UAE’s NextGenFDI campaign aims to bring more than 300 global technology firms as well as software developers, data scientists and coders to the country.
Launched and overseen by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the initiative intends to attract FDI and global talents by facilitating easier and simpler market entry processes for companies. These include rapid and flexible incorporation procedures to speed up licensing, bulk visa issuances, banking facilitation and commercial and residential lease incentives.
Seven strategic partners have signed up under the initiative already, including Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Dubai South and DMCC, Dubai Internet City, Emirates NBD and WIO, with more parties expected to join in.
NextGenFDI aims to leverage the UAE’s unique competitive advantage and global standing as a leading business, investment and innovation hub to support the growth of the nation’s knowledge-driven economy. It will focus on applied technology within various sectors by supporting the involvement of highly skilled developers, coders and consultants within the AI, gaming, data science and software spheres.
"Large and SME businesses from across the world are approaching us and asking how they can relocate their talent, ideas and high-growth ventures to the UAE," said Dr. Al Zeyoudi. "The global interest in 2022 is unprecedented, and while we are already working with some, we know many more want to follow suit. We want to ensure that the world’s most promising digital companies can access all the benefits that our attractive, business-friendly environment offers – but we also want to make it easy for them. NextGenFDI is designed to ensure that our market entry process is as streamlined and coordinated as our technology ecosystem."
He added, "On one hand, this is about hyper-practical measures – making it painless and rewarding for companies to relocate here. On the other, in the wake of the pandemic and the UAE’s actions to position itself as a highly agile and resilient economy, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring some of the finest minds to the UAE and contribute to our drive to become the world’s leading innovation hub for years to come. The UAE has a relentless focus on helping next-generation businesses to scale at speed and the leaders of future industries recognize that. If you’re a company with a strong idea, the UAE would like to see it materialize, and we’re here to make that process as simple and efficient as possible."
The UAE is one of the region’s fastest-growing economies. IMF predicts economic growth will accelerate to 4.2% in 2022, contrasting a slowdown in Europe, Asia and the US. In April this year, the UAE was ranked first globally as the best ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurs, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s (GEM) 2022 report, as well as the region’s top country in attracting foreign direct investment.
The NextGenFDI initiative will also provide the push for the National Program for Coders which offers golden visas to 100,000 computer coders. The UAE also aims to establish 1,000 new digital companies and increase investment in startups from approximately $400 million today to an eventual $1.3 billion.
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