Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), the investment promotion arm of the government of Sharjah, Exhibited with seven prominent government entities at the 11th Annual Investment Meeting (AIM 2022), that concluded recently at the Dubai Exhibition Center (South Hall) at Expo 2020 Dubai, from the 29th to the 31st of March.
The Sharjah pavilion included the participation of Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), Sharjah Media City Free Zone (Shams), Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCC), Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), and Sharjah Investors Services Centre (SAEED).
Held under the theme, ‘Investments in Sustainable Innovation for a Thriving Future’, the 2022 edition of AIM focused on bolstering and improving investments towards sustainability and innovation through activities under six multifaceted pillars – FDI, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Foreign Portfolio Investments (FPI), Startups, Future Cities and the Projects of the 50.
The five Sharjah entities joined several ministries and government departments, Special Economic Zones (SEZ), and smart city solution providers, amongst others, to network, showcase innovative ideas and new business opportunities in the emirate’s increasingly diverse sectors, and guide global investors to the investment potential in Sharjah’s competitive and dynamic economy.
At the Sharjah stand at AIM 2022, Invest in Sharjah introduced the exciting possibilities and opportunities for investments in priority sectors including information and communication technology, education, health, transportation, supply chains, logistics, entertainment and media, financial technology, energy, water, and space.
Innovation-based and sustainable growth in priority sectors
Mohammed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO, Invest in Sharjah, underlined the emirate’s strategy of intensifying efforts in attracting more diversified FDIs that promise innovation-based and sustainable growth to support sectors of national priority. He said: “In line with the vision and ‘Principles of the 50’, the emirate’s ongoing investments in future sectors is enabling us to move towards a sustainable growth model based on knowledge and advanced technology. These areas of businesses have significant potential for expansion, and the continued shift from the emirate’s traditional manufacturing activities to tech-based emerging sectors has attracted AED 272 million in capital investments in the first half of 2021.”
The CEO of Invest in Sharjah added: “With non-oil sectors contributing to 96% of economic activity, Sharjah is one of the most diversified emirates in the UAE and the region. Sharjah’s sustained focus on furthering its position as a leading investment destination in a rich, promising, and diversified economy has transformed the emirate into a thriving hub where global businesses can find safe, stable and long-term business profitability and growth.”
Al Musharrkh added: “The Annual Investment Meeting was an ideal opportunity to showcase Sharjah’s investor-friendly climate and its thriving innovation ecosystem to mobilise concrete investments for sustainable economic growth. Sharjah’s specialised free zones, infrastructural capabilities and FDI-friendly regulatory framework have also facilitated public-private partnerships that are shaping the future of Sharjah and the UAE.”
Fully integrated services for investors
His Excellency Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation (SRTI) Park, said, “Today we begin a renewed tireless and ambitious journey towards greater achievements in all fields, driven by the ‘Principles of 50’ document.
“The vision of the country’s leadership for the next 50 years seeks to make the UAE the capital of investment and economic innovation in the world, an integrated incubator for a culture of entrepreneurship and emerging projects, and an advanced laboratory for the new economy, including opportunities for the digital economy, the circular economy, and knowledge-based economy, and innovation and advanced technology in artificial intelligence and the fourth industrial revolution.
“SRTI Park is committed to boosting scientific research and building a scientific and technical base to incubate path-breaking tech companies in fields like transportation, agriculture, energy, construction and other sectors.
Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), spotlighted Sharjah’s active participation in the global entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. “Sharjah has always been an entrepreneurial city, and continues to be at the forefront of creativity, culture, and education. At Sheraa, we believe in the innate potential of the talent in the emirate, and have supported world-class homegrown ventures committed to advancing human progress. AIM was an opportunity to showcase Sharjah’s vibrant entrepreneurship hub to a global audience, and invite key partners and enablers to join our cause in supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
Mohammed Ahmed Amin Al Awadi, Director-General of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), said: “HE Mohammed Ahmed Amin Al Awadi, Director-General of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), stressed that the chamber’s participation in the Annual Investment Forum 2022, under the umbrella of Sharjah’s pavilion, has yielded great results.
“The Investment Forum has provided us with an ideal platform to brief Arab and foreign delegations on Sharjah’s conducive business environment, state-of-the-art infrastructure, existing and future projects to be launched in various sectors to promote its leading position as a regional hub for establishing and doing business,” Al Awadi said.
“Through this event, the chamber wanted to promote its cooperation with regional and global institutions as well as international chambers of commerce, to support the emirate’s business community and the private sector, attract further investments from various markets and expand investment opportunities available in the emirate,” he added.
The SCCI’s Director-General emphasized that the Annual Investment Forum comes at a significant time, discussing impressing issues and topics ranging from foreign direct investment to small and medium enterprises, emerging companies and future cities, in addition to foreign investment portfolios existing in the UAE.
H.E. Shihab Al Hammadi, Director of Sharjah Media City (Shams), said: “Our participation in The Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) under the umbrella of ‘Invest in Sharjah’ was an exceptional experience and an unparalleled opportunity for us to present our services, promote business growth, and help entrepreneurs launch innovative projects in the media sector, among other vital industries. Shams presents a prominent business platform, offering aspiring business owners with a host of opportunities, facilities, and privileges. We have a highly developed infrastructure, which has recently welcomed a new addition with the opening of the Shams Business Centre, providing optimised spaces and services for various licensed companies in the free zone.”
Abdulaziz Omar Al Midfa, Deputy Director of the Governmental Communications Department at Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), said: “The Annual Investment Meeting in its new session serves as a gateway for economic and investment communication with the world, especially since the country has become a prominent global commercial and investment center. It also represents a valuable opportunity for a direct meeting between various investors, government representatives, and relevant bodies and institutions in the world, and from here we saw the importance of our participation in this global event.”
Al Midfa added, “SEDD’s participation in the Meeting comes in light of the rapid economic changes that the world is witnessing, especially in light of the successive changes. This dictates us to keep pace with these changes, which will undoubtedly affect the global investment map, and change it for the benefit of the owners of inspiring initiatives and innovations.”
Highlighting the supportive ecosystem offered for investors, startups, and business owners in Sharjah, Marwan Saleh Alichla, General Manager, Sharjah Investors Services Centre (SAEED), said: “Sharjah is a pro-investor emirate and a regional gateway to international markets. This status is enhanced and strengthened by the fully integrated 360-degree government solutions offered by SAEED to enable investors and business owners establish their companies in Sharjah in record time and in an efficient manner.”