SheTrades Mena vows to boost women role in economic growth - GulfToday

SheTrades Mena vows to boost women role in economic growth


She Trades Mena seeking to rally support from various organizations to leverage international trade for the economic empowerment of women. WAM/File

AIM Digital, the first digital edition of the Annual Investment Meeting, the world’s leading investment platform, concluded on a high note as it showcased major activities highlighting its six pillars, namely, Foreign Direct Investment, Foreign Portfolio Investment, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Startups, Future Cities, and One Belt, One Road.

AIM Digital’s mission to create a roadmap to build a resilient future for the global economy amidst the current pandemic was fully realised as the three-day mega digital event successfully concluded its last day. One of the highlights of Day 3 is the FDI session of its Conference where disruptive investments and investing in Industry 4.0 was discussed. It tackled how IPAs can manage technological disruptions such as AI and robotics, how to make the local environment conducive to change, and the promotion strategies that need to be utilised to attract the right investors.

As one of the panelists, Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, the Chief Executive Officer of Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) stated: “The first thing we did after going back to offices post-COVID is to review all the studies that we have done before, in terms of the sectors that we are focusing on regarding attractions. So, we call the report as the future trends of investments. Previously, we used to focus on sectors such as logistics and transportation, hospitality, healthcare and global energy and environment. But I think, what’s happened with COVID, and the extensive use of technology, working from home, the e-learning and all of this definitely made us change all the previous focus and shift towards and new sectors, especially in technology, such as AI.”

He added: “Food Security is something that we also started looking at even if it is not so much related to technology. But I mean, the new trends in agriculture like the horizontal farming, and all of this is something that we definitely started looking at, aqua farming, especially that we come from a geographical area where most of the lands are desert, and we used to be depending a lot on importing food products from abroad. So the shift definitely happened towards technology. Even in terms of transportation and logistics, the use of drones came into mind. So, I think the shift is definitely towards technology.”  Another significant part of the AIM Digital Conference on Day 3 was the SheTrades Middle East and North Africa (SheTrades Mena) sessions where the industry leaders and specialists from the investment community led the virtual discussions on empowering the role of women in economic transformation and growth. She Trades Mena, hosted by Dubai Exports, is a part of the global SheTrades initiative seeking to rally support from policymakers, the business community and various women’s organizations to leverage international trade for the economic empowerment of women.

In his Welcome Adress, Eng. Saed Mohamed Alawadi, the Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Exports said: “From a female point of entrepreneurship, technology is a factor in speeding up global gender equality. We can see that women on business are harnessing technology to grow their business and become global. Further, the ability to use smartphones, tablets, and cloud based services are allowing women to start business that are born global. For example, targeting an international customer base from the first day. Technology is bringing the entrepreneur closer to the customer. Moreover, it is reducing the cost of marketing and promotion through the use of social media, it is creating a global customer base the community. Technology has been an important enabler. However, it is the willpower that make it a power tool. I hope that entrepreneurs taking part in today’s session, capitalize on the opportunities that are available.”

In the first session of SheTrades Mena entitled Digital Development: The New Opportunity, the session guided participants on how to take advantage of the opportunities of digital development in the future, as the new normal has brought about an ever accelerating digital world.

The second session, “Specialising for Growth — How to Scale Your Business Across Borders” brought together women owned businesses, entrepreneurs and experts to share the lessons learned and provide possible strategies for growth cross borders through specialization of products and services to differentiate from the big box and multi-national conglomerates.

SheTrades Mena Session 3, “Women’s Entrepreneurship and Responsible Leadership” discussed the increasing challenges of creating an economically sustainable business model blended with the responsibility of business to be socially and environmentally more sustainable.


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