Under the Patronage of

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai


Zoë Harries

Managing Director
Impact Zones


With a background in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Advisory, Zoë Harries is the founder of Impact Zones, a boutique foreign trade and investment advisory firm specializing in sustainable SEZ development.

She supports governments, special economic zones and business parks with attracting foreign investment. Zoë also supports companies with cross-border expansion projects, scaling sustainable supply chains.

In complex and dynamic business environments, Zoë brings together the public and private sectors, shaping commercial and sustainable growth strategies for successful public-private partnerships. She has extensive experience in industrial parks and SEZ conception and implementation, including legal framework review and recommendations, with a focus on sustainability, also from an operational and management modelling point of view.

Zoë’s mission is to mobilize governments, the private sector and multilateral organizations to make a global economic, social and environmental impact. She provides FDI workshops and leadership programs raising awareness on the SDGs and how to achieve them, inspiring governments and the business community to join her on this mission.

Passionate about this project our Managing Director, Zoë Harries, is honored and delighted to personally serve as an ambassador for TEENAH.org , a social manufacturing company and UNICEF partner producing high-quality custom printed bags and other textile-based products creating jobs for Syrian refugee women and Jordanian women in the north of Jordan. 


With over 25 years of trade and investment experience in Europe, North America, Latin America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East and Asia, Zoë is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and works with a global network of experts.

Zoë shares her expertise in trade and investment and sustainable economic development at conferences and with corporate and public clients and partners such as Annual Investment Meeting, Nyenrode Business University, Wollongong University, FEMOZA, WAIPA, AZFA, RBIDZ, AmCham Jordan, The World Bank, World FZO, Impact Investment Summit Europe, Jordan Investment Commission and Kazakh Invest.

Born in South Africa, Zoë holds a BSc. in Economics, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, and is fluent in English and Dutch, proficient in French and speaks basic Spanish.

Sessions of the speaker



11:20 - 12:20

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are being formulated by the international community will have very significant implications for investment needs. The private sector investment in SDGs can help structure efforts to mobilise funds, to channel them to SDG sectors, and to maximise impacts and mitigate drawbacks. COVID-19 has shred further light on SDG investment and why it’s a critical goal for countries to achieve.


This session will cover:

·         The positive impacts of investment in SDG segments

·         The challenges faced in LDCs and the opportunities which exist

·         How to accelerate sustainable investment in a crisis environment?

·         What are Development Banks doing to facilitate sustainable investments?

Simone Filippini
Leadership4SDGs Foundation
Angela Homsi
Co-founder, Investor & Director
Angaza Capital / Ignite Power
Mia Mikic
Director, Trade Investment and Innovation Division
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
Martin Wermelinger, Ph.D.
Head of FDI Qualities
OECD Investment Division
Habib Ansari
Head of Alternative Development Finance (ADF)
Islamic Development Bank
Session Chair:
Zoë Harries
Managing Director
Impact Zones