Sharjah’s recent participation during ‘Web Summit 2023’ in Lisbon, Portugal, served as a platform to showcase its impressive advancements as well as developmental trajectory across diverse economic sectors. With an audience of over 70,000 participants from 160 nations, the emirate proudly exhibited significant progress in technology, clean energy, innovation, artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship, and education.
Exploring collaborative opportunities
The Sharjah pavilion featured the participation of four key entities, marking a significant presence at the event. This pavilion, led by the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), showcased the emirate’s collective capabilities and potential. The delegation included the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa), Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), and Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA).
Within the pavilion, these entities organized several meetings across different sectors, demonstrating the scale of the event and Sharjah’s proactive approach. Representatives from various countries were in attendance, fostering an environment for exchanging experiences and exploring collaborative opportunities. These engagements solidified Sharjah’s position as a catalyst for shaping future economies, with each entity highlighting their efforts, projects, and unique investment opportunities in their respective sectors. This pavilion served as a testament to Sharjah’s growing role in the global economic landscape.
Sharjah has longstanding trade and investment relations with Portugal, evident in 144 Portuguese companies operating in the emirate, including 122 in Sharjah’s free zones. Portugal is also a key partner for Sharjah in export and re-export activities covering a wide range of diverse goods.
Sheraa Discusses Impact of Globalisation on Businesses
As part of Sharjah’s delegation, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, took part in a featured panel session titled “Global Investment Capital,” where she discussed the impact of globalisation on business sectors, with a particular focus on startups that are now more connected to global markets and customers than ever before. She emphasised the importance of entrepreneurial readiness for global changes through a creative and innovative approach. Christophe Lukovich, CXO at Sheraa, shared insights during a panel discussion titled “From R&D to Operation and Custom Programs” at the Leadership Forum within the Web Summit. This forum brought together distinguished business leaders to exchange experiences and delve into the latest economic and institutional approaches to leadership.
Global consensus on the importance of entrepreneurship in shaping economic and social change
Commenting on Sheraa’s presence at the summit, Najla Al Midfa said, “During our participation in Web Summit 2023, we explored the best mechanisms to support entrepreneurs and enhance the incubation environment for SMEs and businesses. We concurred on the global consensus on the importance of entrepreneurship in shaping economic and social change while building a more robust, flexible, and sustainable development economy.”
Al Midfa continued, “Economic globalisation and the communications foray have provided an unprecedented opportunity for entrepreneurs and ambitious individuals to excel and succeed. Today, knowledge sources and learning are readily available, and there is ease in building partnerships and relationships with global business communities to exchange experiences. Sheraa’s participation is focused on monitoring the global economic landscape, sharing the latest experiences in supporting and empowering entrepreneurship, and designing more supportive programmes and strategies for entrepreneurs in our region, helping them actively shape our present and future.”
A unique opportunity to showcase the distinctive investment aspects of SRTIP
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) said “It is an honour to participate in the Web Summit 2023 in Lisbon through the Sharjah Government Pavilion. Our involvement presented a unique opportunity to showcase the distinctive investment aspects of SRTIP, aimed at promoting its investment advantages and exploring the latest technological developments worldwide.”
“Our team conducted meetings with numerous business leaders and investors in the fields of research, development, and innovation. During these discussions, we delved into the investment opportunities and facilities offered by the park, positioning it as a primary base and launchpad towards regional markets. We also had a chance to highlight the procedures for establishing business projects, competitive advantages, growth prospects, and the strategic location that connects East and West,” the SRTIP CEO stated.
A brighter future in Sharjah’s private education
Ali Al Hosani, Director of Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA), noted that the authority’s participation is part of its strategy to showcase Sharjah’s status and accomplishments in the education sector. It also aims to exchange experiences with international participants, achieving the authority’s vision towards a brighter future in private education in Sharjah.
The Growth of Local and Global Economies
On the importance of participation in the international event, Marwan Saleh Alichla, Director of Investment Promotion Support at Invest in Sharjah, said, “The growth of local and global economies is contingent upon the scale of investments in the new economy, particularly in technology, production solutions, clean energy, health, education, and supporting projects and startups. Our participation in the Web Summit is an opportunity to build partnerships, advance relationships with the global business community, and introduce promising investment opportunities generated by the growth trajectory in the emirate’s economy. Our meetings with key entities explored avenues for further collaboration between us and global economic leaders, as the world witnesses an unprecedented consensus on investment priorities and its role, directing all efforts towards building the economy of the future.”
Sharjah’s participation in the Web Summit reflects the emirate’s strategy to enhance diversity, support productive and vital sectors, and bolster its position as a leading investment destination. The emirate provides an ideal environment for SMEs and is an incubator for innovative projects thanks to the supportive network of free zones and institutions that nurture entrepreneurs and provide them with comprehensive support. The emirate also serves as a model for investment in education and advancing its outputs, in addition to the growth observed in healthcare, unconventional agriculture, and information technology sectors.