As part of its ever-increasing drive to attract more foreign business into the UAE, the Sharjah FDI Office ‘Invest in Sharjah’, the investment promotional arm of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), has reinforced the emirate’s investment advantages at major global events in China’s two fastest growing cities.
Participating at the 2017 World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment on 23-24 May in Shanghai, the centre of the country’s business, finance, information and culture, and concluding its participation at the China Offshore Summit on 24-25 May in Shenzhen, China’s fastest developing city in terms of investment activities, innovation capability and technology exchange, Invest in Sharjah showcased the benefits and incentives of investing in the UAE in general and Sharjah in particular, providing insights and investment opportunities through its “Invest in Sharjah” stand.
The delegation included Yonghui Ma, Investment Promotion Manager at Invest in Sharjah and Saif Al Suwaidi, Investment Promotion Manager at Invest in Sharjah. The delegation described the events in both Shanghai and Shenzhen as ideal opportunities to continue investment momentum for the UAE, with estimates for last year’s bilateral trade with China as high as US$60 billion. They pointed to the fact that there are approximately 4,200 Chinese companies operating in the country, including China State Construction, China National Petroleum, HUAWEI, Bank of China, ICBC, China COSCO Shipping and many more.
The China Offshore Summit in Shenzhen was billed as an opportunity for information exchange, business development and much-needed education for Chinese intermediaries with a full day of focus on wealth management and a full day on corporate structuring. In just over 30 years, the city’s GDP has grown at an average annual speed of 25%, a similar story to the UAE’s. The forum centred around the most effective use of tax planning and asset management tools available in low-tax jurisdictions.
Marwan Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq said: “With such a dynamic local economy and a variety of investors looking for the best possible overseas options, our delegation enabled Sharjah an excellent impression. We offer perfect free zone, tax-free opportunities with a burgeoning economy of our own and a strategic location that has been a crucial part of commerce with the Far East for centuries.”
He added: “China had outbound investments totalling USD 109 billion in the first quarter of this year, and we have maximised our opportunities to hold Sharjah up as a shining example of wise investment and a highly lucrative partner. This has been an extremely productive event for us.”
Last year, Shanghai recorded its highest economic growth since 2008, with a rise of 6.8%, and in 2014, the city accounted for approximately 15% of China’s total utilised Foreign Direct Investment. Up to the end of last year, it had received 31,440 foreign invested projects, the total value of which amounted to over 73 billion USD. With a population of more than 23 million residents, there is plenty of scope for more investment to come.
Al Sarkal added: “This has obviously been an opportunity for Chinese investors to see what we have to offer in terms of investment potential and also for us to gauge first-hand the confidence in the market. From what we have seen, the future looks extremely positive.”