Sharjah Media Centre to offer an investor friendly and attractive environment
New York - Arab Today
Sharjah Media Centre to offer an investor friendly and attractive environment
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Centre, has stressed Sharjah's endeavor to offer an investor friendly and attractive environment foreign investments in the Gulf region and the Middle East
The head of the Sharjah delegation, currently on the visit to the USA as part of its first and largest Roadshow, called on US firms and investors to expand their businesses in Sharjah and benefit from investment opportunities and the emirate's unique geographical location and characteristics.
The remarks came during a Seminar organised on the sidelines of the Roadshow that is being organised by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) under the slogan: "Sharjah - Promising Opportunities, Global Horizons", which included a series of B2B meetings, site visits and tours that covered various economic, investment, cultural and health areas.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said, "The Roadshow has seen a series of fruitful and constructive meetings with our American counterparts during which we highlighted Sharjah's unique offering and opportunities in available in various sectors. We also explored possible ways of enhancing the relations with the US through commercial, cultural, educational and artistic exchange." He added: "We seek through the roadshow and meetings to explore avenues of cooperation and joint work between various government institutions and bodies and private companies. These tours also serve as a means to strengthen bilateral relations between Sharjah and countries in the world at all levels. We will continue our efforts to consolidate the economic, investment, and cultural relations between Sharjah and the USA in the future." Sharjah delegates delivered presentations detailing the Emirate's various sectors of investment and development and business opportunities, the many incentives and advantages it affords foreign investors, and its investor friendly climate and legislature. The meeting also provided an invaluable opportunity for Sharjah delegates to network with their American counterparts.
Shurooq CEO Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, said, "Shurooq has taken great care to create an economic environment that stimulates growth and encourages investment and there are countless highly lucrative opportunities available for American businesses wishing to enter the Sharjah market. Sharjah's economy achieved a remarkable performance in the period from 2005 to 2012 where the Emirate's GDP increased by 120 per cent." Al Sarkal added: "the Emirate boasts one of the fastest growing economies in the region. Its economic resilience is fueled by more than 45,000 strong small and medium-sized businesses that benefit from the competitiveness of Sharjah's supply chain and that contribute to the highly diversified nature of the Emirate's economy. Sharjah is also the manufacturing powerhouse of the UAE contributing 33 percent of the Emirates total manufacturing activities." Speaking about the Emirate's healthcare sector, Abdullah Ali Al Mahayan, Chairman of the Sharjah Health Authority, said, "There are multiple demographic and socio-economic factors contributing to the increased demand for general and specialised healthcare services in Sharjah. Despite the Emirate's number of incidents requiring care (per 1,000 population) being slightly higher in relation to the rest of the UAE, the supply side of the sector is lagging behind the demand. This means that there are numerous opportunities for investment in health care related enterprises." By 2025, he continued, the population in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates alone is expected to be 2.7million, which will demand a significant increase in overall healthcare facilities, and it is estimated that Sharjah will require approximately 630 additional hospital beds by end of 2016.
He added that the supply of specialised surgery centres, cancer centres, advanced diagnostics, rehab centres, cardiac care centres and so forth are also currently limited or lacking representing a prime opportunity for investors wishing to enter the market. Taking these factors into account Sharjah's healthcare industry is expected to grow by 9.3 per cent from its current Dh 4.59 Billion to Dh 6.55 Billion in 2016.
In his presentation, Khalid Jassim Al Midfa, Director General of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), focused on introducing Sharjah's diverse cultural offering as well as the key role the Emirate has played, and continues to play, in the protection and promotion of the region's history and heritage.
He added that the SCTDA Director General highlighted Sharjah's unique biodiversity and its numerous ongoing eco-tourism and conservation projects saying, "Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the Emirate continues to take a highly proactive stance in the areas of culture, heritage, and conservation.
There are currently nine distinct protected areas in Sharjah, which together add up to nearly seven percent of the Emirate's square mileage, with a number of progressive projects underway aimed at further adding value to these areas. Sharjah's cultural offering is also both diverse and intensive. Sharjah is home to one of the world's biggest book fairs, the Sharjah International Book Fair, numerous art exhibitions, including the Sharjah Biennale, and the most comprehensive museum network in the UAE - the Sharjah Museums Department oversees 16 individual museums. The emirate of Sharjah has so much to offer and we are eager to welcome the people of the United States and the world to share in its many wonders".
Speaking about Sharjah's advances in the field of sustainability, Khalid Al Huraimel, Director General of the Sharjah Environment Company (Bee'ah), said: "The UAE federal government is proactively implementing stricter environmental legislations and setting targets for renewable energies. This is spurring both public and private sectors to explore ways to achieve compliance and generate demand for environmental services." "In answer to this Bee'ah aims to tackle waste in the region and build a strong waste management infrastructure, with the ultimate goal of leading the emirate of Sharjah to become the first city in the Middle East to achieve Zero-waste-To-Landfill by 2015. Our aim is to foster the creation of sustainable and economically viable solutions for waste management and to thereby drastically reduce Sharjah and by extension, the UAE's carbon footprint," he added.
Al Huraimel went on to state that Bee'ah was currently looking to expand its operations and therefore in the process seeking partners, technology providers, and investors for a number of projects in the Middle East, including oil, wood, paper, and plastic waste recycling projects, e-waste dismantling and recycling, and environmental education '&' awareness affiliations in the UAE, as well as post-sewage treatment sludge disposal and composting and landfill re-mediation and new landfill engineering.
Speaking about the Hamriah Free Zone Authority's role, Saud Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Director of Commercial Affairs at Hamriyah Free Zone Authority, commented: "The Hamriyah Free Zone Authority's main focus is to support Sharjah's economic diversity by offering foreign investors and business an ideal environment in which to base their operations. Our 22-sqr km site offers offices, warehousing and land ideally located within the emirate with access to three ports and both the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. The feedback we have received from our colleagues in the States has been overwhelmingly positive and we look forward to welcoming a host of new American interests to Sharjah in the very near future".
Badr Jafar, Managing Director of Crescent Enterprises, spoke about Sharjah's highly developed logistics sector, saying, "Given the importance of trade and manufacturing to Sharjah's economy, the transport and logistics sector is a fast-growing one. Sharjah has already proven its capabilities in the areas of sea-to-air freight, freight forwarding, and food and beverage reefer shipping and the benefits of Sharjah's access to the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean will only grow in importance, and will contribute to the future success of this sector." A UAE-based conglomerate operating across eight sectors of the global economy, mainly Ports '&' Logistics, Power '&' Engineering, Aviation, Healthcare, Media '&' Entertainment, Real Estate '&' Construction, IT Commerce, and Private Equity." he added.
Before moving to New York City, the UAE Embassy hosted a lunch banquet in honour of the delegation headed by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Centre, and in the presence of heads and directors of participating bodies that represent more than 20 government and private organisations. The delegation is composed of an elite group of experts and specialists in various commercial, industrial and financial fields, as well as in development projects and cultural, media and academic institutions, to showcase investment opportunities available in Sharjah.
The delegation was welcomed by the UAE Embassy represented by His Excellency Omar Al Shamsi, Deputy Chief of Mission at the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Washington. The embassy lauded the immense efforts made by the delegation to highlight the impressive development witnessed by Sharjah in various fields, as well as the organisation and coordination with the delegation and its high profile and VIP figures.
Al Shamsi wished the delegation success in discharging its mission, emphasising the importance of these visits to the USA to bear the best future outcomes that serve the interests of both countries, and Sharjah in particular.
Sheikh Sultan expressed his profound appreciation for the vital and important role the embassy plays in building distinguished relationships with the USA, in addition to its role in fulfilling the various needs of Emirati citizens there, as well as its great interest in supporting all national efforts. He also referred to the embassy's high coordination in order to facilitate the mission of the delegation and help it carry out its mission perfectly.
During the lunch, the attendees discussed a number of different issues with the US corporates and bodies they met within the first part of the roadshow. The discussion covered a variety of topics and a comprehensive review of the various scenarios and issues that the delegation was keen to promote it in the United States.
The delegation received positive feedback from US firms and figures that showed great interest in supporting future plans to build solid future agreements in view of the growing figures of the volume of trade and investment between the UAE, including Sharjah, and the USA.