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Sharjah targets growth in industrial sector

Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) is targeting new growth from Sharjah’s manufacturing and industry and aims to provide even higher levels of support to the sector. The Industrial Affairs Department, which was established in 2014, estimates that the contribution from the industrial sector to Sharjah’s GDP (gross domestic product) may grow from its current 14 percent to as high as 25 percent by the year 2025. Meanwhile, SEDD estimates the emirate’s 2015 economic growth to be more than 8 percent.

Sharjah began zoning areas for industry more than forty years ago and now has about 20 designated industrial areas. The emirate’s main economic zones have experienced growth during the past year, while the two largest free zones, Free Zone Authority and Sharjah Airport International Free Zone (SAIF Zone), host some 13,500 companies from 157 countries across multiple industrial sectors. Expansion projects being commissioned at both free zones.

In October 2015, government-owned Sharjah Asset Management (SAM) launched Al Saja’a Industrial Oasis, a future 14 million square foot industrial estate near Sharjah International Airport that is expected to create as many as 20,000 jobs. SAM began selling the first phase of plots for the estate to investors last year, which are available on a freehold or leasehold basis.

According to global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, Sharjah’s non-oil economy has a diverse production base with the four largest sectors being real estate and business services (about 20%); manufacturing (16%); mining, quarrying, and energy (13%); and wholesale and retail trade (12%).

In 2014, SEDD launched a new one-stop-shop for investors setting up new businesses in a move to significantly reduce the amount of time taken to complete government paperwork and procedures. A range of e-government and m-government services have also been introduced to make the department’s services more accessible. The Department works closely together with the Sharjah Exports Development Center of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Source: SEDD, media

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