include my employer and colleagues at work. I think being able to go back to work is a huge part of being able to feel normal again. It’s vital that employers understand how important the support they provide to their employees with cancer is in helping them cope and live with this disease”.

Peter O’Donnell, CEO of Unum says: “As we live and work longer, the reality is that more and more of us will face a cancer diagnosis at some point in our working lives. Employers play an important role in supporting employees as they face the financial, emotional and professional obstacles a cancer diagnosis can bring.  Unum’s enhanced critical Illness product and the unique Cancer Pathway provides quick and easy access for employers and employees to cancer support upon diagnosis, through treatment and recovery – whenever it is needed.”


[1] Cancer Research UK, 1 in 2 people in the UK will get cancer. 2015

[2] Macmillan Cancer Research, Macmillan: Work and Cancer, 2017

Media Enquiries: [email protected] 020 7360 7878

About Unum

About Unum

Unum is a leading employee benefits provider offering financial protection through the workplace including: Income Protection, Life insurance, Critical Illness, and Dental cover.

Our Income Protection customers have access to medical and vocational rehabilitation expertise designed to help people stay in work and return to work following illness and injury. Unum LifeWorks, our Employee Assistance Programme, provides help and advice on a range of work/life issues.

Our Critical Illness customers can access our Cancer Support Service, providing personalised support for employees with a cancer diagnosis.

We are committed to workplace wellbeing for both employees and employers. We have a wide range of tools designed to help businesses create or enhance their employee wellbeing strategy, including our Mental Health Pathway and Wellbeing Calendar.

At the end of 2018, Unum protected 1.4 million people in the UK and paid claims of £314 million – representing in excess of £6 million a week in benefits to our customers – providing security and peace of mind to individuals and their families. 

Our parent company, Unum Group, is a provider of employee benefits products and services in the United States, including group and individual disability insurance. Premium income for Unum Group and its subsidiaries totalled $9.0bn in the year ended 31 December 2018, with reported revenues for the group totalling $11.6bn and total assets of $61.9bn.

A.M Best has given all rated Unum Group companies an Excellent rating for Financial Strength, with a stable outlook.

For more information please visit www.unum.co.uk.

Unum Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Unum Dental is a trading name of Unum Limited. Registered in England 983768.

Unum is a leading employee benefits provider offering financial protection through the workplace including: Income Protection, Life insurance, Critical Illness, and Dental cover.

Our Income Protection customers have access to medical and vocational rehabilitation expertise designed to help people stay in work and return to work following illness and injury. Unum LifeWorks, our Employee Assistance Programme, provides help and advice on a range of work/life issues.

Our Critical Illness customers can access our Cancer Support Service, providing personalised support for employees with a cancer diagnosis.

We are committed to workplace wellbeing for both employees and employers. We have a wide range of tools designed to help businesses create or enhance their employee wellbeing strategy, including our Mental Health Pathway and Wellbeing Calendar.

At the end of 2018, Unum protected 1.4 million people in the UK and paid claims of £314 million – representing in excess of £6 million a week in benefits to our customers – providing security and peace of mind to individuals and their families. 

Our parent company, Unum Group, is a provider of employee benefits products and services in the United States, including group and individual disability insurance. Premium income for Unum Group and its subsidiaries totalled $9.0bn in the year ended 31 December 2018, with reported revenues for the group totalling $11.6bn and total assets of $61.9bn.

A.M Best has given all rated Unum Group companies an Excellent rating for Financial Strength, with a stable outlook.

For more information please visit www.unum.co.uk.

Unum Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Unum Dental is a trading name of Unum Limited. Registered in England 983768.

Bilateral ties to play key role in meeting India’s $5t economy target: Al Saleh at UAE-India Economic Forum 2019

UAE-India Economic Forum 2019 wraps up the 5th edition gracefully.

Dubai, 5th November, 2019: The 5th Edition of UAE India Economic Forum observed a grand opening at Waldorf Astoria, Dubai International Financial Centre on Monday, 4th November with the participation of High Dignitaries and Officials, leading experts and leaders from the two nations.

India’s partnership with the UAE is set to play a key role in its march towards the ambitious goal of becoming a $5-trillion economy by 2022, Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, Ministry of Economy, said on Monday.

Addressing the opening session of the UAE-India Economic Forum organized by BusinessLive Middle East, Al Saleh said the strong bilateral ties are the result of :the political will articulated by both governments,” and their sustained efforts to work together for the mutual benefit.

Al Saleh said the recent meeting of the UAE-India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments, which is a platform to communicate mutual requirements and vision for the future, has played a key role in boosting bilateral investments and cooperation.

“With Expo 2020 around the corner, we will witness India’s commitment with one of the largest pavilions, which is a testament to the value the country puts to promoting bilateral economic relations,” he said.

Al Saleh said the UAE is the largest Arab investor country in India, accounting for 81.2 per cent of total Arab investments. The UAE investments into India’s $2.8 trillion economy are estimated to be around $10 billion including foreign direct investment of almost $5 billion.

“The UAE hosts the largest Indian community overseas and their annual remittances are estimated to be more than $17 billion, which is 38 per cent of the total outflow,” he said.

“As both countries remain keen as ever to strengthen the trade dialogue, recently, an ambitious project – the India -UAE food corridor – was launched with the plan to benefit two million farmers and create an additional 200,000 jobs across India, due to cumulative investments of more than $7 billion by the UAE in the next three years,” said Al Saleh.

Among the dignitaries present at the day-longs sessions were Vipul, Consul General of India in Dubai; Fahad Al Gergawi; Chief Executive Officer; Dubai FDI; and Jamal Al Jarwan; Secretary-General; UAE International Investors Council; and Ali Ibrahim; Deputy Director-General; Dubai Economic Development, according to Poonam Chawla, Associate Publisher, BusinessLive Middle East.

Poonam Chawla said the UAE-India Economic Forum 2019 was a great success as it highlighted the areas of cooperation between the UAE and India. “It helped to throw light on how this historic bilateral relationship has been elevated to a strategic partnership while creating new opportunities in various fields like IT, trade, food, smart cities, banking and fin-techs, renewable energy and startups,” Poonam said.

According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, the FDI to the UAE rose by eight per cent to $10.4 billion in part due to rising cross-border mergers and acquisitions sales, making the country the largest source of FDI in 2017 for the Arab region (at 36 per cent of total FDI inflow). India is UAE’s second-largest trade partner today and the UAE has become India’s third-largest trading partner, with the total non-oil trade between the two countries recorded at $35.9 billion in 2018.

A special mention to the UAE-India Economic Forum 2019 sponsors “Ajman Free Zone” and “Galadari Advocates and Legal Consultants”. In the 5th Edition of the UIEF delegates brainstormed on new opportunities for partnerships with sessions on infrastructure, banking and finance, fin-tech, healthcare, food corridors, smart cities and start-ups. The UAE-India Economic Forum also felicitated government and industry leaders, who have worked towards nurturing ties between the two nations, with the Qadat Al Tagheer Awards.