Sharjah identifies potential for Italian businesses in advanced technology, green economy

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SHARJAH, 20th December 2020 (WAM) — Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), operating under the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), showcased compelling opportunities for Italian businesses in a range of key industries in Sharjah’s expanding investment ecosystem at a high-level virtual business webinar held recently, titled “Investment Opportunities for Italian Companies in Sharjah”.
The webinar hosted several Italian businessmen and entrepreneurs who were introduced to the fast-growing business opportunities in the key emerging sectors of advanced health technology, agri-tech, Internet of Things (IoT), advanced manufacturing, tourism, and the green economy, among many others.
Prominent speakers at the business webinar included Omar Al Shamsi UAE Ambassador in Italy; Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE; Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of Shurooq; Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City Free Zone (Shams); Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP); Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah); and Tommaso Belli, owner of AVE s.p.a. The session was moderated by Prof. Giovanni Bozzetti, President of EFG Consulting.
In his keynote address, Al Shamsi commended Sharjah for its “holistic and balanced approach to economic development” and described how the emirate has grown over the years into a centre for arts and culture as well as a leading industrial hub under the patronage of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
Lener said that for Italian companies keen on a long-term business plan, “Sharjah is a promising destination for foreign investments, especially in technology and innovation-related sectors.”
Welcoming the virtual gathering, Al Sarkal, emphasised Shurooq’s sustained drive to maximise the growth and profitability of Italian businesses in Sharjah, stating how the emirate’s digitisation strategy and increased emphasis on R&D and tech capabilities, together with the newly launched UAE Strategy for Domestic Tourism will open a world of investment opportunities for Italian investors.
“With bilateral relations having commenced almost five decades ago, the UAE is the largest trading partner for Italy in the Gulf region,” he said, adding, “We must leverage the potential of this innovative investment ecosystem that exists between the two destinations.”
“The cost-effective solutions of Sharjah Media City for entrepreneurs offer a platform to easily embark on their business start-up journey. Setting up a business in a free zone is a seamless process, and 100 percent ownership of the company and 100 percent repatriation of capital and profit are key attractions for investors,” Dr. Al Midfa, pointed out.
Al Mahmoudi, predicted that “the next 50 years for the UAE would be a knowledge-based economy-boosting space programmes, 3D printing, AI, and next-generation technologies.”
Stating that there are currently more than 260 Italian companies registered in Sharjah, Al Musharrkh, said that with “a GDP of US$25 billion, Sharjah’s economy is backed up by more than 55,000 SMEs.”
“In the post-COVID world, investments in technology will outpace any other sector. Agro farming and aqua tech ventures are on the rise due to increased focus on food security in the UAE. Sharjah’s unveiling of the first 3D printing house in the region signals its competitiveness in advanced manufacturing,” he said.
Describing his experience of opening a company in Sharjah, Belli said the clinching factors were the emirate’s “advanced logistic capabilities, the efficiency of its services, excellent opportunities to expand into the wider MENA markets, and the easy process of setting up a business.”

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