Sharjah remains FDI hotspot amid COVID-19 with $220mn worth of investments

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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While other emirates and neighboring countries continued their slow recovery from the COVID-19 induced slowdown, the Emirate of Sharjah has remained resilient against all challenges and continued to attract investments from across the globe.  

Sharjah’s diverse economy, business-friendly environment and low operating costs have allowed global investors to leverage opportunities in the region.

A WAVTEQ study on Sharjah’s FDI annual performance has reported that the emirate attracted 24 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth $220 million at the end of 2020, a 60 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in the number of FDI projects between Q3 and Q4 of 2020.

E-commerce, health and medical research, and personal protective equipment were among the most benefited sectors with the investments which generated 1,117 new jobs in Sharjah.

Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh Image
Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh
Invest in Sharjah (IIS)

“2020 had taught us the competitive advantage of adaptability, which will continue to inform the manner in which IIS would leverage future investment trends.”

“The COVID-19 outbreak caused global foreign direct investment (FDI) to shrink by 21%-61%, according to a WAVTEQ’s report. It also states that job opportunities in the medical equipment manufacturing sector increased by 53.4%, and in life sciences by 45.4%, the highest since 2012. Jobs in e-commerce, financial technologies and logistics also grew at a quick pace during 2020.”

Better 2021 

Sharing his insights based on the WAVTEQ report, Mr. Al Musharrkh remarked that FDI consulting firm has projected an increase in FDI in various vital primary sectors in the next 12 months.

The IIS CEO observed that major investments are forecasted to happen in Life Sciences (74 percent), Information and Communications Technology (ICT) (55.6 percent), Food and Agriculture industries (49.7 percent), Logistics and Distribution (46.2 percent) and Cleaning Technology Industry (30.2 percent).

Mr. Al Musharrkh added that secondary sectors such as e-commerce, medical technology, education technology, cybersecurity, financial technology, and smart logistics, are expected to bring high-yield investment opportunities for innovation-driven SMEs.