The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry, SCCI, in collaboration with the Japan External Trade Organization in Dubai (JETRO Dubai), organized the Sharjah – Japan Business Forum, with a view to exploring investment opportunities between the business communities of both countries, opening new horizons of partnership and developing long-standing economic, trade and cultural relations between Sharjah and Japan.
Held at the SCCI headquarters, the event was attended by HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry SCCI, Waleed AbdelRahman BuKhatir, Second Vice Chairman of SCCI, a number of Board of Directors, HE Mohammad Ahmed Amin Al-Awadi, SCCI’s Director-General, Masami Ando, Managing Director of JETRO Dubai, Abdul Aziz Shattaf, SCCI’s Assistant General Director, Members Services Sector and Director of Sharjah Exports Development Center, Elie Jamil Armaly, Director of Business Development at Shurooq, officials from Sharjah authorities and departments, and a crowd of private sector representatives from Sharjah and Japan.
In this respect, the SCCI stressed the importance of the bilateral relations between Sharjah and Japan, expressing its readiness to provide all aspects of support to the private sector, establish business partnerships with the Japanese business community in various investment fields, streamline trade exchange and the entry of the local products with the highest international standards into the Japanese markets.
While welcoming the Japanese delegation, Abdul Aziz Shattaf, expressed his hope that the meeting will yield a new positive step towards strengthening economic cooperation and developing relations between the two business communities at various levels.
“The bilateral relations between the UAE and Japan are witnessing a remarkable development including all areas of economic and technological cooperation. This is reflected in the volume of non-oil trade exchange during the past ten years, which amounted to 13 billion dollars. while the value of Japanese investments in the UAE amounted to 14.3 billion dollars with a presence of 10 thousand companies, agencies, especially in the technology, renewable energy, transportation, and health care domains,” Shattaf elaborated.
He pointed out that the relationships between the two friendly countries have also witnessed an accelerated growth, boosted by the signing of 24 agreements and memorandum of understanding in many fields. This made the UAE one of Japan's largest trading partners worldwide.
Shattaf added: “The SCCI, as the first representative of Sharjah’s business community, is keen on reinforcing cooperation ties between the Emirati and Japanese business community for the benefit of the economy of the two friendly countries. I call on Japanese businessmen and companies to explore the opportunities available for investment in Sharjah and learn closely about the qualities of Sharjah’s investment environment, such as the state-of-the-art infrastructure and modern and flexible legislation and laws that safeguard economic capital and investment, in addition to vital location as a global commercial hub with easy access to all regional and global markets.”
“Thanks to the wise directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the Emirate has managed to become a prominent beacon in the global economic arena and a competitive destination for investors from all over the world, in view of its reliance on the policy of diversifying the economy and preparing for the fourth industrial revolution and the era of artificial intelligence” Shattaf concluded.
For his part, Masami Ando underlined the importance of the Emirate of Sharjah an investment destination for Japanese companies as a business incubator, pointing to the need to push bilateral relations to more growth and prosperity.
This would help enhance exploring more investment opportunities available in various sectors, serve the business community, and bolster the aspirations of the private sector on each side on the commercial and investment levels.
Ando thanked and appreciated the SCCI’s efforts in organizing this forum and the facilities provided to Japanese businessmen and their companies in Sharjah, inviting Emirati businessmen and investors to visit Japan to learn closely about the most important business opportunities in all sectors.
The Director of Business Development at Shurooq shed light on the unique features of the investment environment in the Emirate of Sharjah, and the opportunities available in various economic sectors, highlighting avenues to develop the business of Japanese companies in the local market which is seeing annual growth rates in many vital sectors.
This provides promising investment opportunities in the emirate, especially in tourism and recreation, transportation and supply services, health care, environment, education, and light industries, in addition to the most important development projects that is underway, and the incentives and facilities provided by the emirate to the capitals wishing to invest in it.
Jithin Varrier Business Development Executivev Sharjah Airport Free Zone provide a presentation on the advantages and services provided to investors, the most important of which is 100% business ownership, transfer of capital and profits without currency restrictions, and a full tax exemption.
A number of Japanese companies highlighted the privileges they provide in the food, lighting, decoration and packaging industries sectors, expressing their aspirations to expand their investments in the Emirate of Sharjah to take advantage of the supportive environment, distinct infrastructure, and the distinguished geographical location which makes it easy for those companies to penetrate other Gulf markets.
The forum rounded off by holding bilateral business meetings between businessmen of the two parties, which focused on discussing partnerships, cooperation and mutual coordination, and discussing available investment opportunities.
The Japanese delegation also toured the University City of Sharjah, in which they were briefed on the academic and public facilities and future projects.
The delegation visited also the Sharjah Airport International Free Zone Authority (SAIF ZONE), where they learned about the advantages and services provided to investors, the most important of which is 100% business ownership, transfer of capital and profits without currency restrictions, and a full tax exemption.
They were also briefed on the warehouses and offices provided by SAIF ZONE, along with competitive prices and the provision of equipment, workers and shipping services around the clock, which made it the best destination for investment in the Middle East region.