Shurooq signs MoU with Arab-British Chamber of Commerce
MoU signed during three-day roadshow in London to strengthen UAE-UK commercial and economic ties The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC(. The signing of the MoU, which forms part of Shurooq’s overall strategy to strengthen ties with international economic and investment bodies in order to increase mutual cooperation and promote Sharjah as a prime investment location in the region, took place during a three-day UK roadshow ending on April 15th. The signing ceremony took place at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel in London, yesterday (Monday), in presence of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Shurooq, HE Abdul Rahman Ghanim Al Mutaiwee, UAE Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Sheikh Mohammed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, First Secretary at the UAE Embassy in the UK, HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby, Secretary General and Chief Executive of the ABCC, Saud Al Suwaidi, Director of International Relations and Partnerships at Shurooq, and Abdelsam El Idrissi, Director of Trade Services from the ABCC. Speaking about the agreement, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, remarked, “We at Shurooq strive to enhance the international commercial and economic relations of Sharjah and the UAE, with the aim of attracting investment, increasing opportunities for business development, and encouraging mutual cooperation and exchange of expertise. These efforts help to pave the way for financial growth in the flourishing economy of the UAE.” His Excellency Abul Rahman Ghanem Al Mutaiwee, UAE Ambassador to the UK welcomed the visit and commented on the important role the Embassy plays in expanding the commercial and investment ties between the two countries. He added, “We are delighted to welcome Sheikha Bodour and the Shurooq delegation to the United Kingdom. Serving the UAE economy by promoting Emirati exports and encouraging British investment in the UAE is a high priority for the Embassy and especially for the Economic Department headed by First Secretary Shaikh Mohammed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum who has been working closely with Shurooq to arrange this visit. We are pleased to have succeeded in arranging a vast number of meetings with some of the most prominent UK businesses and investment institutions and we would like to wish Shurooq all the success in promoting Sharjah’s investment portfolio here in the United Kingdom. I would also like to highlight the importance of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce’s role in promoting British Arab trade relations and trade relations with the UAE in specific. ” Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby, Secretary General and Chief Executive of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are confident that signing this MoU will help enhance investment opportunities and the exchange of expertise, expand mutual business activities and add a new dimension to our business, particularly in the economic and commercial sectors”. Under the terms of the MoU, which was signed by HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, and Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby, Secretary General and Chief Executive of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, Shurooq and ABCC plan to encourage, promote, and facilitate investment and development cooperation among the business communities in Sharjah and the UK, and to coordinate, establish, and expand a business network that enables these communities to leverage the financial opportunities available in both countries, in addition to organising road shows for representatives of British government’s entities to the emirate of Sharjah by end of this year. In addition, Shurooq and ABCC have agreed to encourage the flow of reciprocal economic information, statistics, and trade data, as well as joint research activities, and to assist each other in organising and participating in trade fairs, exhibitions conferences and seminars. The two entities furthermore strive to work together to eliminate obstacles that may hinder the growth of investment and business by identifying barriers, finding suitable solutions, and supporting and encouraging the exchange of technical expertise and training opportunities. Shurooq’s delegation to the UK, which is headed by Sheikha Bodour and includes HE Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, is set to meet with the British Chambers of Commerce, the Environmental Services Association, the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, the Lord Mayor’s Office, the Association of British Healthcare Industries, and Royal Marsden Hospital. They have already met with the London Chamber of Commerce. Bilateral trade between the UAE and the UK reached £12 billion in 2012, and there are nearly 400 British trading companies and 800 British trading agencies, as well as over 8,000 UK trademarks registered in the UAE. Currently over 100,000 UK expatriates reside in the UAE, while the Emirates welcomes more than one million British visitors each year. Ties between Sharjah and the UK also continue to grow – a UK firm was recently awarded a contract worth £343 million to build the world’s largest advanced thermal energy-from-waste facility in the emirate. Shurooq's key mission is to provide facilities and incentives to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in Sharjah, evaluate 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 and 2014 FDI Agency of the Year in the MENA region at the European’s Global Banking and Finance Awards.