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02 October 2023

DGR unveils power of int’l partnerships in designing futures


Sharjah’s Department of Government Relations (DGR) has rolled out a series of engaging discussions at the 12th annual International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2023), to highlight the impact of meaningful and successful diplomacy to build bridges of communication and exchange between Sharjah and the world.
On the first day of the forum, which is taking place in Expo Centre Sharjah, under the theme ‘Today’s Resources… Tomorrow’s Wealth’, DGR hosted two talks, focused on cross-country collaborations to boost food security and cultural pursuits.

Sustainable food security and collaboration between Sharjah and Costa Rica

In the first session titled ‘Experience of Costa Rica and Sharjah in sustainable food security: Processes and practices that make a difference’, Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations; and Francisco J. Chacon Hernandez, the Ambassador of the Republic of Costa Rica, shared that despite their geographical and cultural differences, both have made significant strides in achieving sustainable food security and environmental conservation.

Key takeaways included in-depth explorations of sustainable agriculture, food security, and environmental conservation strategies. Sharjah's 'Sabe’a Sanabel’ project and its innovative agricultural techniques showcased the emirate's commitment to sustainable practices. Costa Rica, on the other hand, emphasised its dedication to environmental conservation and holistic sustainability, showcasing the importance of balancing industry and environmental concerns.

Expanding on Sharjah’s progress in recent years, Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi said, “As our population grows exponentially, Sharjah is embracing a shift towards large-scale, innovative farming methods such as hydroponics and drip irrigation. Ensuring protein security, particularly with our focus on fish production and the export of produce such as dates, is crucial. With a strong focus on education and the next generation, we are ensuring that our universities, among the nation's finest, are at the forefront of innovating future concepts for food production, waste reduction, supply chain efficiency, as well as processing. Additionally, with Khor Fakkan's distinction as one of the world's fastest trans-network ports, we're positioned to drive progress in these critical areas.”

The dialogue underscored the transformative potential of cross-cultural exchange in addressing pressing global challenges. As the world grapples with hunger, environmental sustainability, and post-pandemic challenges, IGCF 2023's session provided invaluable insights and solutions.

Building strong ties between Sharjah and South Korea

Following the above discussions, a session titled ‘Relations between Sharjah and South Korea’, presented a discourse on the thriving partnership between the two across various sectors of trade, investment, tourism, culture, and education.

Commenting on the fruitful alignment between the two locations, Yoo Jehseung, Ambassador of South Korea, siad: "The relations between the UAE and Korea have flourished over the past five decades, evolving into a strategic partnership. The trade volume between the two countries reached AED 19.5 billion last year in non-oil trade, marking a 1000% increase compared to 1980. Three units of the Barakah peaceful nuclear energy plant have been prepared, in addition to cooperation in traditional, renewable, and nuclear energy, defence and military technology, healthcare, research, technology, space, culture, and tourism. The two sides have signed 48 memoranda of understanding laying the groundwork for future cooperation.”

Cultural exchanges have also flourished, with the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization hosting a Korean ceramics exhibition in 2022. Educational ties have deepened, exemplified by the establishment of the King Sejong Institute in Sharjah.

Trade between South Korea and Sharjah reached USD 5.3 billion in 2022, making South Korea Sharjah's second-largest trade partner in the GCC and Arab regions. Investment from South Korean companies exceeded USD 1 billion in 2022, bolstering Sharjah's economic growth prospects.

This partnership extends beyond cultural and economic realms, delving into technological innovation, energy, and knowledge exchange. Collaborations between Sharjah and South Korea continue to enrich their shared future.

On the 2nd day of IGCF 2023, DGR will be highlighting the growth of the UAE-Japan relationship, and underscore why some resource-rich communities face scarcity.