‘Invest in Sharjah’ Familiarises Singaporean Corporates with Core Opportunities in Sharjah's Vital Sectors
• Sharjah FDI Office highlights emirate's conducive business environment during a meeting with Singaporean businesspersons
Sharjah, March, 2017
The Sharjah FDI office (Invest in Sharjah), the investment promotion arm of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), organised a business forum that saw the participation of more than 70 Singaporean businesspersons and representatives of major Singaporean companies in the UAE.
Cheong Ming Foong, Singaporean Consul General in Dubai, HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, Derick Ting, President of the Singaporean Business Council, Mohammed Al Musharrkh, Director of the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), along with a number of executives from multiple Singaporean businesses were present at the roundtable, which was held at the headquarters of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Aiming to explore new ways to strengthen the existing economic cooperation and take bilateral partnerships to greater heights, the Sharjah-Singapore B2B meeting gathered investors introducing them to Sharjah’s unique investment environment and the opportunities the emirate offers in its vital sectors; particularly tourism and leisure, healthcare, eco-development and transport and logistics.
H.E Ming Fong Xiong, Consul General, Consultate General of the Republic of Singapore in Dubai, began his welcoming address congratulating Shurooq on its recent successful golf event, the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters tournament, which kicked off on March 16th until 18th 2017 at the Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club. He welcomed this event, which was organised by Shurooq in partnership with the European Tour, saying: “Events like these reflect on the creative initiatives which Shurooq implements to diversify Sharjah’s investment opportunities, which act as one of the leading incentives for Singaporean investors to expand their businesses into the emirate.”
”Numerous Singaporean companies in the UAE have found stability and success by establishing their businesses in Sharjah, thanks to its flexible and developing infrastructure and services towards investors across the globe,” added Xiong.
He explained: “Today, we see substantial evidences at how Sharjah has become a strategic access point for many Singaporean companies who wish to establish long-term business. Companies such as Singapore Airlines Cargo and Longzhu Oilfield Services are among the leading Sharjah-based Singaporean companies which have benefited greatly since their establishment in Sharjah. Its infrastructure and resources have allowed us to create ideal work stations and networks on a MENA level, as well as increase our chance of creating more jobs for Singaporeans and different people from around the world.”
During his keynote welcoming over 70 Singaporean business executives, H.E Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), highlighted: “The UAE and Sharjah has one of the most symbolic relations with Singapore, and its vast experience in growing economies, developing government integration and creating a sustainable framework for innovation and excellence.”
He added: “Sharjah has always commended Singapore as a leading model for strategic economic growth and development, where we constantly adopted some of their experiences and methodologies applying it in Sharjah. This has allowed us to communicate together in a unified language, and thus, create opportunities where we can both start learning and sharing from each one’s experiences.”
“When Shurooq was first established in 2009, our first international delegation was Singapore. Through this debut, we grasped the true value and significance behind conducting these types of practices as a leading model for sustainable economic and investment growth,” concluded Al Sarkal.
Following the keynote speakers, a short video was shown featuring the Sharjah's economy and its investment climate, detailing the revenues achieved by its vital sectors and the expected growth opportunities of these sectors.
The forum also included a discussion session titled ‘Investment Opportunities in Sharjah’ that highlighted promising sectors in the emirate. The session also explored the nature of potential business opportunities and shared success stories of Singaporean companies currently operating in the emirate.
Mohammed Al Musharrakh, Director of (Invest in Sharjah); Mohammed Salem Al Mahmoud, Commercial Director of the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone Authority (SAIF Zone) and Fahad Ali Shehail, Chief Development Officer at Sharjah Environment Company (Bee'ah), were all present at the session. Also attending were Adel Nunez, Director of Cargo, Middle East and Africa at Singapore Airlines Cargo and Kingsley Wing, Director General of Singapore Oilfield Services Company. The session was moderated by Wilson Chan, Vice President of the Singaporean Business Council and Chairman of ST Logistics Group.
Mohammed Al Musharrakh, Director of the Invest in Sharjah, said: "Sharjah offers invaluable investment opportunities for Singaporean corporates and an ideal business environment conducive for investors. We, at the FDI Office, have sought through this business forum to introduce the advantages of investment in the emirate's various sectors, with a special focus on tourism and leisure, healthcare, transport and logistics, real estate, industries and eco-development. We are striving to boost trade ties and attract more Singaporean investments into Sharjah."
He added: "Flight time from Singapore to Sharjah is seven hours, with the emirate located within the flight scope of two thirds of the world's population. Sharjah's strategic location greatly allows Singaporean companies to expand their operations to Africa and Europe. Our tourism sector, which continues to attract a series of tourists from leisure, cultural and business tourists, records 13% y-o-y growth, paving the way for new hospitality and travel projects for Singaporean businesses. This, and more, is attributed to our rapidly evolving infrastructure, and integration with a series of government sectors in Sharjah and the world, establishing strategic networks through 22 high-level free zones, sea ports and additional facilities on Sharjah’s main-land."
Mohammed Salem Al Mahmoud, Commercial Director of the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone Authority (SAIF Zone), said: "The SAIF Zone is a business savvy set-up with state-of-the-art facilities and a unique package of premium services and facilities offered for Singaporean investors and businesspersons. It offers industrial technologies and pre-built warehouses in a choice of sizes to provide protection for products, especially those that can be affected by temperature and weather conditions.”
Al Mahmoud spoke about its effective and efficient services, which pans across all of its facilities, products and innovative solutions. He explained the SAIF Zone and the Sharjah International Airport are currently the fastest growing zones in Sharjah, making a major corporate and investment attraction, with SAIF Zone being home to more than 8,000 companies from 160 countries and counting.
Khalid Essa, Sales Manager at Sharjah Environment Company (Bee’ah), presented distinguished investment opportunities, which Sharjah offered to Singaporean businesses in the fields of environment and waste recycling technologies. During his discussion, Essa stressed on the importance of the Sharjah – Singapore collaborations and ventures in the fields of waste management. He recognised Singapore being one of the most advanced industrial technologies, sustaining leading experiences in the fields of recycling water and waste. He noted that Singapore recycles 100% of its wastewater and transfers it back to potable water, attracting a series of new Singapore-based companies to be involved in the country’s waste recycling vision.
He highlighted that to-date, Sharjah produces about two million tons of waste a year, where Bee'ah has managed to recycle 75-70% of it. Bee’ah is currently working on two new projects in this field, which are based on the production of energy from non-recyclable waste, in order to achieve its strategic goal of sending 0% waste to landfills and recycling 100% of Sharjah waste by 2020.
Adel Nunis, Cargo Manager, Middle East and Africa, Singapore Airlines Cargo, has commended SAIF Zone’s services and facilities, which have all eased their entry into MENA and European markets. Nunis also praised Sharjah’s rank as the second largest air cargo destination in the area, as well as its unique facilities that contributed significantly to the success and sustainability of the company. Li Yixia, Logistics Manger at Sharjah-based Longzhu Oilfield Services (S) Pte Ltd, expressed a similar perspective towards Hamriyah Free Zone Authority, which served as their birthplace accessing MENA markets since opening in 2009.
Photo caption : Group photo during the Sharjah Singapore Business Roundtable