The economic and academic delegation that was organized by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) was received at Costa Rica’s capital of San José by Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, where they discussed the friendly relations between the emirate of Sharjah and Costa Rica and ways to enhance and develop these relations to serve the common interests of both sides.
The Sharjah delegation was headed by HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the SCCI, and HE Mohammed Yusouf Al Awadi, UAE Non-Resident Ambassador to Costa Rica. During the meeting, HE Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera highlighted his country’s efforts in developing economic and cultural relations with Sharjah, which comes within the framework of the growing bilateral relations between the Republic of Costa Rica and the UAE. He also praised the progress and prosperity witnessed by the UAE and Sharjah in various fields.
HE Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera also expressed his country's welcome to the Sharjah Chamber delegation, which included representatives of the Sharjah FDI office ‘Invest in Sharjah’, the promotional investment arm at Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), and the American University of Sharjah. He also stressed the importance of this visit and its role in pushing forward economic and cultural cooperation between Sharjah and Costa Rica.
HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the SCCI, conveyed the greetings of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to the President of Costa Rica, stressing the keenness of the Emirate of Sharjah in promoting relations, developing economic and trade ties and increasing mutual investments with Costa Rica to serve the common interests of the two friendly countries.
Al Owais added that the visit is a continuation of the mutual visits between Sharjah and Costa Rica, which culminated a year ago with the historic visit by HE Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, to the UAE, where the Sharjah Chamber was one of the stops of the visit. He also noted that Sharjah Chamber's initiative to organize this mission is part of its efforts to give greater impetus to the bilateral relations between Sharjah and Costa Rica.
The members of the delegation that participated in the meeting with HE Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, included HE Waleed AbdelRahman BuKhatir, Second Vice Chairman of the SCCI, HE Khalid bin Butti Al Hajri, Director General of the SCCI, Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Chancellor of American University of Sharjah, Fatima Khalifa Al Maqrab, Head of International Cooperation Department and Board Member of the International Chamber in the UAE, and Marwan Al Ajlah, Director of Investment Promotion at Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq).
During the visit to Costa Rica which took place on the 18th-20th January, the President and members of the delegation held an extensive meeting with senior government officials in Costa Rica, which included Manuel González Sanz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Costa Rica, Alexander Mora, Minister of Foreign Trade, Edgar Gutiérrez, Minister of Environment and Energy, Giannina Dinarte, Minister of Economy, Industry and Trade, Sylvie Durán, Minister of Culture and Youth, and Carlos Obregón, Executive President of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE). The meeting included discussions on the means of enhancing economic, trade and tourism relations, as well as means of enhancing mutual investment between companies and institutions from the private sector in the two friendly countries.
HE Manuel González Sanz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Costa Rica, expressed his country's desire to become the strategic partner of the UAE in the region. He pointed out that Costa Rica has taken practical steps in this regard, such as the opening of an embassy in Abu Dhabi, which the UAE met in return with the decision to also open an embassy in Costa Rica.
His Excellency, the Chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated that the aim of this mission was to identify the investment areas and business climate available in Costa Rica and to explore opportunities in specific sectors of common interest such as, tourism, ecotourism, higher education, renewable energy, bilateral trade, waste management and sustainable development, as well as promoting the attractive business environment in Sharjah, considering Sharjah’s eagerness to develop its relations with different countries and to explore areas of trade cooperation, as well as mutual investment that serves the business community in Sharjah and enhance its presence in global markets.
H.E. Khalid bin Butti Al Hajri, Director General of the SCCI, emphasized the importance of the visit, which is the first of the 2018 visits made to the Chamber. It’s part of the Chamber’s efforts to strengthen its international network with countries close to the UAE. The Chamber is always looking forward to explore markets in order to support the business community and contribute to the Emirate’s economy and private sector contributions to its GDP by attracting investors, creating partnerships and exchanging interests.
Fatima Khalifa Al Maqrab, Head of International Cooperation Department and Board Member of the International Chamber in the UAE, presented an electronic presentation highlighting Sharjah’s leading position as a regional and international trading hub and its benefits, business environment and services that provide an ideal platform for businessmen, investors and institutions of all kinds that want to strengthen their presence in the UAE and the region's markets.
Two MOU’s were signed by the mission during the visit, one between American University of Sharjah and National University of Costa Rica, along with University of Costa Rica, in the presence of the Chairman of Sharjah Chamber and UAE Non-Resident Ambassador to Costa Rica.
The first agreement signed by Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Chancellor of the American University of Sharjah and Alberto Salom, Rector of the National University of Costa Rica, aims at providing a framework that will facilitate cooperation and coordination between the two countries in the field of research, encourage exchange of professors, students and academic programs through exchange of faculty members, as well as the organization of ongoing professional development activities and student training.
This was followed by a mission visit to the University of Costa Rica, where Dr. Kjerfve signed the second MOU with Henning Jensen, Rector of the university. The delegation toured the university and the labs of the faculty of Electrical Engineering. The mission also held a meeting with the management of Costa Rica Institute of Technology, where Costa Rican students will have the possibility of being offered scholarships from AUS, in the fields of technology and engineering.
At the end of the visit, the delegation was briefed on the most important tourist and historical landmarks in Costa Rica, such as National Theatre of Costa Rica, which is considered a national treasure. The theatre was built in 1891 is located in downtown San Jose.