Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) to link Chinese investors and businessmen with the GCC and North African countries
China Trade Week Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) participated in China Trade Week forum in Abu Dhabi from December 7-9 by calling for closer commercial ties between Sharjah and China. The authority invited Chinese investors and business leaders to take advantage of the emirate’s strategic geographical position and the services and facilities offered to allow easy access to nearby markets, particularly the GCC and North Africa markets. Shurooq, the silver sponsor of the conference, held meetings with participating businessmen to present the opportunities available in Sharjah and to highlight the facilities and incentives offered by Sharjah Government to foreign investors. This helped open dialogue with Chinese business communities and identify the needs and aspirations of companies seeking to invest in Sharjah and take advantage of the many of opportunities that exist in the emirate. Shurooq participated at a joint stand together with Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF-Zone). The stand was visited by many dignitaries, most prominently His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Youth, Culture and Community Development. Shurooq presented the rich investment options in the emirate of Sharjah and highlighted a number of completed and underway mega projects such as Al Noor Island, the Heart of Sharjah, Kalba Ecotourism Development, Al Jabal Resort (Chedi Khorfakkan), Sir Bu Nuair Island and Archaeotourism Development. Chinese business and investment communities showed a great deal of interest in these projects. Speaking after the event, Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, Head of Investment Promotion said: “Sharjah was committed to working with Chinese commercial partners to reestablish ancient Silk Road trading routes and boost the commercial and investment relationship between the two sides. He said: “Today China is the world’s most exciting economy, capable of driving much of the technological, manufacturing and industrial changes we will witness over the coming century”. He added: “As China strengthens its global trade, it is natural that Sharjah should be a destination of choice for Chinese companies looking for commercial premises from which to re-export to lucrative markets in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and beyond”. “Like China, Sharjah is a dynamic, forward-facing economy and we are today able to offer Chinese partners highly attractive incentives to set up and to take advantage of our dedicated free zones and the multitude of facilities offered to them”. Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of HFZA and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF-Zone) said: “Sharjah offers state of the art facilities, outstanding infrastructure, skilled labour, excellent trade links and unbeatable commercial incentives to Chinese companies looking for a base in the Arabian Gulf”. He added: “Sharjah has become a safe haven and a favorite destination for investors from all over the world. We like to offer more opportunities for our Chinese friends to contribute to strengthen the economic relations between the two sides”. Jamal Bozinjal, Director of Corporate Communication of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry said: “Sharjah and the wider UAE have a longstanding trading relationship with China that goes back more than three decades. Over this time, Sharjah has worked hard to listen to the requirements of Chinese companies setting up businesses in the Emirate, and to understand how best to work together to ensure long-term success”. “Today, we have created the ideal commercial climate in which Chinese companies can do business and thrive, and we look forward to welcoming many more Chinese companies to Sharjah over the coming months and years.”, he added. HE Chang Hua, China Ambassador to the UAE, honored Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in recognition of its silver sponsorship of the Investment and Trade Forum. The relationship between Sharjah and China has witnessed a considerable growth in recent years, based on the friendly ties between the two sides. His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has been keen to strengthen this relationship. His Highness received Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao during his visit to the UAE in 2012. Jiabao called during the visit for enhancing political trust and deepening strategic cooperation between the two friendly countries. Bilateral trade between the emirate of Sharjah and China reached US$5 billion in 2014, according to statistics issued by Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD). The emirate attracts a large number of Chinese firms which took Sharjah as a regional base for expansion into the regional and international markets. Sharjah Trade Week brought together more than 200 exhibitors and represented an opportunity for businessmen, government authorities and private companies from the UAE and region to meet Chinese corporate executives, manufacturers and investors to develop trade exchange, serve the bilateral relation between the two friendly countries and deepen cooperation in areas of mutual interest. Through their stand at the event, Shurooq and SAFI-Zone have provided detailed information about investment environment and available investment opportunities in the emirate of Sharjah. Shurooq was established in 2009 and seeks to encourage investment 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 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, in the European’s Global Banking and Finance Awards, and was named the Top Investment Promotion Agency in the Middle East by Site Selection magazine in 2015.