The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) revealed that Sharjah Emirate is attracting more foreign companies and that the business community is growing more confident in the Emirate’s investment environment and advantages.
According to the SCCI, 3,108 new companies have been established and listed during the first half of 2017 and became members in the Chamber, raising the total number of members to 67,796 with a growth rate of 4.8% in total membership. These figures foster Sharjah's position as am attractive destination for foreign investments.
The new and renewed memberships in the Chamber amounted to 33,215 by the end of the first half of 2016, compared to 32,862 memberships in the same period in 2016, marking a growth rate of 1%. This asserts the advanced sustainability levels and global competitiveness of the business environment in Sharjah.
Another achievement by the SCCI is marked by the major strides it made in e-services to keep up with recent developments and changes in the business environment, with 99% of the membership renewals being carried out online during the first half of 2017, compared to 67.6% in 2016. This translates the successful efforts SCCI exerted to facilitate business practices for the private sector. The journey towards adopting the shift towards world-class electronic services that reflect the Emirate's vision of bolstering its reputation as a regional business and investment center.
H.E. Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the SCCI, said that global shifts in the business market did not have any negative impact on the business environment in Sharjah, as more international investors and businessmen are establishing their businesses in the Emirate. He also noted that this successful journey is the result of the wise policies and directives of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
Al Owais said that numbers are always the best indicator for the business environment and its competitiveness, and the fact that more than 3,000 new companies became members in the Chamber in the first half of the year reflects confidence in Sharjah and its business community and economic sectors. He said that the Sharjah Chamber's policy, which places the business community among its top priorities and seeks to attract foreign companies and establishments to the Emirate, has succeeded in achieving its goals and accentuating Sharjah as an ideal investment destination.
Furthermore, Al Owais explained that Sharjah’s achievements on all economic, social, and development levels - the most recent of which being its selection as World Book Capital 2019 – are the culmination of several factors including the wise vision of Sharjah's leadership, it's strategic location as a bridge between various markets in the region, the development of the legislative and regulatory environment and motivating business growth, and the abundance of opportunities in various economic sectors.
"I strongly believe that Sharjah will attract more publishing houses and companies and establishments that specialize in printing and distributing books towards 2019, particularly after the Emirate was named World Book Capital," Al Owais concluded.
For his part, H.E. Khalid bin Butti Al Hajri, Director General of the SCCI, explained that SCCI has streamlined the processes of listing businesses. He also praised the shift towards registering members and renewing memberships online which is a direct result of the steps taken to support the government's policy of achieving a smart shift in client services.
Al Hajri said that the strategy of the Chamber in serving clients is based on one-click services, simplifying procedures, and inspiring satisfaction and happiness, which would naturally expedite growth and development.
"We succeeded in transforming membership in Sharjah Chamber into a vital space for providing a large selection of advanced services that support our members in the work market. Our clients can access valuable information about promising economic sectors, and can communicate with specialists and experts in training and educational workshops and seminars about various economic issues related to their commercial activities," he added.
Al Hajri also noted that clients can also search for business opportunities and economic partnerships by communicating with fellow businessmen during the business meetings organized by the Chamber. Members can also avail for valuable services such as certificates of origin, certifications, and commercial arbitration services from the Sharjah International Arbitration Center of the SCCI.
Commenting on this milestone, Abdulaziz Mohammed Shattaf, Assistant Director-General for Members Services at the SCCI, said that the Chamber succeeded in adopting an innovative concept in customer support by providing assorted services that cover all the clients’ needs and requirements, which are positively reflected on membership renewal rats in the first half of 2017, marking a 2% growth compared to the same period in 2016. This indicates that the members are satisfied with the various services and initiatives provided by the Chamber.
Shattaf also expressed his expectations that the number of members will surpass 70,000 by the end of 2017, particularly as the Chamber is still working to attract more foreign companies. These efforts include participating in economic events abroad, and launching promotion campaigns for the Emirate of Sharjah and its business environment to visiting delegations, investors, and businessmen.