Sharjah’s investment ecosystem keen to woo Chinese businesses
Continuing its to drive new and diversified investments into the emirate, the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), operating under the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), organised the Sharjah China Business Webinar as part of its participation at the 11th China Offshore Summit organised virtually this year.
Participating Chinese businesses and investors were introduced to compelling opportunities across Sharjah’s expanding investment ecosystem, particularly in the healthcare; pharmaceutical manufacturing; mobility and logistics; agritech; green tech; and advanced manufacturing sectors.
The webinar, held in partnership with the China Offshore company, also highlighted Sharjah’s competitive advantages in providing an impressive growth and expansion platform to China, showcased in the wide range of services offered by Invest in Sharjah.
Prominent speakers at the business webinar included Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah); Ali Saeed Buzenjal, Director of Digital Transformation at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP); and Marwan Saleh Alichla Head of Investment Promotion, Invest in Sharjah and Director of the Sharjah Investors Services Centre (Saeed). The session was moderated by Matthew Sumner, Director of Asia, MX Media Group.
Welcoming the virtual gathering, Al Musharrkh emphasised that since the establishment of bilateral relations in 1984, the UAE has emerged China’s largest non-oil trading partner in the Mena region.
He said: “Both, China and UAE have handled the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic very efficiently. Since June 2020, the UAE has been open for business. Our airports have navigated an unprecedented crisis to remain operational and already 73 per cent of our population have been vaccinated. These are some of the reasons why we continue to remain one of the most favoured FDI destinations in the region and around the world, which is testified by the fact that FDI inflows to the UAE grew 44.2 per cent in 2020 to reach $19.9 billion despite the pandemic.”
“Invest in Sharjah continues to spearhead the emirate’s efforts with a robust plan to capitalise on the global interest in Sharjah’s potential. Equipped with world-class facilities to attract both new and established businesses, Sharjah looks forward to expanding economic and cultural cooperation with China in traditional and high-potential sectors. I would like to say: Sharjah is open for business; and we welcome new partnerships,” the Invest In Sharjah CEO added.
Stating that there are currently more than 594 Chinese companies registered in Sharjah, Marwan Saleh Alichla Head of Investment Promotion, Invest in Sharjah and Director of (Saeed), said: “Sharjah had proved its resilience during the height of the pandemic last year by continuing to grow, adding 24 new projects worth $220 million and creating 1,117 new jobs.”
“We have concluded a post-pandemic research and identified the following sectors as most lucrative to our Chinese investors: healthcare, with a special focus on Sharjah Healthcare City; pharmaceutical manufacturing; mobility and logistics; advanced manufacturing; agritech, in which Sharjah already has quite a few success stories; and EdTech, backed by Sharjah University City, one of the largest in the region. Green tech is another sector with great potential, and in which Sharjah leads, well on its way to becoming a zero-landfill emirate this year,” he added.
SRTIP’s Ali Saeed Buzinjal pointed out that the free zone based its R&D methods on the successful Chinese model. “We actively collaborate with various sectors on our projects, including academia, public and private sectors, in devising solutions for present and upcoming challenges. As a free zone focusing on research and development, we offer several specialised services to investors, established businesses as well as startups through accelerator programmes.”
He added: “Chinese investors can take advantage of the SRTIP’s easy access to vital and logistical facilities in the emirate and in the UAE, and the infrastructure which meets international standards to offer an ideal and safe investment environment, in addition to ownership and full tax exemption, providing great opportunities for industries and technological facilities.”
To the webinar’s attendees, Alichla highlighted Invest in Sharjah’s premium services for investors including the one-of-a-kind Sharjah Investors Services Centre (Saeed) – a one-stop, single-window business facility that offers fully integrated 360-degree government solutions to enable investors set up their business with total ease in just 60 minutes; and Sharjah Investment Tracker, a plug-and-play website that publishes real time investment statistics of Sharjah to help potential investors analyse FDI flows, among many others.
Organised annually by China Offshore, the China Offshore Summit brings together more than 500 Chinese and international investors and financial intermediaries looking for strategic wealth management opportunities and foreign investment prospects across key and emerging global markets.