On a two-nation visit spanning the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation, Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), has engaged with leading investment agencies, banks and development institutions, responding to a growing interest in Belarusian businesses and investors to establish their regional presence with an operational base in Sharjah.
During these visits, Invest in Sharjah shared key insights on latest investor trends, introduced promising investment prospects in the emirate’s diversified economy, and explored robust strategies for successful joint ventures.
Led by Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, CEO of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), and Mohammed Juma Al Musharrakh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah, the visiting delegation met with officials from prominent entities, including the Belarusian National Agency for Investment and Privatization, National Centre for Marketing and Price Study, Belarus Hi Tech Park, and the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
Invest in Sharjah recognises the immense potential in strengthening investment relations with Belarus, given its thriving modern economy characterised by high-performance sectors that align seamlessly with Sharjah’s growth and diversification goals. In 2021, the trade turnover between Belarus and the UAE amounted to US$ 79.9 million, while the volume of bilateral trade in services amounted to US$ 211.5 million.
Belarus’s key economic sectors have achieved noticeable growth. Hi-Tech Park witnessed remarkable success in 2020, with exports exceeding US$ 2.7 billion, accounting for over 20 percent of the country’s service sector exports. The Belarusian industrial sector, valued at approximately US$ 61.7 billion in 2020, relies heavily on agricultural and heavy industrial equipment, electronic devices and other vital products that can fuel further growth in Sharjah’s robust industrial and manufacturing sectors. Furthermore, non-oil trade between Belarus and the UAE reached approximately US$ 82.6 million in 2021.
Exploring opportunities at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2023
Invest in Sharjah also participated in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2023 in Russia, where the UAE was celebrated as Guest of Honour. The delegation discussed investment opportunities with Russian representatives from various economic sectors, given that the volume of trade between the two countries reached US$ 9 billion in 2022 growing by 68 percent. The forum was attended by more than 1,000 economic experts from 80 countries representing different vital sectors.
Joint working groups
During a meeting with the Belarusian National Agency of Investment and Privatization, attended by Krasovsky Dmitry, Director of the National Agency for Investment and Privatisation; Pushkarev Aleksey, Second Deputy Director of the National Agency for Investment and Privatisation; and Kononchuk Alexander, Head of the Investor Support Department of the National Agency for Investment and Privatisation; both parties agreed to establish a joint working group to explore investment opportunities that align with the aspirations of both sides.
Furthermore, discussions covered establishing communication channels to exchange data and information on economic growth trends between the two countries and organising trade and investment missions to facilitate communication between business communities, ultimately building strategic partnerships rooted in shared interests and mutual benefits.
The Sharjah delegation also held a meeting with the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus and met with Alexandr Churilo, Head of International Business; Andrey Matievsky, Deputy General Director of the Agency of International Business Development; and Angelina Levkovich, Director of the Agency of International Business Development, discussing ways to boost information exchange on investment opportunities and significant development projects in Sharjah. Both parties expressed their commitment to conducting more meetings to examine investment in line with the future development orientations of both parties.
During the meeting, Invest in Sharjah presented its plans to support Belarusian companies looking for investment opportunities in the emirate, including assistance in establishing businesses, expanding into local and regional markets, and supporting the development of regulations and legislation to encourage investors and facilitate their businesses.
Technology, agriculture, and renewable energy
The meeting with the National Centre for Marketing and Price Study discussed possible future agreements and cooperation that would have a sustainable impact on the interests of both parties. The meeting with Mikalai Barysevich, Director General of the National Centre for Marketing and Price Study; and Komarova Evgeniya, Head of International Cooperation, National Centre for Marketing and Price Study, also discussed mechanisms for exploring promising development sectors in Sharjah and identifying joint interest projects in technology, modern agriculture, advanced manufacturing, tourism, and renewable energy sector which attracted investments exceeding US$ 515 million in Belarus in 2020.
Strategy to relocate to Sharjah markets
The meeting with Belarus Hi Tech Park, a free zone that houses more than 1,000 IT companies, resulted in developing a strategy with specific timeframes to assist companies in the sector interested in relocating to Sharjah. They also agreed on the best exchange programmes for project owners, researchers and technology experts and have scheduled meetings over the next two months to discuss potential partnership agreements. During the meeting, the Belarusian side expressed a particular interest in IT, software development, R&D and incubators in Sharjah.
Wise development policies and strategic partnerships
Commenting on the visit, Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer stressed that Belarus had shown great interest in the emerging investment opportunities resulting from Sharjah’s comprehensive development journey. He pointed out that the emirate’s strategic policies to promote diversity and employ modern technology in developing vital sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and education have always yielded new partnerships between the emirate and the world’s leading economic centres.
The CEO of Shurooq said that Minsk is the leading industrial centre in Belarus and one of the most important industrial and commercial centres globally, being the base for factories for heavy machinery, electric motors, electronic devices, as well as textile and food industries. He noted that attracting more Belarusian investments would be both a qualitative and quantitative addition to the emirate’s economy.
For his part, Mohamed Juma Al Musharrakh noted that the visit embodies Invest in Sharjah’s FDI vision, which focuses on building strategic partnerships with the world’s leading investment and development agencies. Sharjah is bolstering its status as one of the most important incubators for investments that support building a modern economy.
He added, “We are confident that our visit to Minsk in Belarus will yield important results for both sides. We met with key institutions that lead Belarusian investment decisions and trends. We have amply highlighted our strategy to support foreign investments and offer a nurturing climate for business growth and success in the emirate, while also sharing the success stories of 55 Belarusian companies in Sharjah, which represents a great starting point for larger and more diversified investments in the emirate in the near future.”