Abdullah bin Touq said the practice had attracted widespread attention, with the UAE ranking first in FDI inflows in West Asia, the Middle East and North Africa
Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi; Chairman of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Abdullah bin Touq, member of the UAE Cabinet and Minister of Economy; Sixth Sharjah Investment Forum. — photo provided
Abdullah bin Touq, UAE Cabinet Member and Minister of Economy, said that despite recent challenges in the global economy, the UAE remains firmly committed to its economic openness policy and integration into the global trading system.
Bin Touq said in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Sharjah Investment Forum 2023 that the approach has attracted a lot of attention, with the UAE ranking first in FDI inflows in West Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.
Sharjah Deputy Ruler Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi and Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi; Chairman of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and other senior officials and executives attended the official launch on Wednesday at the Al Jawaher Reception and Conference Center The 6th Sharjah Investment Forum (SIF).
Bin Touq added that the UAE achieved an unprecedented annual growth rate of 8.5% in 2022, with foreign trade reaching a record AED2.2 trillion and non-oil exports rising by 52% to AED366 billion. The UAE aims to attract US$150 billion in foreign investment by 2031.
“The government’s focus on diversifying the national economy and attracting foreign direct investment in areas such as space, renewable energy, advanced financial technology and artificial intelligence remains a top priority,” he added.
The two-day Sharjah Investment Forum brought together more than 1,600 participants, including international experts, senior officials, investors and business leaders.
The minister said that the UAE has managed to become one of the world’s leading investment exporters, ranking 17th globally with foreign investment flows of US$22.5 billion.
“This success is due to a series of strategic economic and social initiatives, including the revision of the Business Companies Act to allow for 100% foreign ownership and the modernization of the visa and residence regime. By doing so, the UAE has strengthened its global position and enhanced its investment prospects ,” he added.
Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Chief Executive Officer of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), highlighted that foreign investment in the UAE is increasing significantly.
“The inflow of foreign investment has increased from US$8.55 billion in 2015 to US$20.7 billion in 2021, surpassing global levels,” he said, adding that the 2023 SIF is an opportunity for investors to take advantage of Sharjah’s attractive investment climate and Great opportunity for a revived commercial sector.
“The forum is in line with Sharjah’s strategy and objectives to reflect the enormous opportunities for investors in the region and the world by conveying the truth about the emirate’s recognized attractive environment,” he said.
“With its well-developed infrastructure in 6 free zones and 33 industrial zones, as well as favorable laws, Sharjah is well-positioned for the future of the global economy. The emirate is committed to a green and circular economy and continues to increase the productivity of its agriculture , food security, information technology and artificial intelligence,” he said.
Mohammed Juma Al Musharrakh, Chief Executive Officer of the Sharjah Foreign Direct Investment Office (Invest in Sharjah), stressed the need to support sustainable and green investment options and prioritize sectors such as agriculture, health and education to drive global economic growth.
“The emirate of Sharjah is a model for a sustainable future economy, with a waste-to-energy city and an emphasis on the sustainability of its economic sector, comprising 35% of the country’s factories and an investment of nearly US$1.5 billion (Dh550 million) annually for education, research and future skills development. To further enhance its potential, it is crucial to forge partnerships with local, regional and global investors to ensure sustainable and high-quality growth.”
Sheikh Abdullah Al Qasimi and Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by Juma Al Musharrakh, Chief Executive Officer of the Sharjah Foreign Direct Investment Office; Omar Swaina Al Suwaidi, Deputy Minister of the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MOIAT); Another MOU from Fong Shun Man, executive director of the Trade Development Council (HKTDC).