SHARJAH (UAE): The Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) is poised to gain access to a new breed of international investors, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) on the sidelines of the Turkiye-UAE Business Forum in Istanbul, making Sharjah WBAF’s regional headquarters.
The WBAF, which is an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), also announced the appointment of Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTIP, as the Honorary Chair of its UAE Country Office.
The WBAF is a global initiative that seeks to bolster financial inclusion, champion gender equality, facilitate entrepreneurial access to finance, entice global investors to different nations, and advance digital inclusion. To reflect its commitment to the G20 GPFI Action Plan, the WBAF focuses on the digital and business transformation of small businesses and on the quality of local investors to increase financial inclusion in local economies in post-pandemic times.
The signing of the MoU took place during the first session of UAE-Türkiye Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO) which comprised a high-level delegation led by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, comprising public and private sector organisations.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTIP said: “SRTIP was honoured to be part of the high-level UAE delegation to Turkiye. On behalf of SRTP I felt proud to sign the MoU with the WBAF, a global body that is spearheading the angel investor movement. STRIP represents Sharjah’s vision to be a frontline player in the development of an innovation ecosystem. I am also humbled by being appointed Honorary Chair of the WBAF UAE Country Office. This comes at a time when UAE has emerged as a fertile destination for angel investing. In 2021, the UAE topped MENA region by raising $1.47 billion in venture capital. I look forward to leveraging my expertise in helping WBAF achieve its goals for the UAE.”
During the same event, SRTIP signed a separate agreement with Turkiye’s Yildiz Technopark to explore areas of cooperation and collaboration, exchange of expertise and market access on both sides, with a focus on innovation-driven startups. The MoU with Yildiz Technopark is a further reflection of accelerating relations between the UAE and Turkiye which are focused on increasing non-oil-trade to US$40 billion within five years. Türkiye is the UAE’s fastest-growing trading partner among its top ten partners, and the sixth largest overall.
SRTIP is scheduled to sign the WBAF Office Authorisation Agreement at the Opening Ceremony of the World Congress of Angel Investors on November 21, 2023, at the Durban International Convention Centre. The WBAF will officially appoint Hussain Al Mahmoudi as the Honorary Chair of the WBAF UAE Country Office.
Referring to the MoU with Yildiz Technopark, Al Mahmoudi commented: “As part of a broader goal of boosting UAE-Turkiye relations, SRTIP is delighted to initiate a partnership with Y?ld?z Technopark which hosts R&D and software personnel and more than 500 R&D companies and incubators. We have many things in common and we plan to work for mutual benefit to fuel innovation and help incubate more startups, particularly in the field of sustainability.”
Y?ld?z Technopark hosts more than 8,000 qualified R&D and software personnel and over 500 R&D companies and incubators carrying out R&D studies in many sectors, such as software, information and communication technologies, telecommunications, electronics, pharmaceuticals, machinery and equipment manufacturing, chemistry, aviation, energy, defence industry, construction, and food.
The visiting UAE delegation to Istanbul included 79 participants, including senior federal and local government officials, in addition to representatives of a number of major UAE companies operating in various sectors, including trade and investment, logistics, industry, energy, technology, healthcare, environment, agriculture, food security and financial services.