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Sharjah-Italy Business Roundtable In Milan Explores Innovation, Industrial Technology, Sustainability

To explore investment opportunities and trade relations in sectors such as industry, business solutions, sustainability, and industrial technology, the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) in partnership with EFG Consulting, an Italian consulting firm, organised the Sharjah-Italy Business Roundtable in Milan, Italy.

The event took place as part of Invest in Sharjah’s roadshow to Milan, headed by Ahmed Al Qaseer, the CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Naser Al Khaja, Charge d’affaires at the UAE Embassy in Italy, and drew the participation of notable figures from Italy's business community, alongside government department and institution representatives. Additionally, the Sharjah delegation conducted visits to several economic entities in Italy.

The roundtable saw the attendance of several distinguished figures, Mohamed Al Musharrkh, the CEO of Invest in Sharjah; Professor Giovanni Bozzetti, President of EFG Consulting; Hamad Al Shamsi, Regional Investment Promotion Manager at Invest in Sharjah; and Salim Al Musharrkh, Senior Executive for Investment Promotion at Sharjah FDI Office.

Commenting on the roundtable, Al Qaseer, the CEO of Shurooq, emphasized that the economy of the Emirate of Sharjah and the United Arab Emirates in general has proven its efficiency and high flexibility in recent years. It has succeeded in achieving exceptional levels of growth, contributing to solidifying its position as an ideal destination for investments and business establishment. He pointed out that the UAE is currently witnessing a significant increase in foreign direct investment inflows, reaching 84 billion dirhams in 2022, a record number in the country's history.

Al Qaseer added, "Our strategy in strengthening our relations with global economic centers greatly reflects on the current and future state of the Emirate's economy. These strong relations enable us to enter into mutual trade and investment agreements, supporting overall growth and injecting more vitality into various sectors. This creates more opportunities for local and foreign investors to invest and establish businesses. Today, we are witnessing significant transformations in our journey towards diversification, achieving a qualitative leap in modern economic sectors, thus promoting more sustainable development in the overall economic landscape of both the Emirate and the country."
Mohamed Al Musharrkh underscored the elevated global competitiveness achieved by Sharjah's business and investment environment. The emirate has emerged as the favoured choice for enterprises of all sizes and a wide range of projects, drawing in investors in pursuit of diverse opportunities, significant growth prospects, and convenient access to both regional and global markets.

Expanding on this, Al Musharrkh stated, “Organising the Sharjah-Italy Business roundtable and our visits to prominent economic destinations provided an opportunity to explore common investment and trade interests arising from the advancement of sectors in Sharjah and Italy, particularly sectors that represent the core of Sharjah's development journey, such as Culture & Tourism, Mobility & Logistics, Health & Wellbeing, GreenTech, Human Capital & Innovation, Advanced Manufacturing, and Agri-food Technology. Over the past few years, we have witnessed significant growth in investment and trade exchange between Sharjah and Italy, indicating that we are on the threshold of an active and fruitful phase of cooperation.”

The Sharjah delegation's programme included a visit to Angelucci Group, which comprises hospitals, medical centres, and a media company that holds the largest number of national TV stations and newspapers. The delegation held meetings with representatives of the group to discuss investment opportunities in the emirate's healthcare sector and explored ways to strengthen cooperation and partnerships in media and culture.

The visits also included the Milano Innovation District (MIND), which specialises in innovative solutions for business challenges, particularly sustainable residential communities and challenges faced by startups in the modern economy. During the meeting with the district's management, the Sharjah delegation briefed their Italian counterparts on the emirate's initiatives to build a sustainable community and presented the progress and developments of Sharjah Sustainable City, which serves as a model for investment opportunities in the emirate.
While visiting Kilometro Rosso in Bergamo, Italy, an exemplary collaborative hub for research and innovation in manufacturing and technology, the Sharjah delegation brought attention to the remarkable expansion within the emirate's industrial sector. They engaged in discussions regarding investment prospects, with a specific emphasis on cutting-edge manufacturing solutions, production processes, and the advancement of management and operational systems for industrial enterprises and facilities. Notably, they highlighted Sharjah's dedicated focus on technology, robotics, and smart systems, underscoring its role as the host to 35% of the UAE's factories and a significant contributor.

The roadshow aligns with Invest in Sharjah’s efforts that seek to support the international investment community, further partnerships, and promote innovation and growth opportunities in Sharjah. The visit embodies the economic and cultural relations between the two parties. The Emirate hosts more than 575 Italian companies operating in its free zones and markets in various sectors. The trade volume between the Emirate and Italy reached approximately AED 673 million in 2022.

The roundtable and visits also reflect the historical relations between the UAE and Italy. The two countries have elevated their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership, leading to a significant increase in the number of flights between the UAE and 10 Italian cities to 81 flights every week, via key airlines and aviation companies across the UAE.

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