Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) introduced Sharjah’s investment proposition to businesses in United Kingdom this month, participating in the second edition of the GCC-British Economic Forum, which took place on 21 July in London. Organised by the Arab British Chamber of Commerce and hosted in London, the forum was attended by senior officials, executives, and investors from Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Held under the theme ‘Vision, Challenges and Ambitions: Integration Prospects for a Better Future,’ the one-day event was supported by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and UK Trade & Investment. Shurooq CEO H.E. Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal and Shurooq Head of Investment Promotion Mohammed Juma Al Musharrakh also participated in ‘Social and Economic Development’ panel session of the event.
Sharjah Investment and Development Authority has stepped up its trade and investment promotion efforts in the UK, opening a permanent office in London earlier this year. Last year the Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) to encourage, promote and facilitate investment and development cooperation between Sharjah and the United Kingdom.
In April 2016, Shurooq held ‘Sharjah Day’ in London, a business–to-business (B2B) forum aimed at introducing British investors and businesspersons to investment opportunities in Sharjah, with an emphasis on the many projects run by Shurooq.
The United Arab Emirates is the UK’s largest Middle East market and the 12th biggest export market globally, with bilateral trade between the two countries reaching GBP 12.95 billion (AED 78.4b*) in 2014. Around 50% of UK goods imported by the UAE are re-exported to region markets, making the Emirates a key trading hub for British companies. There are about 5,000 British companies operating in the UAE and around 120,000 British nationals resident in the country. The UAE and the United Kingdom plan to double bilateral trade to GBP 25 billion (AED 120.5b**) by the year 2020.
Source: Shurooq, ABCC
* calculated at 2014 average exchange rates
** calculated at current exchange rates