As part of its continuous and strategic support of Sharjah-China bilateral relations, the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), in association with Sharjah Media City (Shams), organised the first-ever Sharjah-Shenzhen Business Seminar on June 28, 2019, in Shenzhen, China. The seminar’s attendees included a large sum of senior government and business officials from Shenzhen’s private and public sector.
The seminar was part of a 3-day roadshow in China organised by Invest In Sharjah, June 25 – 28, which also saw the participation of Shams free zone.
The roadshow was led by Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Dr Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Media City (Shams), and Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah.
The primary objective of the business seminar was to explore unique business opportunities with China’s research and development sector, including large scale corporations and tech-firms based in Shenzhen, and showcase Sharjah’s free zones and unique investor services that have long positioned the emirate as a key and strategic gateway into UAE and wider MENA markets.
Participating at the business seminar were Rahma Abdulrahman Alshamsi, UAE Consul-General in Guangzhou, Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of Shurooq, and Dr Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Media City (Shams), as well as Mohammed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah, Li Jing He, Director Chief, Shenzhen Belt & Road Institute for Economy and Trade Strategy, Huang Jihong, President of Shenzhen Shenshang Holding Group Co., Ltd and Qu Jian, Vice President of China Comprehensive Development Research Institute.
Signalling the start of the Sharjah-Shenzhen business seminar was a welcome note by Rahma Abdulrahman Alshamsi who said: “The relationship between the UAE and China has a time-honored history and has yielded fruitful results. In the economic field, China has long maintained the status as UAE’s largest trading partner. In 2018, the bilateral trade amounted over $50 billion. At the same time, UAE is also a gateway for Chinese goods in the Middle East region and north Africa.”
He continued: “the Sharjah-Shenzhen Business Seminar is the realization of the vision of the two countries’ leaders to develop and enhance the bilateral relationship of all aspects in the economic and trade cooperation. In the past few years, the emirate of Sharjah, with the rapid development in the process of building a leading industrial center, has become a model for comprehensive and balanced development in the economic, trade and social fields.”
In his speech at the seminar, Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal said: “Shurooq has been a key partner in China for more than 10 years, extending key business opportunities and economic bridges between the Chinese SMEs, enterprises, community and the emirate of Sharjah. Our visit this year, led by Invest in Sharjah, operating under Shurooq, and under the participation of Shams, focuses on representing key sectors that meet the requirements, demands and trends of Chinese investors worldwide, and the opportunity to invest in one of the safest and most stable economies in the region, and to tap into its non-oil economy which is valued at Dhs89 billion ($24.2 billion) in GDP as of 2018, according to the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD).”
He added: “Research and development is one of the key growth sectors common between Sharjah and Shenzhen. Our objective is to tap into Shenzhen’s 78-billion-yuan R&D market, and to grant access to top Chinese tech and consumer brands to explore their R&D performances and increase their business prospects into the region from Sharjah.”
Leading discussions on key solutions and benefits Chinese firms can enjoy today by setting up their businesses at the Sharjah Media City (Shams), Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman of Shams (Sharjah Media City) said: “Shams has played a key role in helping media businesses grow and thrive. Our goal has always been to create an environment that attracts new talents enthusiastic to live, learn and co-create. Over the years, Shams has become a lucrative option for foreign investors because of its provision of 100 % ownership, flexible visa options, zero corporate taxes and flexible options to set up a business online.”
He added: “Today, Chinese property investors are currently among the top four foreign nationalities choosing to invest in the UAE’s economy. Both the countries operate on a foundation of transparency and credibility, fueled by the vision of great leaders working together to bring the ideas and aspirations of its people to life. With plenty of Chinese companies operating in the UAE, and the massive influx of Chinese tourists to Dubai these nations share a comprehensive strategic partnership not only in economic, political, and commercial areas, but also in other areas such as culture and education.”
On his part Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah explained: “Organising this first-ever business seminar in Shenzhen reflects on our mission and vision to continue in strengthening Sharjah’s economic presence within China’s emerging markets,”The high-level roadshow in China also saw the participation of Invest in Sharjah at the Global Trade Development Week (GTDW) in Shanghai from June 25–27.