Press Release

Sharjah FDI Forum 2017 Explores the Role of Foreign Direct Investment in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

August 24, 2017 ,,

The second and concluding day of the Sharjah FDI Forum 2017, scheduled to take place on 20 September, 2017 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah, will address current dominant economic trends, sustainable economies, the impact of technology on education, small enterprises and the UAE’s plans and policies for the future.

Themed ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’, the third edition of the Sharjah FDI Forum is organised by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), and the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) in a strategic partnership with the CNBC Arabia.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a modern and advanced level of technological development which will have a significant impact on personal and professional life, Through the likes of artificial intelligence, blockchain, the internet of things (IoT), and robotics.

The concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is connected to the automation of industries and decreasing human manpower, where roles will become limited to directing and monitoring. As a result of this, scientific capabilities and aptitude in the current workforce will need to be harnessed in order to contribute to developing technological and digital infrastructure. Many experts agree that there are significant advantages to this revolution, but at the same time there are many challenges that will face communities as a result of reducing the labour force and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Featuring a host of local and international experts, the first panel on day two, themed ‘Sustainable Economy in the MENA Region’, will explore the fundamental elements of a sustainable economy and the relevant challenges facing the Arab world. A reference point will be Singapore’s sustainable economy experience, and the lessons that can be learned from its success.

With the title ‘How Technology is Shaping the Education Sector’, the second discussion panel will address the importance of education in the UAE, which has a budget estimated at AED10 billion – 22% of the UAE’s overall intended expenditure. Keynote speakers will discuss new trends in education, such as virtual reality, which can add new dimensions to learning, as well as remote learning, smart books and smart classrooms.

The session will feature unique insights into how to overcome the obstacles facing education in Sharjah, and addresses questions on whether the sector is ready for digital transformation and how to prepare teachers for the changes. The panellists will also discuss the importance of creating partnerships between educational institutes and research entities to improve the sector.

Themed ‘How Start-ups Can Change the Shape of the economy’, the third session looks at the importance of start-ups and SMEs in the economies of developing countries. The participants will debate the advantages of investing in these small but vital elements of the economy in the UAE and the MENA region.

The panel will identify the key challenges and opportunities that entrepreneurs and small businesses face when establishing a new company or expanding. It will shed light on the most common causes of failure in start-ups and how to avoid them, and explore the most successful characteristics of a start-up, concluding with how Sharjah can provide the perfect environment for young businesses.

The fourth panel, ‘Sharjah Delves into the Future’, highlights the key areas that Sharjah should be focusing on in order to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and place itself on the global investment map of international business.

Mohammed Juma Al Musharrakh, Director of Invest in Sharjah, said: “The second day of the Sharjah FDI Forum features an array of significant economic topics that represent the fundamental pillars of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

“These topics are key factors in the next phase of development and growth in the emirate. If we harness the pivotal role of start-ups and SMEs we will enhance economic stability and the successful integration between all sectors. This will improve the benefits of FDI and attract more capital, promoting the emirate as the region’s premiere investment destination.”

“The forum is an effective platform for exchanging expertise, visions and solutions. We look forward to providing a modern and comprehensive outlook on economic trends in the future, and we will share our thoughts on adapting the latest concepts to enhance competitiveness and increase resilience against variables on an international level,” he added.

“The Forum also expands on Sharjah’s unique investment environment and potential opportunities in all sectors. We will provide investors with an insight into the most promising and sustainable sectors in the emirate, and help them to fulfil their expectations in Sharjah and become part of its success story.”

For his part, Mohammed Burhan, CEO of CNBC Arabia, said: “The Sharjah FDI Forum 2017 is a unique investment event, and one of the region’s most significant economic gatherings. The huge turnout of participants from around the world emphasises that the forum is achieving global status.

“On the second day of the forum, a host of experts will address a wide spectrum of fundamental issues which will outline the plan for a prosperous future. As a strategic partner of the forum, CNBC Arabia will provide comprehensive quality coverage as befits this prestigious event,” he added.

Set to be held at held at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre in Sharjah, the Sharjah FDI Forum 2017 features keynote presentations and panel discussions, conducted by a host of senior officials and experts, exchanging experience and knowledge.

The Sharjah FDI Forum 2017 is an invaluable opportunity to examine investment prospects in UAE and the region in general and Sharjah in particular. It also promotes potential opportunities in Sharjah’s key economic sectors in the presence of a host of business leaders, senior government officials and economic experts from around the world.

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