The Sharjah FDI Office, Invest in Sharjah, an affiliate of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shurooq, organised an interactive business webinar via the Zoom platform on Tuesday, 21st July, 2020, to introduce emerging opportunities in various high-potential sectors to investors and businesses from the United States, US.
With 462 US companies currently operating in Sharjah – 200 onshore and 261 offshore – the webinar titled “Commercial and Investment Opportunities Between Sharjah and USA” focused on business sectors that are experiencing rapid growth amid a challenging investment landscape. These include advanced manufacturing; innovation and technology; and media and entertainment that are today boosting Sharjah’s FDI appeal, alongside developments in travel and leisure; transportation and logistics; healthcare, and environment.
Prominent speakers at the business webinar included Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Shurooq; Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Media City, Shams; Hussain Mohamed Al Mahmoudi, CEO, Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation, SRTI, Park, and Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO, Sharjah FDI Office.
Steve Lutes, Vice President Middle East, of the US Chamber of Commerce, moderated the webinar and welcomed the speakers and guests including officials from the US Embassy in Washington, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and entrepreneurs and business owners from around the globe.
Speaking at the webinar, Marwan Al Sarkal noted that Shurooq has been heeding investor sentiments to create economic diversity and enhance Sharjah’s appeal as an investment, tourism, and business destination. “This has led to joint ventures and partnerships with international investors for technology transfer in diverse fields such as real estate, tourism and infrastructural projects, education, aquaculture, agriculture, mobility, and Artificial Intelligence.”
Dr. Khalid Al Midfa said that the digital capabilities of Sharjah Media City enabled it to transition smoothly to remote functioning during the pandemic. “During the last few months, Sharjah Media City has introduced several incentives as a way of extending support to governmental and private entities, business sectors, and individuals. Our efforts have resulted in an increase in new companies registered by 6.3 percent, with more than 150 e-commerce companies registered.”
“Innovation’s future address is the UAE,” stated Hussain Al Mahmoudi, citing how SRTI Park is leveraging intellectual, academic, and business capabilities of the local ecosystem to attract leading companies and serve as a platform for innovative start-ups and established companies to enter or expand in the region.
He said, “In the past year alone, SRTI Park has attracted more than AED300 billion for R&D activities. We have developed the biggest transport research centre and the largest additive manufacturing centres in the region. The Park also hosts the largest agricultural technology facility and will soon have the largest VR and mixed reality experiential centre.”
In the recently concluded first phase of its debut accelerator programme, SRTI Park attracted more than 500 companies from 57 countries, he added.
Addressing participants, Al Musharrkh, stated, “The emirate is now shifting from traditional manufacturing sectors to move into new age and high-tech industries such as AI, 3D printing, robotics, and drone technology, amongst others. The pandemic has only accelerated this move and we are seeing a greater focus on tech-driven businesses such as vertical farming, e-learning, and e-medicine.”