Sharjah: The Sharjah Investment Forum 2023 (SIF) hosted a panel session titled "Redefining Economies, Making Significant Strides For a Better Future” to engage in a thought-provoking discussion on the steps necessary to create a more equitable and sustainable future. The discussion explored the importance of investment in advanced technology and innovation, the role of research and development, financing liquidity, empowering the workforce through education, and the five key sectors for a self-resilient economy.

The panel included a distinguished lineup of industry leaders and experts comprised of H.E Omar Suwaina, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (UAE), H.E Hussein Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park, Mr. Ahmed Al Naqbi, CEO of Emirates Development Bank, Ms. Ranju Anand, Vice President of GEMS Education, and was moderated by May Ben Khadra, Business Anchor and Economic Analyst.

The panellists engaged in a lively discussion on the subject of redefining economies and the steps necessary to create a more equitable and sustainable future. H.E Omar Suwaina stressed the importance of investment in advanced technology and innovation in driving economic growth, along with the “UAE Industry 4.0” initiative, the 4th Industrial Revolution Readiness Index that assesses the digital maturity of processes, technologies and organisation of a manufacturing. He also highlighted their partnership with Emirates Development Bank and the AED 700 million investment into SMEs, large caps operating in Industrial, Tech, Healthcare, Food Security, and Infrastructure Sectors. 

H.E Hussein Al Mahmoudi emphasised the role of research and development in shaping the future of economies and although the nation is regarded as number one in the world when it comes to innovation he noted that there is still not enough investment from the private sector and although there is progress, he urged that the mindset must change within Multinational entities.

Mr. Ahmed Al Naqbi noted that financing liquidity is the life-blood of the economy and discussed the five key sectors that have been derived from the government’s target to become self-resilient in light of recent challenges around the globe. These sectors of focus are Manufacturing; Advanced Technology & Industrialisation; Healthcare, through locally producing pharmaceuticals, hospital supplies and equipment; Food Security & Agro-tech, which they are very bullish on even though many other countries and institutions shy away from the industry; and Infrastructure, specifically focusing on the economic output of the country and incentivised economic zones.

Ms. Ranju Anand also brought her valuable experience and insights to the conversation, highlighting the critical significance of empowering the workforce through education to improve efficiency as well as the importance of educators keeping up with the rapid advancement of the youth and how education is a continuing journey that has a scope beyond the classroom.

The discussion was thought-provoking and inspiring, providing a roadmap for creating inclusive, sustainable, and equitable economies.

The Sharjah Investment Forum 2023 is a flagship event in the UAE and a testament to the country's commitment to driving economic growth and development. The forum provides a platform for leaders, experts, and innovators to come together and explore the latest trends, technologies, and solutions in the finance and investment world. The forum was proud to be a part of this important event and looks forward to continuing to shape the future of the region and the world.