The Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) has emphasised to businesses, countries and regions represented at the 12th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) that with impressive advancements in diversity, innovation and advancement across traditional, emerging and talent-based economic sectors, Sharjah is continuing its role as a regional powerhouse committed to empowering the global economy.
Seven key sectors in particular, namely, Health and Well-being, Mobility and Logistics, Culture and Tourism, Agri-Food Technology, GreenTech, Human Capital and Innovation, and Advanced Manufacturing, have witnessed further growth and integration, are powering Sharjah’s sustainable growth by attracting top regional and global investors who are benefitting from the emirate’s offerings as one of the region’s leading incubators for long-term strategic investments.
Sharjah participated in the key annual international event with a pavilion led by Invest in Sharjah, with the participation of Sharjah Media City (Shams), the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), and the Sharjah Investors Services Centre (SAEED), to offer regional and global players a comprehensive overview of the new developments in the emirate’s dynamic and innovation-driven economy highlight what the emirate has done to made to make its investor-friendly infrastructure and services more seamless and intuitive to their needs.
The emirate’s announcement of new legislative policies, particularly in the past three years in response to rapidly changing needs of global markets, maximise the potential of every business and fuel economic diversification has reaped tremendous results. The emirate attracted FDI worth US$ 220 million (AED 808 milion) in 2020, including a 60 percent growth in FDI projects in Q3 and Q4 compared to 2019, which led to the creation of 1,117 new jobs, according to an Invest in Sharjah – PwC report FDI Future Trends & Sector Potential published last year.
This strong trajectory of growth was enabled by the following high-performing sectors: the ICT sector which recorded 55.6 percent growth, followed by Food & Agriculture Industries at 49.7 percent, and Life Sciences sector, which grew by 47 percent, and finally, Logistics and Distribution, which registered a 46.2 percent growth.
During the event, the Sharjah pavilion welcomed VIPs, officials and experts, including HE Dr. Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade; HE Ahmed Jassim Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development; and HE Abdulla Al Saleh, Under Secretary of the Foreign Trade and Industry at the UAE Ministry of Economy, and briefed them on the new opportunities in Sharjah’s diversified market sectors aligned with realising the UAE’s vision to establishing itself as a leading knowledge economy.
Fostering human capital at the heart of sustainable investment opportunities in Sharjah
At the 3-day international event held from May 8 – 10 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Invest in Sharjah held a panel discussion titled, ‘Sustainable Investment Opportunities in FDI’, highlighting challenges and opportunities, and zoomed in on the vast business operational network founded on strong collaboration between public and private sectors, the pro-investor laws and regulations, and other facets that are making Sharjah increasingly attractive as a regional gateway to businesses, investors and entrepreneurs with a wide range of commercial interests in the UAE and beyond.
HE Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), emphasised that investment talk is no longer limited to addressing short-term challenges and solutions but has become focused on the vital role of FDI in finding faster ways to build a modern, forward-looking economy with greater agility to cope with rapid economic changes. He also noted that the past three years had shown significant growth in new sectors that have emerged from the needs of societies, indicating that investment options today are based on modern scientific foundations that rely on data analysis, trend monitoring, and the development of appropriate plans.
He said: “In Sharjah, we have learned that the starting point for the success of any business or investment is building and empowering human capital with science and technology to address development challenges. All indicators confirm that the future economy relies on innovative ideas, talents and skilled human resources”.
“Therefore, Sharjah considers investing in education and science as a foundation for sustainable investment in future generations. This enhances the emirate’s attractiveness in the current investment scene, which is focused on local markets’ talents and competencies. This is backed by Sharjah’s GDP returns in investing in education in 2021, which reached about AED 3.5 billion with a growth rate of 4.8%, in addition to the Life and Sciences sector growth that reached 47 per cent in 2020.”
HE Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City (Shams) highlighted that Shams’s participation in AIM Global was a valuable opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs, investors, government representatives and specialised institutions from different countries. “We have presented innovative investment opportunities in the media sector offered by Shams, including the comprehensive services, world-class facilities, business packages and hassle-free set up at our free zone. Through our approach, we seek to help establish a new entrepreneurial culture for creative industries.”
For his part, HE Mohamed Ahmed Amin, Director-General SCCI, stressed that the Chamber’s AIM Global 2023 participation was a key networking opportunity with heads of participating Arab and international delegations. “The participation was a key opportunity to introduce our future-focussed services that are currently enjoyed by Sharjah’s business community. We held extensive meetings with representatives of private companies interested in investing in Sharjah, where we highlighted the offerings of economic centres affiliated with the Chamber, including the Sharjah International Commercial Arbitration Centre, Expo Centre Sharjah Expo, Sharjah Exports Development Centre, sectoral working groups, and Sharjah Excellence Award.”
Marwan Saleh Alichla, Director of Sharjah Investors Services Centre (SAEED), commented: “Sharjah keeps pace with the rapid development and innovation in the world, providing investors with a stable and secure investment environment that ensures long-term returns. This strategy provides a comprehensive overview of its investment advantages, including advanced legislation, administrative agility, advanced and integrated infrastructure, a distinguished geographical location that ensures easy access to regional and international markets, diverse and tolerant culture, and high quality of life”.
“SAEED is committed to achieving the emirate’s vision by facilitating investments, strengthening Sharjah’s attractiveness, and identifying and realising each sector’s true potential. We believe that building a strong economy means forging strong relationships and sustainable partnerships with investors from around the world.”
AIM Global 2023 was held under the theme ‘The Investment Paradigm Shift: Future Investment Opportunities to Foster Sustainable Economic Growth, Diversity and Prosperity’. Since its inception, the Annual Investment Meeting has established itself as a leading investment platform in the Middle East which aspires to ignite positive transformation by creating investment opportunities, upholding solidarity and developing economic relations among nations, as well as addressing the global ordeals that will make a profound impact to economic growth.