Sharjah – MENA Herald: The second annual Sharjah FDI Forum will take place on 28 and 29 September 2016 at Sheraton Sharjah Hotel, under the slogan “Sharjah FDI: The Gateway to the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia”, hosting more than 300 elite decision makers, business leaders and economic experts, who will gather to exchange their knowledge and expertise on trends and developments in foreign direct investment (fDi) in the U.A.E., Middle East and internationally.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the event is being organised by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and for the first time this edition, the event is in partnership with the Financial Times and fDi Magazine.
Sharjah FDI Forum 2016’s speakers and presenters will include: His Excellency Abdullah Bin Ahmad Al Saleh, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry Affairs; His Excellency Dr. Nasser H. Saidi, Founder and Managing Director of Nasser Saidi & Associates and a member of the IMF’s Regional Advisory Group for MENA, His Excellency Dany Farha, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of BECO Capital, as well as numerous senior executives from the world of business and finance such as Parag Khanna, Director of the Global Governance Initiative, American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation, Arjen Radder, CEO, Philips Middle East and more.
“Over the past few years, Sharjah has successfully carved out its name as an economic and investment destination and today is one of the major economic forces behind U.A.E.’s growth. The emirate has developed as a key economic hub, not just for the U.A.E., but for the region as a whole. Sharjah’s reputation as a global business location can be attributed to the extensive efforts made by government agencies and authorities, who have all worked tirelessly to promote the emirate at home and abroad,” said Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Shurooq.
Sheikha Bodour added: “According to a recent report published by the Global Innovation Index, it ranked the UAE first among Arab countries in terms of overall performance on the index with an estimate rise of 11 billion USD in FDI. What positions Sharjah in a competitive advantage in this context is its unique economic competencies, geographic location and investment-friendly infrastructure which complete the remaining 6 emirates’ distinctive economic features.”
“The Sharjah FDI Forum will offer an unrivalled opportunity for attendees to exchange new ideas and viewpoints on how to build a business in the U.A.E., particularly in Sharjah. They can find out about the relevant tax and legal issues, learn how to create a successful investment, explore the possibilities of forging partnerships with the public and private sectors and access details about costs and locations. They will also learn more about the current business environment and the impact of the political and economic climate,” said HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq.
The Forum will analyse the current economic conditions prevailing in Sharjah and the U.A.E., and evaluate the potential opportunities that derive from them. The packed agenda will feature keynote presentations and lively panel debates, examining the outlook for global business and assessing prospects for investment in various economic sectors in the U.A.E. and particularly in Sharjah. It will build on the success of last year’s inaugural event, held to capitalise on the U.A.E.’s 2014 first placed position as the most attractive country for fDi in the Middle East and Africa.
In 2016, the U.A.E. Ministry of Economy reported that the accumulated foreign investment in the country had increased by the end of 2015 to USD 126 billion, compared to USD 115 billion at the end of 2014. Also in 2015, the U.A.E. Ministry of Economy estimated the country’s fDi share as 46 per cent of the total investment flow to the GCC, valued at around USD22 billion.