Investment in Sharjah mega-projects, future tech & growth of media sector explored at Sharjah FDI Forum 2019

In a market worth USD 2 trillion, discussions across the board have called for strong partnerships between the public and private sectors

  
Investment in Sharjah mega-projects, future tech growth of media sector explored at Sharjah FDI Forum 2019

Sharjah: AI, 5G and Industry 4.0 are the industries of the future in a two trillion-dollar market, said Alaa ElShimy, MD & VP Enterprise Business, Huawei Technologies at the ongoing Sharjah FDI Forum 2019, yesterday (Monday). He added that everything will come down to only computing and connecting.

In his presentation titled Innovation in Future Technologies ElShimy explained that the future of connectivity will see a world where everything is connected, from our fridge to our car, or mobile phones. These devices will connect and share cloud intelligence.

“With the advent of IoV, cars will be able to connect to traffic lights and know what speed to drive to avoid red lights, and they will be able to connect to other cars and vehicles around them,” he said. “We already use “intelligent cars” but as driverless or semi-driverless cars become common place, the technology used will see them override the driver when making unsafe decisions regarding distances to other cars and speed.”

Speaking about oil fields, Alaa said that AI now made it possible to oversee an entire oil field remotely.

The future of high-quality infrastructure development

The Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA) hosted the last panel of the first day of the forum. Titled ‘The Future of High-Quality Infrastructure Development’, and moderated by Eng. Ali Abas Yousif, Manager of Projects Development, SEWA, the panel spoke about a joint project between GE Energy Financial Services and Sumitomo Corporation, which was part funded by Japan Bank for International Cooperation called the Hamriyah Independent Power Project. This will see a state of the art, technologically advanced, 1.8 GW power plant built in Sharjah.

Susan Flanagan, President & CEO, GE Energy Financial Services benefit, said the project came about through the vision of SEWA. “SEWA was very clear on what they wanted. They wanted the most advanced technology solution for Sharjah that had lower emissions compared to existing technologies; ones that would create sustainable power for the future. Once fully operational, it will be the most efficient project in the region from a field perspective; the equivalent to taking a million cars off the road. For this to happen there was a need for strong partnerships from both the public and private sector. We built an operational model that was so strong and stable, it was able to attract FDI to the project and the IPP is so exceptional, it is the ‘flagship type’ we take around the world to present globally.”

Masahiro Narikiyo CEO & COO Sumitomo Corporation ME Group opened his presentation by saying, “We are here to stay. We want to work with Sharjah on more projects in the future and can bring our global expertise to other infrastructure areas such as water, waste treatment and transportation control systems.”

He added that all new high-quality infrastructure projects must take into consideration the economic, social and environmental issues which the Hamriyah IPP did, adding that the mega project will supply clean sustainable power to the UAE grid, which is an amazing achievement for the Sharjah and the UAE, he said. Narikiyo also said that he hoped this project was a starting point to create more partnerships with Sharjah, across renewable energy or other mega projects.

Mike Uchino, Advisor New Energy and Power Finance Department, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, said the bank was always ready to support quality infrastructure projects where Japanese companies were involved. She went on to explain the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure endorsed at Osaka in August 2019 and adopted by her organisation.

These include six principles: 1: Maximizing the positive impact of infrastructure to achieve sustainable growth and development; 2: Raising Economic Efficiency in View of Life-Cycle Cost. It should attain value for money and remain affordable with respect to life-cycle costs; 3: Integrating Environmental Considerations in Infrastructure Investments. 4: Building Resilience against Natural Disasters and Other Risks, given the increasing number and magnitude of natural disasters we face the urgent need to ensure long-term adaptability and build resilience against these risk; 5: Integrating Social Considerations in Infrastructure Investment Infrastructure should be inclusive, enabling the economic participation and social inclusion of all; 6: Strengthening Infrastructure Governance, to ensure long-term cost-effectiveness, accountability, transparency, and integrity of infrastructure investment.

SHAMS unveils the Emirati Entertainment Experience Project

The last session of the day was a presentation by HE Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman Sharjah Media City (Shams) called, Setting the Cinema Landscape for Investors. Introducing the Emirati Entertainment Experience Project to the audience, he said the initiative was aimed at increasing Sharjah’s GDP by accelerating the growth of creative industries to an international benchmark, such as that of the US or EU, which amounts to 4 percent of contribution.

“Funding films is a major driver in bringing investment into the country. We attract young talent, eager to get into the industry and we believe that the FDI will add value to such an offering and we look forward to those partnerships bringing opportunities in entertainment for the emirate”, he said.

Khulud Abu Homos, COO of the Emirati Entertainment Experience Project said that the media sector is the highest growing sector in the UAE and investment in media was a growing opportunity. “The project currently has 32 film crews in production, and it was the aim of the project to attract local talent into the film industry,” she said.

The forum is organised by the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah.  The 5th Sharjah FDI Forum carries the theme ‘Future Trends in Foreign Direct Investment’ and is taking place on November 11-12 at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC), bringing  together more than 40 speakers and 1,500 participants and industry experts representing a number of local and global financial, economic and business institutions.

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