Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in London to encourage, promote and facilitate investment and development cooperation among the business communities in Sharjah and the United Kingdom. The MoU was signed by HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq and Dr Afnan Al-Shuaiby, Secretary General and Chief Executive of ABCC during a three-day visit to the United Kingdom by a senior delegation from Shurooq.
The two organisations aim to work together to eliminate obstacles that may hinder the growth of investment and trade between the UK and Sharjah. Bilateral trade between the UK and the UAE reached £12 billion (AED 69.7b) in 2012 and the UK has nearly 400 trading companies, close to 800 trading agencies and more than 8,000 trademarks registered in the Emirates.
British firm Chinook Sciences won a high profile contract worth £343 million (AED 1.9b) last year to build the world’s largest advanced thermal energy-from-waste facility for Bee’ah, Sharjah’s award-winning fully integrated environment and waste management company.
Under the terms of the MoU, Shurooq and ABCC have agreed to establish and expand a network of contacts that enables businesses to leverage the financial opportunities available in both the UK and Sharjah. UK investment in the UAE reached a total AED 30.8 billion (£5.2b) in 2011, while the UAE has invested over £5 billion in the North Sea. The two organisations have also agreed to encourage the flow of reciprocal economic information, statistics and trade data, plus joint research activities on each others’ markets.
Shurooq and ABCC will also assist each other in organising and participating in trade fairs, exhibitions conferences and seminars, including road shows in Sharjah for representatives of British government’s entities by end of 2015.
Shurooq’s delegation to the UK was headed by chairperson Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi and includes HE Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq met with British Chambers of Commerce, the Environmental Services Association, the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, the Lord Mayor of London’s Office, the Association of British Healthcare Industries and Royal Marsden Hospital.
More than 100,000 UK expatriates live in the UAE and the Emirates sees more than one million British visitors each year.
* Exchange rates adjusted for 2011 and 2012 figures