Invest in Sharjah's business webinar explores potential in diverse verticals including agri-tech, aqua-tech, IoT and advanced manufacturing
Sharjah, February 16, 2021: Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), operating under the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), sought to bolster trade ties and investment cooperation and explore potential economic partnerships with entrepreneurs and investors from Poland at the virtual webinar titled ‘Investment opportunities for Polish companies in Sharjah', held on Monday, February 15.
Showcasing compelling opportunities for Polish businesses in Sharjah's expanding investment ecosystem, Sharjah FDI office introduced the fast-growing business opportunities in the emirate's knowledge-based, innovation-driven, and key emerging sectors of food security, agri-tech, aqua-tech, IoT, advanced manufacturing, eco-tourism, health technology, and the green economy, amongst a range of other promising verticals.
The delegates at the first-ever Sharjah-Poland webinar also gained insight into the competitive advantages of Sharjah's highly diversified economy, its global reputation as a preferred location for commercial and industrial investment, its investor-friendly policies, and the ease of access to the growing markets of Asia and Africa. The emirate's sustainable industrial infrastructure and strong economic growth were also highlighted at the virtual event.
Amongst the key officials delivering the opening address at the webinar included Ahmed Al Mansoori, Head of Political Economic and Media, UAE Embassy in Warsaw; H.E. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Shurooq; Pawel Maczka, 3rd Secretary, Embassy of Poland in UAE; and Grzegorz Slomkowski, Executive Vice-President of Polish Investment & Trade Agency.
Describing Sharjah as a “promising investment destination in the UAE”, and calling on Polish investors to seize the opportunities available in the emirate, Ahmed Al Mansoori, Head of Political Economic and Media, UAE Embassy in Warsaw, said: “More than 20 agreements have been signed between the UAE and Poland for developing and facilitating business, culture and tourism relations, and the volume of trade exchanged between the two nations in 2019, amounted more than US$ 1.1 billion.”
Stating that the UAE is Poland's largest economic and trade partner in the Arab world, H.E. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman, Shurooq, underlined the synergies between Sharjah and Poland as destinations conducive to doing business, and highlighted the key advantages Sharjah offers for investors through its strategic geographic location, three advanced seaports, and the best combination of operating costs, and business-friendly policies and incentives.
Al Sarkal said: “Sharjah is a highly diversified economy with a focus on the future and is driving investments in innovation in the fields of agriculture, aquaculture, IoT, and renewable energy which are among the key sectors in focus for several Polish companies.”
Reiterating Shurooq's commitment to maximise growth and profitability, he added: “Export figures between Sharjah and Poland were at AED 10,599,379.03 in 2020, and I look forward to seeing a significant increase in these numbers soon. We are opening our arms to Polish investors to develop long-term relationships through trade and economic cooperation.”
Pawel Maczka, 3rd Secretary, Embassy of Poland in UAE, said that “2020 witnessed major reconsolidation of economic priorities in the UAE, and such moments are always good for foreign investors, especially Polish companies looking to expand to Sharjah and the UAE and take advantage of the competitive business environment here.”
Grzegorz Slomkowski, Executive Vice-President of Polish Investment & Trade Agency, expressed his hope that organising an “Invest in Poland webinar for Sharjah investors” will take forward the existing bilateral relations to new levels.
Other prominent speakers representing Sharjah at the business webinar included H.E. Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City Free Zone (Shams); Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah); and Ali Sajwani, Director of Technology Transfer and Projects, Sharjah Research Technology and innovation Park (SRTIP).
H.E. Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Shams, said that Sharjah Media City (Shams) serves as a catalyst for creative and media businesses wishing to embark on their entrepreneurial journey in the UAE. He added that entrepreneurs can undertake a wide range of business activities on the same business license, and avail of the several support services including training and workshops that Shams provides to improve the knowledge of entrepreneurs.
Al Midfa said: “Poland has many highly creative companies, and we are keen to extend all support to Polish companies to enter this market and expand their services to the wider region around the UAE from here.”
Mohamed Al Musharrkh, CEO, Invest in Sharjah, said that the “emirate's global appeal as one of the most diverse and flexible economies in the region” stems from its year-on-year growth in its GDP, 92% of which is derived from non-oil sectors.
“More than 35 per cent of manufacturing industries in the UAE are located in Sharjah,” he added.
Al Musharrkh also credited the robust network of six specialised free zones in the emirate for further attracting diverse and responsible FDI to the emirate and offering great competitive advantage for Polish investors. He said: “Currently there 84 Polish companies operating in Sharjah, and our role is to guide more Polish investors to different business and investment opportunities in the emirate. The Sharjah Investors Services Centre (SAEED) was created specifically to help investors and entrepreneurs set up their business in Sharjah with great speed and efficiency.”
According to Ali Sajwani, Director of Technology Transfer and Projects at SRTIP, “Under the thematic pillars of water technology, renewable energy, environmental technology, digitisation, Industrial Design 4.0, and Transportation & Logistics, the SRTI Park aims to attract and host knowledge-intensive businesses.”
He added: “We have attracted 95 companies who have investments worth US$ 100 million. Our reach is global; and we encourage startup and tech companies to test their creative ideas at our makerspaces and transform these promising ideas to a successful commercial business.”
A panel of experts representing various financial entities in Poland outlined their individual solutions for supporting the expansion plans of Polish enterprises in Sharjah. Speakers included Wojciech Jabłoński, Investment Manager, The Polish Development Fund (PFR); Arkadiusz Zabłoński, Director - Foreign Transactions Office Structured Finance Department, The Polish National Development Bank (BGK); Maciej Kwiatkowski, Expert KUKE - Institutional Insurance and Guarantee Division; and Adil Abdelwahab, Dubai Office Head, Polish Investment & Trade agency.
The Sharjah-Poland Investment Webinar was moderated by Jacek Grad, Senior Consultant, Polish Investment & Trade agency.