Press Release

Sharjah Investment and Development Authority named 2013 FDI Agency of the Year

January 21, 2014

Shurooq recognised for excellence by Global Banking and Finance Awards
The Award was received by HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), who was accompanied by Elie Armaly, Director of Business Development at Shurooq on the 14thof January in London. The award nominees were selected by The European's research team and the winners were chosen through feedback and voting by their readers and subscribers. Winners in the Awards' other categories include a number of noted and acclaimed companies, organisations, and institutions, such as Deutche Bank who won Bank of the Year, Statoil, which was selected as Energy Company of the year, Banco De Credito e-inversions as Financial Institution of the Year for Latin America, and DP World as Corporate Governance Company of the Year in the MENA region, as well as many other major companies and organisations. Speaking about the award, HE Marwan Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, said, "We are very honoured to have been recognised at this level. Shurooq's purpose, as directed by the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, is to develop and promote Sharjah as a premier FDI destination. Thanks to the support from His Highness and the directives and leadership of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), as well as the dedication and hard work from everyone at Shurooq, Sharjah's international profile continues to grow. The emirate of Sharjah has a great deal to offer foreign and regional investors and we look forward to welcoming many new business partners in the future." Al Sarkal referred to Sharjah's recent sovereign credit ratings based on the classification of the two leading international credit rating agencies, Moody's and Standard '&' Poor's. Moody's has assigned Sharjah a long-term rating of A3, while Standard '&' Poor's has assigned Sharjah a long-term rating of A, thus confirming the resilience and strength of the Emirate's economy and its confidence in achieving further economic growth, accompanied by outstanding economic performance in the upcoming periods. Shurooq's CEO went on to point out that Sharjah maintains a unique position in the UAE. The Emirate has the most diversified economy in the UAE, with no single sector contributing more than 20% to GDP. Furthermore it is the only emirate that shares borders with all six other emirates, as well as direct access to both the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Gulf. Sharjah's leadership have also ensured the Emirate offers a highly conducive investment climate, with significant cost advantages that are not generally available internationally. These include no foreign exchange control, competitive import duties, competitive labour costs from a skilled and multi-lingual workforce, competitive energy costs, competitive real estate costs, competitive financing costs and high levels of liquidity, no corporate profit or personal income taxes, and 100% repatriation of capital and profits. Launched by The European in 2013, the Global Finance and Banking Awards are divided into six categories, namely African, Latin America, MENA, Asia, Energy, and Banking. The Awards provide The European's subscribers with the opportunity to nominate and vote for leading companies and organisations online and aims to highlight those organisations that are considered to be the best in their field and a step ahead of their competition. The European's MENA Awards, specifically aims to spotlight companies that are excelling in their respective fields and are enabling the MENA region's economy to become ever more resilient and fulfil its undoubted potential on the international stage. With the help of The European's research team and with invaluable feedback from its readers, these Awards offer recognition to MENA's most progressive companies. Shurooq was established in 2009 with the aim of achieving social, cultural, environmental and economic development on the basis of Sharjah's distinct Arab and Islamic identity, and to encourage investment by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from the region and around the world. Shurooq's key mission is to provide facilities and incentives to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in the Emirate, evaluate tourism and investment related infrastructure projects, and lay down the necessary plans to complete such projects.
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