Shurooq participates in second TradeUAE Iraq exhibition
Exhibition held in Erbil to strengthen investment and trade ties
The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) recently participated in the second ‘TradeUAE Iraq’ exhibitions, held from 10-12 June in the city of Erbil, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
Taking place at the SAAD Conference Center in Erbil, under the auspices of the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Kurdistan Regional Government, the event was also backed by the Dubai Exports, the Dubai FDI – which is part of the Dubai Department of Economic Development, and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development.
The exhibition was the follow-up to a highly successful first edition held in April 2013. It brought together business people, investors, and government officials to develop business links with the private and public sectors in Kurdistan – and generated massive interest and fruitful business-to-business relationships.
Speaking about the exhibition, Mohammed Juma Al Musharrakh, Head of Investment Promotion at Shurooq, said: “The second ‘TradeUAE Iraq’ event built upon the excellent foundations of the first edition last year, and was an opportunity to showcase some of what Sharjah can offer investors from Arbel and Iraq more widely. Just like the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Sharjah has experienced a recent economic surge, with GDP growth of more than 13 per cent anticipated in 2014. In fact, the Emirate’s economy will have more than doubled since 2007 – evidence of its appeal to investors looking for strong and sustainable growth in several core industries.”
Al Musharrakh added: “Sharjah’s economic success has been propelled by sectors that investors in the Kurdistan region have shown intense interest in exploring. Sharjah is also particularly strong in both Construction and in Tourism & Hospitality – with the projected hotel guest growth rate growing at more than 6 per cent per annum. In addition, the Emirate’s contribution makes up around one third of the UAE’s manufacturing industry. There is enormous potential to forge new partnerships and strengthen existing ones between Sharjah and Iraq, a fact this exhibition made abundantly clear.”
Iraq has become of the UAE’s key trade partners over recent years. Trade between the two counties jumped 40 per cent in 2011, and by 2012 bilateral trade stood at over USD 13bn. The Kurdistan region of Iraq has been one of its fastest emerging economies, expected to grow at an annual rate of 9%-12% from 2012-16, bolstered by business-friendly government policies. Local and foreign investments into Erbil – the fourth largest city in Iraq, with a population of 1.5m – reached some USD 12m over the period from 2011-2013.
Established in 2009, Shurooq strives to encourage investment in Sharjah by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from the region and 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.
In recognition of its overall accomplishments, Shurooq was named The Banking Awards 2013 – FDI Agency of the Year in the MENA region, in The European’s Global Banking and Finance Awards.