The Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), an affiliate of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), has strengthened ties with potential investors and businesses from across Hungary and members of the Hungarian and Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a bid to expand commercial, industrial and investment cooperation in several high-priority sectors during a networking event hosted in Budapest.
Invest in Sharjah organised the ‘Sharjah Business Day in Hungary’ at the Matild Palace in the Hungarian capital to promote investment opportunities in competitive sectors and to highlight the range of services and facilities offered by various government organisations in the emirate.
Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, chairman of the Department of Government Relations in Sharjah, led the high-level delegation at the Budapest meet which hosted a panel discussion held under the theme ‘Investment Opportunities in Sharjah’, to promote trade and economic cooperation between the business communities of Hungary and Sharjah.
The discussion highlighted the ease of doing business in the emirate, focused on Sharjah’s diversified economy, competitive advantages and core strengths in diverse sectors, easy access to global markets, and elaborated on the range of services offered to incentivise long-term foreign investment.
Delivering the keynote speech at the Budapest meet, Saud Hamad Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Hungary, highlighted the long-standing history of cooperation between the two nations and emphasised unique high-growth opportunities in Sharjah’s innovative and business-friendly landscape to help Hungarian investors grow and scale up their businesses in the region.
“The UAE is the largest Arab trading partner of Hungary with non-oil trade reaching USD544 million in 2021. The robust relations can be strengthened further through trade and investment in Sharjah’s competitive diversified economy to drive growth in areas of mutual interest,” he said.
In his welcome address, Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, the DGR chairman, emphasised the shared commitment of Sharjah and Hungary to consolidate the bonds of strong bilateral ties and expand economic prospects by harnessing innovation and technology in diverse sectors to achieve sustainable economic growth.
“Concerted efforts from both sides have led to strong growth in mutual trade and economic investments, and we look forward to developing cooperation and facilitating partnerships in many rapidly growing business sectors such as agriculture and food security, technology and innovation, logistics, tourism and culture, water resource management, energy and renewable energy, and education,” Al Qasimi said.
He said Sharjah is a global hub of innovation and creativity. “I invite investors in Hungary to explore the advantages and integrated incentives that stem from the emirate’s stimulating business environment and its status as a vital gateway to the Middle Eastern, Asian, and African markets,” he said.
Mohamed Al Musharrkh, CEO of Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), emphasised the entity’s leading role in consolidating the emirate’s position as a thriving global hub for business, capital, and foreign investments.
“Sharjah has always stood behind responsible investments that support priority sectors and promotes innovation-based and sustainable growth. Sharjah’s investor-friendly climate is further boosted by the presence of six world-class free zones while its thriving innovation ecosystem levels the playing field for promising changemakers,” he said.
He said Invest in Sharjah can connect investors from Hungary to different government entities to identify opportunities to facilitate public-private partnerships.
“To improve the ease of doing business, the Sharjah Investors Services Centre offers integrated business and licencing services in addition to a range of consultative and advisory services,” he said.
Hussein Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park, said the park is capable and ready to provide all that is required to Hungarian companies who are interested to work and invest in the knowledge sector, which is considered a pillar to in SRTIP vision and mission to support innovation and technology research that supports investment projects.
Al Mahmoudi also highlighted the Sharjah Open Innovation Lab (SOILAB), the first applied incubator for start-ups and innovative companies to create prototypes, and the third edition of the global accelerators programme ‘Sharjah Global Accelerator for Advanced Industrial Technologies’, that is aimed at attracting emerging companies and global entrepreneurs by providing the necessary support to encourage their start-ups to improve their competitive advantages.
Elaborating on the host of benefits and suite of integrated business development solutions Sharjah Media City (SHAMS) offers investors, Majid Al Mulla, director of Operations, said: “With a 2 million square metre area, SHAMS is home to a dynamic, tech-savvy community of businesses involved in everything from media and e-commerce to real estate. We work to encourage game-changing ideas and create the opportunities innovators and creatives need to transform their vision into meaningful, concrete, viable media projects.”
Abdulaziz Shattaf, assistant director for Business and Communication Sector, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Sharjah provides a supportive environment for large-scale and innovative manufacturing industries, especially in the advanced technologies sector.
“Our innovations in sustainability and circular economy have enabled our journey to become the first zero waste to landfill city in the region. Under the UAE’s Operation 300bn, which aims to more than double the contribution of the industrial sector by 2031, Sharjah is poised for further exponential growth,” he said.
During the visit to Hungary, the Sharjah delegation met Elek Nagy, President of the Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI); and Gábor Kiss, former ambassador and a member of the Presidium of Hungarian-Turkish Committee. They also met with representatives of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) including Péter Babák, head of the International Relations Office, and András Rév, vice-president for International Affairs.
The delegation also met with officials from the Budapest Waterworks; Budapest Metropolitan University; John Von Neumann University; the Hungarian National Bank, and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bács-Kiskun County.
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