Opportunities for Turkish investors was the main item on the agenda at a business meeting at Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). Organised by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in association with the Turkish Business Council in the UAE, the event was held in the presence of His Excellency Erdem Ozan, Turkish Consul General in Dubai, His Excellency Mr. Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), His Excellency Khalid Bin Butti Al Hajri, Director General of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Mr. Hakan Bahceci, CEO and President of Turkish Business Council and more than 40 businessmen and representatives of Turkish companies operating in the UAE.
Shurooq’s meeting at SCCI had been arranged to discuss ways to enhance cooperation between Sharjah and Turkey and improve economic relations between both sides. It was also conceived as a platform for acquainting Turkish investors with Sharjah’s unique investment environment by shedding light on the opportunities provided by various economic sectors, especially those which are of particular interest to Turkish companies, such as the clothing, food the environment and health.
For his part, during his speech at the forum, His Excellency Erdem Ozan, Turkish Consul General in Dubai, said; “We see the government of Sharjah as one of Turkey’s most strategic business partner which has created and facilitated multiple investment opportunities and business growth between the two nations. This relationship has contributed to 50% growth in trade investments between Turkey and the UAE. Both nations share one of the healthiest and most promising business and trade relationship, where Turkey’s total exports to the UAE are valued at USD 4.6 billion, and the UAE’s total exports to Turkey are valued at USD 2.3 billion. Moreover, the total bilateral investments between UAE and Turkey are currently valued at USD 12 billion. In 2016, we forecast these figures to grow progressively at an optimistic pace, highlighting Turkey’s willingness to strengthen its relationship with the UAE and other Arab countries across the Middle East.”
His Excellency Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, welcomed the Turkish businessmen and highlighted to them the investment environment and business opportunities in the Emirate of Sharjah, saying; “Emirati-Turkish relations are considered a model of excellent international relations at all levels; trade, economic, and cultural. The UAE plays host to 400 Turkish companies and more than 10,000 Turkish citizens who live and work in the UAE. In 2010, the partnership between the two countries reached new heights when they agreed to strengthen trade relations and economic ties through implementing a number of joint projects along with promoting means of cooperation. While the trade value between the UAE and Turkey did not exceed more than a few USD millions in earlier years, it reached USD 6.9 billion (AED 25.3 billion) in 2015,” he said.
Al Sarkal added; “Trade exchange between Sharjah and Turkey reached AED 716 million in 2014 and nearly 100 Turkish companies were registered until the end of 2015 in Sharjah. These figures highlight the importance of our partnership with Turkey and we look forward to seeing a comprehensive expansion in relations as a result of Sharjah’s rapid economic growth in the past few years. Sharjah’s economy has become one of the most powerful and attractive economies in the region and one of the most rewarding environments for international investors.”
The CEO of Shurooq noted; “Traditionally, tourism, garments, manufactured metal and non-metal products, as well as the furniture industry, have been the main sectors that have attracted Turkish investors to Sharjah. This is thanks to the emirate’s strong infrastructure, vast industrial capacity and state-of-the-art facilities, which allow Turkish investors to both establish and expand their businesses easily. However, there are also golden opportunities for Turkish companies in other growing sectors, such as the environment, health, eco-tourism and sports, among others.”
The Shurooq forum’s activities at SCCI included a panel discussion titled: ‘Turkey – Sharjah: Opportunities and Partnerships,’ which focused on a number of sectors in Sharjah experiencing growth and a concomitant demand for services. The discussion also highlighted the success stories of Turkish companies that have established strong businesses in the emirate.
Khalid Bin Butti Al Hajri, Director General of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), said; “As representatives of Sharjah’s vibrant private sector, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to providing all necessary facilitates to support parties seeking to set up a business in the emirate or who wish to expand upon their already established interests. This important Turkey-Sharjah Business Conference organised by Shurooq will enrich economic relations between Sharjah, the wider UAE and Turkey. It is likely to build upon the established strong relationship between the UAE and Turkey that over the past 10 years has seen bilateral trade between the two entities growing to reach more than USD 15 billion (AED 55 billion). It will also help to further add to the array of Turkish enterprises based in Sharjah, the number of which has exponentially increased from 21 in 2009 to more than 100 by the end of 2015.”
Among those who participated in the panel discussion were Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, Deputy Director of Sharjah FDI at Shurooq, Dr. Abdul aziz Al Muhairi, Director General of the Sharjah Health Authority, Idris Demirhan, Regional Director of the Istanbul Finance Center, Dr. Necdet Kerem, Founder of Turkish Sarilar Group, Abdul Aziz Dawood, Senior Sales Executive of the Hamriya Free Zone and Selahattin Urfali, Managing Director of GTT Group, who moderated the discussion.
Mr. Hakan Bahceci, CEO and President of Turkish Business Council (TBC), stated; “Turkey and Sharjah share many common historic, religious and cultural values which are widespread and known all over the world. The objective of our participation and involvement in this event is to pursue unique and strategic investments which Sharjah entities can explore in Turkey and vice versa. There are multiple investment prospects in Sharjah which we see significant importance to Turkish business owners and SMEs. Some of these prospects include agriculture, renewable energy, building material, military technologies and manufacturing. We see Sharjah as a symbolic gateway for Turkish companies interested in expanding their businesses across the region, similarly we are here to also promote Turkey as a unique gateway for Sharjah companies to expand their business across Europe.”
Shurooq is an independent government organisation that facilitates partnerships and connects investors with relevant opportunities. The authority aims to create authentic destinations that are committed to enhancing the quality of life for citizens and residents, as well as foster an environment where businesses thrive and ideas flourish. Established in 2009, Shurooq strives to encourage investment in Sharjah by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from across the region and the world.