A landmark legislation in the Commercial Companies Law, which allows 100 per cent foreign ownership of onshore companies in the UAE, is in its final stages of formation, said Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry.
Speaking during the seventh edition of Sharjah Economic Ramadan Majlis, Al Saleh said that the legislation will enable investors and business in 10 new sectors of strategic importance to come under the purview of the law, and the list sectors and the regulations associated with their entry into the local market will be announced by the UAE Cabinet soon.
Al Saleh added that the cancellation of the national service agent requirement came into force on April 1, also affirming that all current and previously licensed businesses in the UAE can amend their statuses according to the new amendments to the commercial companies law.
The Sharjah Economic Ramadan Majlis was organised by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in collaboration with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) at Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP).
Held under the title, ‘The role of the New Industrial Strategy and Commercial Companies Law in developing the national economy and enhancing its competitiveness,’ the Majlis convened senior government officials, diplomats, investors, prominent business leaders, and media representatives.
The majlis discussions were led by Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry; Omar Ahmed Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology; Osama Amir Fadl, Assistant Undersecretary for the Industrial Accelerators Sector at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology; Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of Shurooq; Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTIP; Dr Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Media City (SHAMS); Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO, Dubai Investment Development Agency; Mohammad Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah; Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sharjah Entrepreneurship centre (Sheraa); and Abdul Aziz Shattaf, Assistant Director General of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). The session was moderated by Ahmad Al Marzouki.
Abdulla Al Saleh, said: “Legislations that have been issued or those that will be enacted soon seek to increase the country’s competitiveness for both local and international investors, and advance business performance. These legislations are not the outcome of a crisis, but follow a clear vision of the country’s economic future envisioned collaboratively by federal, local, and private sector stakeholders. The future depends primarily on attracting innovative talents who will lay the foundations of economies of the future.”
He added, “A comprehensive strategy to attract bright minds from around the region and the world will be announced soon.” Focusing on the execution of The UAE Industrial Strategy “Operation 300bn”, which aims to raise the manufacturing sector’s contribution to national GDP to Dhs300 billion by 2031, Omar Ahmed Suwaina Al Suwaidi, said: “We have held meetings and workshops with our industry partners to identify their challenges and discussed priority sectors under 3 pillars – the UAE’s competitive industries, including the chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, defense and heavy industries; the national food and healthcare security industries; and industries of the future, including space and renewable energy, among others.”
He said, “A new industrial law will soon come into force and will be instrumental to promoting a conducive environment for industry in the UAE. We have also tackled financing issues startups face in order to boost their performance. A National Added Value Programme will be launched soon to support national products, enhance their competitiveness and find new markets for them.”
Overcoming economic, societal and environmental challenges with futuristic technologies Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal lauded the UAE’s agility in changing and advancing the national legislative framework to keep pace with the rapid changes in economic, investment and technological developments locally and globally to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Al Sarkal noted: “Markets will continue to transform and businesses will grow with the accelerated adoption of existing and emerging technologies, which will stimulate innovation, productivity and sustainable development, and contribute to overcoming societal, economic, environmental challenges.”
For his part, Hussain Mohamed Al Mahmoudi, asserted that SRTIP serves as a hub of innovation and exchange among governmental, private and academic entities who are leading the movement for the creation of a knowledge economy in the UAE.
He said, “SRTIP is home to one of the largest scientific research centres of smart transport in the world. We are currently testing a new train system over 3km track. With our innovation-driven centres, augmented reality and agri-tech labs, SRTIP is fuelling the UAE’s national strategy to shape an economy of the future.” Fahad Al Gergawi noted that the UAE is ready to leap into the future by supporting the local economy with advanced modern technology, research and studies. He remarked that UAE’s approach to attract talents from across the globe is part of a long-term strategy and is complemented by the nation’s resilient legislative structure which has done particularly well over the past year in staying ahead of the unprecedented commercial and technological changes, both regionally and globally.