The fourth edition of Sharjah FDI Forum 2018 was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah. The event will explore innovations and solutions in digital integration across economic sectors, diversified markets, business profitability and growth, infrastructure development, global investment climate, and environmental sustainability with investors, entrepreneurs and officials from the public and private sectors.
Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of the Sharjah FDI Office underscored that among the diversified set of topics the forum will cover is UAE’s position at the global investment map and discuss the best of developed and emerging markets. Stressing upon adaptability, he elucidated that staying abreast of technology, lifestyles, and changing managing systems is the solution.
He also explained: “Amidst rapid shifts in economic power centres and investment developments in the global economy, significant growth rates don’t come from economically developed countries but, from emerging markets which represents ‘60% of the world’s economic output, the bread and butter to global economic growth,’ according to a report published UBS this year.”
The report indicated that emerging economies increased the foreign exchange reserves from 11% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2000 to 24% in 2007, and that of the UAE from 13% to 25% in the same period. Al Musharrkh continued: “Several global investors are looking for opportunities offered by emerging economies, including the UAE. He said: “According to UNCTAD report, FDI in the UAE increased by 7.8% (US750 million) in 2017. This advanced its rank on the global FDI scale to the 30th. The gross inflow of foreign investment in 2017 reached US10.354 billion compared to US9.06 billion in 2016. These achievements placed the UAE as the top attractor for FDI in the Arab region with 36% of FDI investment in the Arab world and ranked 2nd in west Asia through 40.6% of the investment in that region.”
He noted that the country’s achievements are the fruition of a solid government strategy that aims to achieve a strong competitive knowledge-based economy which enhances UAE’s position as an international hub and a centre of the fourth industrial revolution. He also highlighted: “Through sound decision making process that considers variables and changes in the economic, investment market and educated foresight of future trends, UAE’s policy makers create solid and strategic plans that are based on expanding partnerships, incentives, and support. That’s the key driver of the positive result.”
From the new FDI law and regulations which was issued last October to investors and entrepreneurs, long-term visas that came into force few days ago showcases UAE’s approach towards on-going development and enhancement of the local infrastructure, eGovernment services, the strategic location of the country, political stability and social diversity makes it a fertile ground for international investment.
Regarding key incentives that Sharjah offers to attract foreign investments, Al Musharrkh said: “In line with the UAE strategy, Sharjah’s policy of economic diversification, mainly supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is a key driver of sustainable development and dynamic economy that attracts foreign assets. Sharjah is now home to 45,000 SMEs operating in various sectors, including manufacturing, real estate, tourism and business services.”
Organised in 2015, the Sharjah Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Forum is one of the world-leading economic and financial forums, and the largest FDI and investment forum of its kind across MENA. The Fourth edition, organised by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), under the support of the Ministry of Economy, will take place on 10 – 11 December 2018, at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre in Sharjah with the theme “Shaping the Future of Economies.”