The Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), an affiliate of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) organised a Sharjah – Europe Business Roundtable, at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently, to explore interests with 6 European business councils based in the UAE, and to introduce emerging prospects in a variety of sectors attractive to European investors.
The roundtable served to highlight sectors which have been playing increasingly important roles in enriching Sharjah’s FDI appeal, such as transportation and logistics, light manufacturing, travel and leisure, environment, technology and innovation, healthcare, education and research, start-ups and SMEs.
Prominent attendees included HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of Shurooq; Taina Sateri, Trade Counsellor Delegation of the European Union to the UAE and Oliver Oehms, CEO of the German Emirati Joint Council for Industry and Commerce (AHK).
The event also saw the participation of HE Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media Free Zone (Shams); HE Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park; HE Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone); Salim Omar Salim, Director of Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone; Mohammed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Sharjah FDI Office; and Ammar Alul, Managing Director of Schuco Middle East Windows & Façade Systems LLC, in a panel session where they shared local business expertise and shed light on the new and evolving opportunities in their respective sectors to the European delegation. The roundtable was moderated by Ali Kanani, Member of the Swiss Business Council.
Sharjah has been collaborating with the European business community across several sectors including trade, culture and tourism over several years. As of November 2019, the number of European companies registered in Sharjah include 423 from France; 396 from Germany; 148 from Belgium; 96 from Spain; 86 from Portugal; 92 from Switzerland; and 18 from The Netherlands.
These numbers continue to grow due to the Sharjah government’s pro-investor policies and strategic budget allocations, For instance, out of the approved 2019 budget of US$9 billion for Sharjah, 23 percent has been dedicated to the development and improvement of its infrastructure, and 41 percent has been committed towards the economic development sector.