Complex Made Simple

Sharjah is a magnet for foreign direct investments

Sharjah is luring funds thanks to the emirate’s long-term visibility of potential investments and their security, among other reasons.

“FDI inflows into Sharjah in 2017 may grow by 15 percent, increasing the total value of FDI into the emirate by AED1 billion,” said Khadra from CNBC Arabia, as she introduced the topic of FDI at the Third Sharjah FDI conference, an economic and finance forum, held on September 19.

Safe haven

Sharjah and the UAE have been consistently offering foreign investors lucrative development and market opportunities, a must for attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) into a country.

“What foreign investors want, based on our experience, is stability, long-term visibility and safety, to ensure that their investment in a country will be profitable and safe in the long term,” said Phillippe Yvergniaux, Director, International Coopération, Business France.

Deepak C Khanna, CEO, International Finance Corporation (IFC) Investment, said the UAE and Sharjah are doing quite well in that respect.

“According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitive Index, the UAE ranks #16 out of 138 countries and these calculations are derived using a diverse portfolio of metrics,” he said.

FDI magnets

Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, an independent government organisation that facilitates partnerships and connects investors, said: “Information, transparency, government support and competitive advantage are key to attracting FDI.”

He alluded to Sharjah’s continued adherence to these enablers, which resulted in the creation of thousands of business and employment opportunities in the emirate.

“Sharjah has put into place laws and regulations that have supported foreign investors, protected big and small businesses, encouraged healthy competition, introduced free zones to empower business owners, embraced new technologies, pushed startups and venture capitalists knowing they involve higher risk, in its efforts to diversify its economy, and keep advancing towards its goal of innovation and sustainability,” added the Shurooq CEO.

Italian interest

Italy has noticed and stands ready to pounce on the investment opportunities the UAE offers, especially that since the economic slowdown in Europe, the country has been exploring international markets more actively.

“FDI, now more than ever, is a major area of interest for Italians,” said Professor Dott. Giovanni Bozzetti, the founder and president of EFG Consulting, an advisory firm.

“The UAE represents an ideal destination for foreign direct investments. This is brought about by key factors like security, political stability, low corruption, low custom duties, low energy and labour costs,” he added.