Press Release

Global Infrastructure FDI to be a key focus of World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment in Sharjah

February 5, 2015

The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) is proud to announce that a panel of leading business executives, moderated by Mr. David Hamod, the President and CEO of the National US-Arab Chamber of Commerce, will explore one of the key topics at the twelfth World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment: global infrastructure, with a particular focus on ports.
The session will be the second of five panels set to take place at the three-day Forum, held at midday on February 9th at the Jawaher Convention Centre. The members of the panel – titled ‘Global Infrastructure: Enhancing FDI’ – are Mr. Halil Kulluk, President & CEO of the Turkey-based Intekno Group of Companies, Mr. Frederick Ebers, Vice President and Regional Manager for Middle East & India in Maritime at DNV GL, Mr. Peter Ford, Chief Operating Officer of Sharjah-based Gulftainer, Mr. Ihab Ghattas, Assistant President of Middle East of Huawei Technologies, and Mr. Asif Shafi, Senior Vice President and Business Development Director at AECOM.
The focus on infrastructure FDI is particularly apt because of the forum’s theme this year: ‘Where East Meets West’. The panel session will look at the continuing importance of airports and maritime ports in transporting passengers and freight around the world. It will ask some of the most pertinent questions facing the logistics industry today.
For example, should ports remain a sovereign possession of the country they find themselves in or should they be privatised? Can a foreign owner ever be as desirable as a national one? Which are the best ports in the world from a foreign investor’s viewpoint? And what businesses are ideally suited to a dockside location? It will also examine how ports combine many of the factors that are key to site selection all over the globe, as transport hubs – some with preferential tax implications, others with none at all – offering direct access to markets.
HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority “Shurooq” said: “Though the evolution of technology continues apace, no advancement in paperless innovation can mitigate the need for goods, commodities and people to physically move from one place to another. Given that Sharjah is ideally located to offer logistics support to East-West traffic, as well as having vast deep water harbours within its borders, it is very fitting that the Emirate should host these essential discussions, led by a panel of eminent business leaders”.
Sharjah’s transport and logistics industry, consisting of marine freight and air freight, forms an important pillar of the Emirate’s economy. The industry’s market potential is set to grow dramatically over the coming years – forecast to more than double by the end of the decade, to almost AED 3.5 billion.
The World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment, which will be held in Sharjah this year from February 8th - 10th, is widely considered to be the world’s premier FDI platform. International guest speakers at this year’s event will include Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and The Rt Hon. the Lord Mandelson, a former long-serving British cabinet member and European Commissioner for Trade. The forum will be attended by CEOs and senior executives from local and international organizations, investment promotion agencies, and economic development organizations.
The 2015 forum in Sharjah is the first year the event will be hosted in the GCC region. Previous host cities include many of the world’s leading investment centres, such as Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Valencia, Bologna, Vilnius, Tallinn, Shanghai, and Philadelphia. \
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