Sharjah’s foreign direct investment promotion looks east this year as Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) takes its trade promotion campaign to investors in China. Shurooq is promoting Sharjah emirate in Dalian and Xiamen during September and organised an investment roadshow in Beijing. Shurooq’s visit to China forms part of an official UAE delegation to China, organised by the UAE Ministry of Economy.
Bilateral trade between China, which is the third largest economy in the world, and the United Arab Emirates is estimated at US$54.8 billion (AED 201b) and is growing fast. There are currently over 3,000 Chinese companies registered in the UAE.
Shurooq has just signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the China Overseas Development Association (CODA) to help strengthen business and trade relations between Sharjah and China. The MoU was signed during the authority’s Beijing roadshow.
Shurooq is also taking part in the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2015 in northeast Asia’s financial and logistics centre of Dalian from 9-11 September; and the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) in Xiamen, the largest city in Western China from 8-11 September.
The level of trade between the emirate of Sharjah and China is already five times the level of trade in 2010 and grew by some 11 percent during 2014 to reach US$5 billion (AED 18b). Both China and Sharjah have increased the frequency of trade and investment initiatives during the past few years, against the backdrop of growing business volumes. Shurooq has participated in a number of trade and investment events in China over the past year including the World’s Investment Summit in Shanghai during April.
In February, Sharjah-headquartered Air Arabia became the first low-cost airline from the Middle East and Africa to connect the region with China commencing regular non-stop services to Urumqi, the largest city in China’s western interior.