SHARJAH, 17th November 2022 (WAM) – The Sharjah FDI (Invest in Sharjah) office, in collaboration with the Consulate General of India in Dubai, today organized a roundtable on business between Sharjah and India17.e November 2022, at the House of Wisdom, to explore greater economic ties and synergies between Sharjah and India and expand trade, industrial and investment cooperation in several high priority sectors
In line with India’s continued interest in the emirate’s diverse economy and following the groundbreaking Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the UAE and India signed in February 2022, the roundtable sought to promote investment opportunities in competitive sectors and highlighted the range of services and facilities on offer. by various government organizations in the emirate.
With 15,868 Indian companies operating on the mainland in Sharjah and 10,000 in its Specialized Free Zones, the growing economic and trade relationship between Sharjah and India has seen the value of India’s exports and re-exports reach $1.14 billion. of AED in 2021.
Building on the stability and strength of a rapidly diversifying and deepening bilateral relationship between the emirate and India, the roundtable placed particular emphasis on areas where Indian businesses could engage with Sharjah to increase their presence in the MENA region. The priority sectors highlighted are agriculture and food security, technology and innovation, logistics, tourism and culture, water resources management, energy and renewable energies, and education. .
Over 200 trade professionals from the UAE and India, including entrepreneurs, investors, Sharjah government officials and business stakeholders, attended the Sharjah-India Business Roundtable, which also highlighted how the flexible business environment, ease of doing business and diversification away from oil have solidified the emirate. position as a key investment center in the region.
New heights in bilateral relations
In his welcome note, Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Acting CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), said that the Sharjah-India Business Roundtable brings the UAE and India closer together, through cooperation and investment opportunities and highlighted how the bilateral trade relations between the two countries are taken to new heights with the implementation of the CEPA agreement since May 2022.
Calling for enhanced partnerships, joint investments and new initiatives in emerging priority sectors, he said, “India is one of the UAE’s top export destinations and trading partners with bilateral trade turnover. of USD 68.4 billion in 2021. During this period, UAE’s exports to India amounted to USD 43.04 billion while India’s exports to UAE amounted to 25, $4 billion Under CEPA, we plan to grow two-way trade between our nations from over $60 billion to $100 billion over the next 5 years.
Extraordinary growth potential
Delivering a keynote address and elaborating on India’s shared commercial ties with the UAE across the centuries, Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai, said: “India and the UAE united are two countries that share a deep and historic relationship, the foundation of which is the strength of its people-to-people relations developed through centuries-old trade relations.
Stating that India is the first country with which the UAE signed the CEPA, he also pointed out that the UAE’s investment of $2 billion to develop a series of integrated food parks across India under the grouping of four nations ‘I2U2’, will not only transform the lives of farmers in India, but also address global food security challenges.
He added that many Indian entrepreneurs, unicorns and tech startups who are considering the UAE as a springboard for their growth will choose Sharjah for their expansion. “There is tremendous potential between the two economies, especially in the area of innovation where Sharjah has a distinctive advantage,” he added.
Investment potential in Sharjah
A panel discussion under the theme “Investment Opportunities in Sharjah”, highlighted the huge opportunity and potential of Sharjah’s favorable business environment and highlighted the competitive advantages of growth in Sharjah’s diverse economy, its fundamental strengths in various sectors and easy access to global markets. .
Frequently updated regulations, world-class infrastructure, an enabling ecosystem and diversification strategies have enhanced Sharjah’s reputation as a global investment hub, said Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO, Sharjah FDI Office ( Invest in Sharjah), adding that Sharjah is currently home to more than 25,000 Indian companies, including 15,868 on the mainland and 10,000 in its specialized free zones.
He revealed that to attract and facilitate investment in Sharjah and the UAE, the Invest in Sharjah roadshows will focus on Indian markets in 2023.
He added, “I invite Indian companies to come and be part of our new frontier sectors which promise great growth potential. Investors and entrepreneurs can benefit from the services of the Sharjah Investor Services Center (SAEED) which offers a full range of government solutions to set up businesses with speed and efficiency.
Innovative investment environment
“Innovation, knowledge and science are the future of economies and the UAE and India are two countries ready to develop it further,” said Hussein Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park ( SRTIP).
He added, “Indian investors will find a fantastic innovation ecosystem at SRTIP that includes best-in-class infrastructure in terms of labs, facilities and services. Close to the University City, home to 22 universities, investors will have full access to talented human capital and technology to meet their diverse innovation needs.
The unparalleled creative environment, perfect investment climate, cost-effective solutions and state-of-the-art infrastructure have made Sharjah Media City (Shams) the first choice for companies in the creative industries, said Shihab Alhammadi, Managing Director of Shams . .
He added: “Designed to fill the gaps in the free zone sector, Shams was conceived as a hub of creativity and innovation and has since attracted talent and innovative companies from around the world to the emirate. .”
Complete ecosystem in Sharjah
Dr. Sunny Kurian MBBS, MD, Founding Chairman of Dr. Sunny Healthcare Group, which started as a private practitioner in the emirate 30 years ago and has since grown and diversified into multiple sectors, credited the warmth of the people and the emirate’s “positive buzz and energy” for its success. “Adapting and innovating are the main drivers of change and what has helped me is the enabling environment for growth in Sharjah”, did he declare.
Discussing how Sharjah Publishing’s City Free Zone facilities propelled a segment of his company’s growth – from 30 employees to 180 in just two months, Dheeraj Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Altruist Technologies, said said: “What Sharjah offers entrepreneurs is a complete ecosystem to grow. Its state-of-the-art infrastructure and ease of doing business is a dream come true for investors. »
He added, “Sharjah is the perfect place to do business, especially if it is a people-intensive business.
Presenting a comprehensive overview of the CEPA agreement signed between the UAE and Sharjah earlier this year, K. Kalimuthu, Consul (Economics, Trade and Commerce) at the Consulate General of India in Dubai, said that the agreement came into force because the United Arab Emirates is India. third trading partner, second export market and eighth investor. With $85 billion, India is also a key investor in the UAE and a key export market valued at $30 billion, he added.