Stock Sharjah Skyline, Al Majaz
Sharjah Skyline. In 2020, Shajah attracted 24 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth $220 million (Dh808.6 million). Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: In 2020, Shajah attracted 24 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth $220 million (Dh808.6 million), as per a Wavteq study on Sharjah’s FDI annual performance.

There has been a 60 per cent increase in the number of FDI projects between Q3 and Q4. While certain sectors were impacted, others witnessed remarkable growth, offering substantial investment opportunities for businesses in the fields of e-commerce, health and medical research, and personal protective equipment, among others. This boost in economic activity in new and emerging sectors led to the creation of 1,117 new jobs in Sharjah.

Over the year, Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), the investment promotion office operating under the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), continued to bolster investment activity in Sharjah with a wide range of services and facilities, including a real-time analysis of local markets, which helped incoming businesses identify suitable opportunities. Investor confidence in Sharjah continued to grow in 2020, with 24 new investment projects worth $220 million 2020.

Sharjah FDI
Sharjah FDI Image Credit: Sharjah FDI

Lessons learned

“2020 taught us the competitive advantage of adaptability, which will continue to inform the manner in which IIS would leverage future investment trends,” said Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah (IIS).

The COVID-19 outbreak caused global foreign direct investment (FDI) to shrink by 21 per cent to 61 per cent, according to a WAVTEQ’s report. It also states that job opportunities in the medical equipment manufacturing sector increased by 53.4 per cent, and in life sciences by 45.4 per cent, the highest since 2012. Jobs in e-commerce, financial technologies and logistics also grew at a quick pace during 2020,” he added.

Best investments in 2021

WAVTEQ has forecast an increase in FDI in various vital primary sectors in the next 12 months, predicting a 74 per cent hike in life sciences, 55.6 per cent in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), 49.7 per cent in food and agriculture industries, 46.2 per cent in logistics and distribution, while the cleaning technology industry is expected to grow at a rate of 30.2 per cent. Secondary sectors, including e-commerce, medical technology, education technology, cybersecurity, financial technology, and smart logistics, is expected to bring high-yield investment opportunities for innovation-driven SMEs.