The Memorandum is a direct result of Sharjah Roadshow in USA; aims to strengthen UAE-USA economic ties
Sharjah, 20 November 2013: The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and the National US Arab Chamber of Commerce, on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at strengthening investment and commercial relations between the Emirate of Sharjah and the United States of America and developing mutual economic cooperation, with the goal of promoting investment and enhancing exports and exchange of visits by trade delegations.
The MoU was signed by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), and Amin Salam, Vice President of the National US Arab Chamber of Commerce, in the presence of a number of officials from Shurooq.
The agreement makes provision for the expansion of business networks and opportunities between Sharjah and the USA, and encourages the smooth flow of economic information, statistics and business data to facilitate trade contracts and activate joint venture projects.
It also stipulates the participation of each party in trade shows and conferences organized by the other, overcoming obstacles facing the growth of investments and businesses, encouraging bilateral investments, and exchanging expertise and training.
Highlighting the deep-rooted economic and diplomatic relations between the UAE and the USA, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi said, “The UAE enjoys excellent relations with the USA, and there is a great deal of cooperation between the two nations in a number of areas. Bilateral ties are also continually expanding with growing economic, cultural and artistic exchange. US entities have had an effective and successful presence in Sharjah for a long time, and we are keen to forge channels of communication with influential investment parties in order to drive our bilateral cooperation forward in various fields, and to ensure broader collaboration in the future.”
The total value of trade between the UAE and the USA rose by 12.5 per cent in the first nine months of this year, to $20,56 billion (AED75.46 billion), compared with $18.27 billion (AED67.05 billion) in the first nine months in 2012 – a strong growth that reflects the desire of both countries to further expand their bilateral relations.
Sheikha Bodour added, “Sharjah has, since the 1960s, been an attractive business, tourism and cultural destination in the Gulf region. Shurooq is seeking, in collaboration with local and international organizations, to further consolidate the emirate’s position in the region and the globe.” She emphasized that: “Sharjah is an ideal hub for investment in the Middle East thanks to its strategic location which offers direct access to the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, its incentive and flexible legislative structure, its state-of-the art facilities and sophisticated logistics infrastructure, as well as its friendly investment environment and its cultural, educational and artistic offerings.”
Shurooq’s Chairperson also pointed out that the MoU comes as a direct result of the Roadshow in the USA that was organized by Shurooq last month, and believes that the agreement will contribute to boosting Sharjah’s position as a regional hub for US investments in the Middle East and attracting US companies to regional markets. “It will also enhance the Sharjah’s status as a leading destination for business and investment, driven by the safe haven reputation boasted by the UAE, its investment legislation, and its modern sea- and airports that contribute to facilitating and speeding up the procedures for the exchange of goods between the two countries.”
She went on to say that the newly signed agreement with the US Arab Chamber of Commerce will serve as a new and effective channel of communication to foster partnership opportunities between Sharjah and the USA, to achieve common goals, and to explore investment opportunities in vital sectors such as tourism, healthcare, logistics and the environment. In addition, it could lead to development of various other means of cooperation.
Amin Salam expressed his delight at the signing of the MoU, stating that it will help strengthen economic and trade cooperation between the UAE and the USA and open up broader avenues for US partnerships and economic expansions in the region via Sharjah. He noted that the recent Sharjah Roadshow in the USA revealed the various investment opportunities and significant facilities for investors.
Salam commended the high-level relations between the USA and the UAE, emphasizing that the MoU will work towards further developing these relations by encouraging investors in both countries to learn more about the outstanding investment opportunities available, and by providing the best possible facilities to help foster relations between corporate and commercial entities in the two friendly countries. He referred, specifically, to the desire of American investors to open up new business markets and inject core investments into countries offering outstanding facilities.
Shurooq organized the Sharjah Roadshow in the USA, which took place from 30 September to 4 October under the slogan ‘Sharjah – Promising Opportunities, Global Horizons’. Led by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Corporation and Sharjah Media Centre, the Roadshow saw the participation of over 20 entities and organizations from the emirate’s public and private sector participating with the aim to promote Sharjah’s investment, business, and cultural offerings while exploring means of cooperation and enhancing bilateral commercial relations.
The Sharjah delegation to the USA successfully concluded 300 meetings in Washington DC and New York, where they highlighted Sharjah as a distinctive business, tourism and cultural destination offering highly competitive industrial, business and service offerings as well as investment opportunities and outstanding facilities and incentives. They also explored the possible avenues of cooperation in the sectors of education, health and culture.
According to recent figures issued by the American government, the UAE is one of the fastest growing trade partners of the USA. Total bilateral trade between both countries has grown from about $ 4.5 billion in 2002 to $ 24.8 billion in 2012.
Established in 2009, Shurooq strives to encourage investment in the emirate of Sharjah by adopting the best international standards in providing quality services that help attract investors from the region and the world.
Shurooq’s key mission is to provide facilities and incentives to help overcome obstacles facing investment activities in the Emirate, evaluate tourism and investment related infrastructure projects, and lay down the necessary plans to complete such projects.