Roundtable aims to expand burgeoning business ties between Sharjah and China
The roundtable will be attended by HE Tang Weibin, Consul General of People's Republic of China and government representatives from both Sharjah and China, as well as members of the Chinese Business Council and local Chinese businesspeople in the UAE. Presentations laying out Sharjah's appeal as an investment destination will be given by bodies representing key sectors and regions. As well as the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), the authorities include the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), the Hamriya Free Zone Authority, Bee'ah - Sharjah Environment Company, and Sharjah Healthcare City. A Q&A session and networking lunch will end proceedings. Speaking ahead of the event, HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), said: "This roundtable offers a tremendous opportunity to explore new avenues to expand the burgeoning relationship between Sharjah and China. As well as having the second largest economy on the global stage, China's outbound investment has surged to record levels and made the country the world's third largest investor. We are delighted to enjoy a long and warm friendship, with many mutually beneficial initiatives. Our objectives for this event are to reinforce these existing business ties while nurturing new ones." There have been rapid increases in bilateral trade between China and Sharjah in recent years. The value of total trade exchanges - encompassing imports, exports and re-exports - jumped more than 18 per cent between 2010 and 2012, from AED 3.3bn to more than AED 3.9bn. That equates to a compound annual growth rate of 8 per cent. In particular, products related to petroleum - including drilling equipment and petrochemical products - generated the high value. More widely, trade between the UAE and China has flourished over the last decade, multiplying many times over. This momentum shows no sign of letting up: in the first half of 2013, imports and exports combined jumped almost 14 per cent to AED 78.6bn, after registering close to 40 per cent year-on-year growth over 2012. There are more than 4,000 Chinese companies that currently operate in the UAE. Shurooq has engaged in a number of recent initiatives to encourage investment from China. Most recently, in January, the Authority welcomed a high-ranking delegation from the country headed by HE Tang Weibin, Consul General of People's Republic of China in Dubai. In mid-2012, a delegation from Shurooq embarked on a promotional tour of China to promote the Emirate's offering to international investors. 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 the world. The Authority'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.