Sharjah - Mohammed Juma'a Al Musharrakh , Chief Executive Officer of the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), highlighted the rich investment options and promising opportunities available in the UAE, noting that investors’ choices help shape the future of the region and the entire world.
In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on the occasion of the launch of the 6th Sharjah Investment Forum, Al Musharrakh said that the strategic distribution of capital between key economic sectors will help maintain growth, stability and sustainability.
The forum, held under the theme, “Redefining economies making significant strides for a better future,” will highlight the challenges and opportunities associated with the current economic period, as well as discuss ways of capitalising on investments to achieve sustainable growth, by directing them to promising sectors.
The forum will take place this year amid an extraordinary global economic environment, which will mean different expectations for the future of business, growth and development while making it an important platform for analysing the role of investment in the process of international development, he added.
The forum will address current priorities, he further added, noting that every phase has its own investment priority. The past few years have witnessed remarkable investment growth distributed among traditional key sectors and emerging sectors.
He then recalled the experience of Sharjah, which has witnessed exceptional growth in four sectors. These are communications and information technology by 55.6 percent, food industries and agriculture by 49.7 percent, life sciences by 47 percent, and distribution and logistics at 46.2 percent.
Al Musharrakh talked about Sharjah’s experience in turning waste into energy, as well as the Bee’ah Solar Power Plant’s contribution to providing low-carbon power to supply 67,000 houses with electricity. He affirmed that the emirate is constantly increasing its investment attraction and its position as a friendly environment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), as it hosts over 60,000 small and medium-sized projects.
He then pointed out that Sharjah is a gateway to the markets of the Arabian Gulf region, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$1.6 trillion (AED5.88 trillion). It provides a solid business base for investors through six free zones and 33 industrial zones with various specialisations, which are all linked to convenient land, sea and airports.
The UAE’s robust and flexible national economies attract both local and foreign investors, and enable it to maintain its status as a global investment hub, he added. He highlighted the positive forecasts about the local economy by international financial institutions, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which predict the UAE economy to grow by 4.1 and 4.2 percent, respectively, in 2023.
He also highlighted the UAE’s prominent stature as an attractive destination for work, investment, living and tourism, noting that it has enhanced its stature on the world map.
Al Musharrakh pointed out the UAE’s significant efforts to diversify its economic sectors, which will help diversify sources of national income. He noted that it is focussed on strengthening the infrastructure of modern sectors, including artificial intelligence (AI), innovation, information technology and smart and sustainable services.
On the future of investing in Emirati markets and labour sectors, Al Musharrakh said that the UAE aims to double the size of its economy from AED1.4 trillion to AED3 trillion by 2030.
The upcoming period will require investment and creative action based on innovation and analytical thinking, he added. Over the past couple of years, the country has introduced new investment tools despite the challenges, which include investing in smart solutions for issues affecting production, distribution, trade, exports and imports, he noted.
The sixth edition of the Sharjah Investment Forum, organised by Invest in Sharjah, will begin tomorrow and will run for two days.
The annual forum will witness the participation of 50 speakers, including ministers, experts, presidents and CEOs of major companies, investment institutions, chambers of commerce, governmental and semi-governmental bodies, departments and institutions, banks and private companies from various sectors, as well as major investors.
The event will include keynote speeches by leading officials, such as Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, who will talk about his vision of the current economic situation and the government’s plans to achieve economic growth, and Omar Suwaina, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology. Algernon Yao, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong, and Cheung Kwok-kwan, Deputy Minister for Justice of Hong Kong, will present the strategies adopted by Hong Kong to attract foreign investment and promote economic growth.
In the presence of various prominent speakers, two of the world's most famous investors and members of the judging panel of the popular TV show, “Shark Tank,” will also participate: American billionaire Dyamond John, who was an ambassador of global entrepreneurship during the term of former US President Barack Obama, and Canadian businessman Robert Herjavec, who served as a cybersecurity advisor to the Canadian government and is a member of the US Chamber of Commerce’s cybersecurity team.
During the forum, John and Herjavec will showcase their experiences in entrepreneurship and highlight the strategies they employed to reach the pinnacle of success in leading and establishing major international companies.