Despite the impact of the pandemic on the global economy, the balanced and outstanding performance of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has clearly reflected the robustness and strength of the Sharjah economy and its ability to overcome global challenges and crises. This is evident in the SCCI’s accomplished transactions in 2020, where the total number of new and renewed memberships reached 57103, of which 4,320 new memberships and 2,128 free zone memberships, while the number of certificates of origin issued during the past year reached 71961 certificates.
The value of exports and imports in 2020 has amounted to AED about 21.5 billion. These numbers are yet another testament to the SCCI’s pivotal role in supporting the GDP through its initiatives and its keenness to develop economic sectors, raise their productivity, and increase their investments.
In 2020, the Chamber has achieved 100% in the smart transformation of its services to meet the requirements of its members. This includes completing 141,596 digital transactions, developing a bunch of smart services to help members run their businesses without the need to visit the Chamber or its various branches, providing electronic attestation services for all transactions, and printing the certificates of origin from the companies' offices, in addition to providing membership certificates print out from 4 service centers in the Eastern Region “Tasheel” (Dhaid, Khor Fakkan and Kalba).
The Chamber has also made great strides in the 10th industrial zone infrastructure reconstruction project which is worth 120 million dirhams, completing 60% of the infrastructure works for the first phase. The project aims to reconstruct the whole area, provide the best services for the individuals, uplift the emirate's competitive position, develop its economic environment and investment attractiveness, and enhance its development sustainability.
The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SCCI, has won the 13th cycle of the Arabia CSR (corporate social responsibility) Awards in the category of public sector organization/departments and has completed the processes of renewing the ISO certification for the Integrated Quality Management System ISO 9001: 2015, Environment ISO 14001: 2015 and Occupational Health and Safety ISO 45001: 2018 in the Chamber and its affiliated institutions.
Furthermore, the Chamber has launched the “Sadder” (export) Fund, the first of its kind fund across the Emirate Sharjah for financing export operations. “Sadder” Fund falls under the Sharjah Exports Development Center (SEDC) of the SCCI and it aims to increase the rate of exports, open new markets, expand the export map of the SEDC’s affiliates, provide liquidity to exporters, and reduce the risk ratio in export operations through credit insurance.
2020 witnessed intensive meetings between the Chamber and private sector representatives, especially the sectoral business groups, where more than 12 meetings were held to discuss challenges and solutions, while the number of meetings and business meetings with representatives of diplomatic missions, specialized bodies, and official delegations reached 22 meetings, in addition to organizing a tour for business councils in the Emirate of Sharjah and launching the identity of business councils under the umbrella of the Chamber. This is in addition to organizing UAE-Luxembourg Business Forum, the UAE-Japan Business Forum, the Executive Emirati-German Economic Roundtable organized by the UAE Embassy in Berlin, and the Sharjah - Alexandria Business Forum.
And as part of its commitment to enhancing the emirate’s competitiveness and fulfilling the private sector requirements, the Chamber has launched the ‘Sharjah Shopping Promotions’ which aimed to boost sales and revitalize the retail sector in the emirate with the participation of several shopping centers and thousands of retail stores.
The Sharjah Excellence Award, one of the Chamber's initiatives, witnessed a bunch of fundamental changes to cope with the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, where the 2020 and 2021 editions were merged, in addition to enhancing support for entrepreneurs, SMEs, and entrepreneurs with disabilities. This included allocating cash prizes for the distinguished entrepreneurs and waiving the participation fees for this year’s award.
The Chamber also celebrated the first anniversary of the establishment of the Small & Medium Enterprises Center (Tijarah 101), one of the SCCI’s initiatives to support and motivate young people to engage in commercial and economic business, and to create positive a work environment to promote sustainable development in society, in addition to prioritizing the Center’s members from the event management companies to take part in organizing a number of exhibitions at Expo Center Sharjah, Expo Al Dhaid, and Expo Khor Fakkan.
His Excellency Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said: “What has been achieved during the past year confirms the correctness of the strategic thinking we have pursued, in line with the visions and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the strenuous follow-up of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and the fruitful efforts exerted to enhance business sustainability and resilience to cope with the current circumstances by facilitating business practices in the emirate.”
Al Owais expressed his optimism about the performance of the emirate's economy during 2021, stressing that the success of Sharjah and the UAE in general in overcoming the pandemic challenges is attributed to the directives of the wise leadership, and its keenness since the start of the pandemic to launch a number of initiatives and programs to help curb its impact on the business community, ensure the continuity and sustainability of the business, and strengthen investor’s private sector’s confidence in the UAE’s business environment.
His Excellency Mohammad Ahmed Amin Al-Awadi, SCCI Director-General, lauded the high performance and tremendous efforts exerted by the Chamber’s teams, especially during the remote work stage, as well as their keenness to serve the business community and overcome the challenges, explaining that the positive numbers revealed clearly reflect investors’ confidence in the Emirate of Sharjah and confirm the wise vision of our wise leadership, which has made the emirate a safe destination for business in the region and has resulted in accelerating Sharjah’s economic recovery, as well as has contributed to defining future investment trends for the post-Covid-19 phase.