Sharjah-India roundtable talks focus on investment prospects

Sharjah / Emirates Business

Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), the investment promotion agency dedicated to the continued transformation and economic diversification of Sharjah, organised the Sharjah-India Business Roundtable on the side-line of the second day of Indian-UAE Partnership Summit at the Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, as part of India’s continued interest in the emirate’s
diversified economy.
The roundtable focused on addressing the investment opportunities spanning across emerging sectors such as technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and renewable energy, in a bid to expand the number of businesses in Sharjah in the coming years.
Attending the roundtable was HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); Paras Shahdadpuri, Chairman of Nikai Group of companies; Sudesh K Aggarwal, Chairman of the Indian Business and Professional Council in Sharjah; senior representatives from the Business Leaders Forum (BLF); and more than 100 Indian investors.
Sharjah is one the key drivers for Indian outbound investment into the Gulf region, valued at more than $137 billion and a primary non-oil trade partner. Both Sharjah and India have shown significant growth, with the Indian economy expected to grow by 7.5% and UAE’s economy at an accelerated 3.9% rate in 2018.
Applauding the valuable relationship between India and Sharjah, HE Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) said: “Sharjah has historically been one of the key drivers for Indian outbound investment volumes into the Gulf region, and was a key access gateway for international markets looking to bolster their investments in India and the wider Asian region.”
He added: “Furthermore, our governments have a history of collaborating together across numerous cultural and business initiatives, reflecting on the diverse investment journey Sharjah and India have had for many centuries. Some of these partnerships include: being home to one of the top Indian and local schools across the emirate — the ASPAM Indian
International School, and forging strategic partnerships
between Shurooq and our friends and partners from the Indian Technical and Economic
Cooperation, Nikai Group.”
The well-rounded panel discussion titled “Investment Opportunities in Sharjah” included: Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah; H.E. Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director of Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA); Marwan Salim Al Meheiri, Head of International Exhibitions Section at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Lalu Samuel, Chairman of Kingston Holdings; Rafael Sanjurjo Lopez, Managing Director of Tandeef from Bee’ah-Sharjah Environment Company; and Iain Rawlinson, General Manager of Guftainer. The session was moderated by the popular columnist and media professional, Bikram Vohra.
The discussion connected representatives with the best trade experts to explore the visionary approach towards inclusive and sustainable investment opportunities while addressing current challenges.
During the panel session, Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh remarked: “There are more than 24,000 Indian companies registered in Sharjah’s free zones and mainland, operating across various sectors such as a healthcare, trade, education and retail. Our agenda is to grow this figure in the coming years by exploring new markets such as technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and IT solutions and technologies.”
He added: “This year’s business roundtable reflects on our initiatives to participate and organise high-level road shows locally and internationally aimed at developing bilateral relations between the UAE, Sharjah and India.”
He noted: “It also falls strategically in-line with the recent decree issued by our President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on establishing the nation’s first FDI Unit, operating under the Ministry of Economy, working in harmony with a number of local IPAs to drive and diversify FDI growth across numerous sectors in the nation.”
On his part, HE Saud Salim Al Mazourei said: “We see free zones such as HFZA and SAIF Zone as strategic platforms that provide Indian investors ideal business opportunities, unique economic growths, and the integration of a number of services across numerous fields.”
He added: “One of the key benefits that we will continue to provide and develop is our customised services towards Indian investors, which is a key part of our acknowledgement and belief that each investor requires a unique personalised touch that meet their requirements.”
Speaking on the most attractive markets for Indian investors in Sharjah, Marwan Salim Al Meheiri said: “The business roundtable is a key opportunity to address the substantial changes and development Sharjah’s economy underwent, and how these developments directly service Indian investors. Building on the recently announced successful milestone in the bilateral relations between the UAE and India, on the historic agreement which will enable businesses on both sides to bypass the US Dollar or any other foreign currency and trade directly in UAE Dirhams and the Indian Rupee.”

Leading discussions on Sharjah’s logistics and transportation industry, Gulftainer’s Iain Rawlinson highlighted some of the latest technologies ports in Sharjah such as Khorfakkan Port, which has adopted to streamline import and export services with speed and efficiency, proving to be one of the most key achievements in attracting new trade businesses from India to Sharjah. Rawlinson stressed that Gulftainer’s long-term mission is to develop these technologies into new solutions that will grow links between Sharjah and India.
Meanwhile, Rafael Sanjurjo Lopez explained that Sharjah’s leading waste management technologies, facilities and services have proven promising business grounds for Indian investors looking for business opportunities in waste segregation technologies and products, as well as recycling projects and ventures.
Lalu Samuel stressed on how important Sharjah’s markets are for Indian investors, especially that it is strategically located to service more than 50% of the world population, which serves as a great incentive for choosing Sharjah as the most ideal investment destination with lucrative markets and business opportunities.

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