SHARJAH: Over 1,000 regional and global leaders in business and economy are expected to gather at the fifth edition of the Sharjah FDI Forum, on 11th and 12th November, 2019, to discuss trends that will drive the future of foreign investments in the UAE and the region.

They will also debate how development and strategies can continue to maximise benefits at a time the global economy undergoes radical transformations.

The event has chosen the theme “Future Trends in Foreign Direct Investment” and seeks to promote policy and investment discussions, which will offer a strong push to sustainable development, responsible investments and inclusive global growth.

Despite trade barriers and geopolitical tensions, FDI flows to the UAE remained largely unchanged in 2018, at $10 billion (World Investment Report 2019, UNCTAD). The economy is projected to grow 3.3 per cent in 2020 supported by a strong four per cent non-oil growth projected for that year.

The understanding that increased FDI flows is critical to the sustainable development of any country — reflected in the UAE government’s 2018 FDI law, which projects increased investment flows by up to 20 per cent this year.

In 2015, the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) brought the 12th edition of the World Forum for FDI for the first time in the MENA region under the theme “Where East Meets West”. At the opening ceremony on 8 February, 2015, His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, said, “Sharjah is a safe investment destination just as it is a cultural and educational destination”. The Sharjah Ruler asserted that the emirate was building its economy with the vision of building its human capital physically, intellectually, and economically.

Commenting on the region’s economic state in 2015, Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of Shurooq, said, “The region’s economy at the time, particularly in the UAE and Sharjah, was focused on inclusive development, which gave it a social dimension, as expressed by the Sharjah Ruler’s keynote speech at the event. He asserted that we needed to bring the world together to discuss how we can build an economy that meets people’s aspirations and is driven by young leaders.”

In 2016, the second edition of the Sharjah FDI Forum was announced by Shurooq to provide international investors with an unrivalled opportunity to examine the outlook for investment in the UAE and Sharjah, available to their businesses.

Shurooq made a landmark announcement in the presence of the Ruler of Sharjah, the launch of the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah). Since inception, Invest in Sharjah has operated under Shurooq to make a tremendous impact to drive more long-term and qualitative investments into Sharjah and the UAE to drive national and regional FDI performance and growth. Recently, these efforts were recognised by the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, which nominated them to assume MENA’s regional directorship at WAIPA for a two-year term, until 2021.

In its third year, the forum decided to bring the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to the centre stage at a time when this global phenomenon continued to intensify its influence in every aspect of our lives, and everyone – including global economies – desperate to get to grips with it. What will the future of the global economy be and how will FDI realities transform, faced by the unprecedented proliferation of rapidly advanced technologies like AI, robotics, IoT, and blockchain.

The fourth edition of Sharjah FDI Forum held in December last year, once again, engaged investors, business leaders, government decision-makers, thought leaders and professionals together to look at how to boost innovation, technology, research and development to support rapidly transforming and diversifying business ecosystems in the wake of trends new technologies like the fifth-generation (5G) mobile network, and artificial intelligence (AI).

Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), said, “What began as a local event to shed light on foreign investment issues has today become a thought leadership and business networking forum of international repute – a must-attend on the annual calendar of top-tier government leaders and C-suite Executives.”

The fifth edition, held under the patronage of The Ruler of Sharjah is being held at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC) in Sharjah. It will also highlight the need to create a global innovation mindset that is driven by an open exchange of ideas and enhancing user experiences.


WAM 1651 2019/10/19