During the 5th Sharjah Economic Ramadan Majlis:
Government, Economic Officials Laud UAE’s Investment Legislation and Infrastructure as a Magnet for FDI
Sharjah, May 13, 2019:Panelists at the fifth Sharjah Economic Ramadan Majlis held on May 12 (Sunday) under the theme ‘The Contributions of Government Legislations to Attract FDI’, stressed that the UAE had an advanced and agile legislative system that kept abreast of the local and regional economic and technological changes. During the event held at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC), participants pointed out that the contemporary and up-to-date system contributed to the country’s competitiveness in attracting investments and talents that bolster the country’s position on the global investment map.
During the event that was organised by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), the panelists opined the legislations were a manifestation of the wise leadership’s vision of the development of economic, investment strategies and policies to ensure the sustainability of the development process. They pointed out that the country also had a solid and strong economy and advanced infrastructure conducive to the establishment of business.
In attendance were Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations; HE Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade; HE Dr Obaid Saif Al Zaabi, CEO of the Securities and Commodities Authority; HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of Shurooq; HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI); HE Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Economy; HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority; Mohammad Juma Al Musharrakh, CEO of Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah); HE Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO of Dubai FDI; HE Dr. Khalid Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City (Shams); and HE Hussein Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park. The session was moderated by Marwan Al Hel, producer and presenter, Dubai Television.
The Majlis kicked off with a report highlighting the UAE’s accomplishments on local, regional and international levels, and the strides it had taken to become a destination for FDI. According to the report, the UAE attracted more than US$ 10 billion in FDI last year, with a forecast of reaching US$ 20 billion in the next few years. The report also highlighted the country’s achievement in global competitiveness. According to IMD World Competitiveness Centre’s 2018 data, the UAE secured No.1 ranking in 20 indicators and achieved top positions in several others.
In his speech, Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi said: “The UAE is constantly looking to secure the future of various sectors which have positioned the country on the global landscape as a destination for FDI. Those who keep tabs on the legislations and regulations in the UAE and Sharjah specifically would have noticed the influx of FDI into the country after His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of UAE, had issued a Decree on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which aims to promote and develop the country’s investment environment.”
HE Abdullah Al Saleh said that countries that had been able to gradually open up their economy and attract FDI had gained experience and knowledge transfer which boosted the local economy and increased its competitiveness.
“Proper legislation is one of the most important aspects to attract FDI, as it guarantees investor and consumer rights. Additionally, a strong infrastructure provides a host of advanced services, especially free zones that offer diverse and advanced services for investors in a lot of sectors,” said the Undersecretary, noting that the UAE had nearly 40 free zones across the country.
HE Dr Obaid Saif Al Zaabi, commented: “The UAE is witnessing a boom in FDIs due to its legislations which allows capital flow and opens various investment opportunities. There are committees working on developing mechanisms in order to have a greater impact in attracting investors.”
He added that the Securities and Commodities Authority conformed to the highest international standards and cooperated with financial markets to develop its infrastructure.
“The Authority has also developed an investor protection and corporate governance system which will be launched next month and have a direct impact on increasing FDI flow to the country,” the CEO said.
HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of Shurooq, commented: “The country is experiencing a new boom, which is evident in the economic growth of the majority of sectors in the country.”
He added that the geographic location of the country gave it an advantage that made international companies set up their regional headquarters in the UAE. “This country has become a nurturing environment for the majority of sectors, providing added value for FDI through its advanced and updated legislation, infrastructure and smart services, amongst many others, that gives investors ease of mind, thereby boosting its performance.”
HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of SCCI, said the country offered many advantages for FDI and worked proactively to advance its services and infrastructure to fit the demand and needs of investors. He noted that currently there were more than 460,000 companies registered with the chambers of commerce across the country.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah, underlined that the federal FDI law gave investors many perks including the treatment of foreign businesses as local entities and increasing the ownership limit for FDI, in addition to allowing capital transfer.
The CEO highlighted Sharjah’s attractive environment for FDI, noting the emirate’s strong financial standing and the recent credit rating by Standard & Poor’s which affirmed the Emirate’s BBB+/A-2 sovereign credit ratings on both long- and short-term, foreign and local currency, with a stable outlook.
The CEO of Dubai FDI, Fahad Al Gergawi stressed the importance of the Ramadan Majlis which is now an annual tradition in Sharjah during the holy month, due to the important topics it raised and tackled which contributed to the development and growth of the local economy.
Al Gergawi pointed out the importance of this year’s majlis theme. He stressed that the UAE had a legislative structure that attracted investment and showcased a distinctive platform to attract the world’s largest companies and talents to work in the country.
Last year, Shurooq, SCCI and Invest in Sharjah had organised the fourth edition of the Sharjah Economic Ramadan Majlis at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre. Themed ‘Economic Incentives for Accelerating Business Growth’, the event had attracted senior government officials, diplomats, consuls, business owners and investors.
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