The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has announced a series of significant achievements made over the course of the past year (2023), underscoring its multifaceted endeavours in bolstering the business community.
In 2023, the Chamber saw a notable increase in its total registered memberships, reaching 72,187, with 7,160 new members joining—a growth rate of 10% from the 65,000 members recorded in 2022.
According to SCCI data, the number of membership renewals in 2023 hit 55,087 across industrial, commercial, and professional sectors. Additionally, free zone memberships stood at 1,795, while exports and re-exports were valued at approximately AED 33 billion.
These achievements reaffirm SCCI’s commitment to fostering sustainable economic development within Sharjah, enhancing the growth of various economic sectors, improving the sustainable performance of the private sector, and attracting direct investments.
HE Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of SCCI, emphasised that the notable accomplishments made over the past year clearly reflect the chamber’s success in meeting the strategic goals of its 2022–2024 strategy. These include not only supporting the business sector and fostering sustainable economic practices, but also stimulating the growth and diversification of Sharjah's exports and investment inflows and enhancing the economic development trajectory of Sharjah.
"Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on promoting Sharjah’s economic competitiveness, through launching a series of projects and initiatives that promise to inject new vitality into the business community, bolstering the private sector's performance and its competitive standing on a global scale." Al Owais added.
For his part, HE Mohammad Ahmed Amin Al Awadi, Director-General of SCCI, said: "The Sharjah Chamber, along with its affiliated entities, has made significant strides, propelling the external expansion of our members. We've deepened economic partnerships with key markets regionally and globally through proactive collaboration with specialised bodies, diplomatic missions, and official delegations.
“In 2023, we've held over 100 business meetings organised and participated in more than 10 investment seminars and forums, coupled with the signing and enactment of nine agreements and memoranda of understanding with various countries and international chambers of commerce. These achievements have played a pivotal role in bolstering Sharjah's economic presence internationally and facilitating our members' access to new markets," Al Awadinoted.
Al Awadi highlighted that in 2023, the Chamber dispatched several trade missions abroad, aiming to widen its global trade partner network, foster closer ties with countries worldwide, spur business growth, and attract investment to the emirate by leading missions to nations like India, Uganda, and Kenya, where numerous business forums were hosted.
The SCCI also engaged in organising, coordinating, and participating in events that support sectoral business groups on a regional and international scale, seeking new business investment opportunities. Moreover, the Sharjah Exports Development Centre, associated with the Chamber, represented the Emirate and its members at a wide range of international events and exhibitions over the last year.
The marketing campaigns launched by the Chamber last year stood out for their remarkable success, profoundly influencing several economic sectors, notably retail and tourism. Among these, were the "Sharjah Summer Promotion 2023" "and Sharjah Ramadan Festival. Additionally, the "Sharjah Shopping Promotions" attracted thousands of shoppers from across the emirates and tourists to Sharjah's prime tourist spots and markets. This was particularly evident in the Eastern Region, home to the successful "Kalba Winter" initiative, further boosting the emirate's appeal as a shopping and tourism destination.
Also in 2023, the Sharjah Excellence Award, organized annually by the Chamber as part of its commitment to fostering a culture of quality and institutional excellence as well as adopting best practices within the UAE and Gulf private sectors, underwent significant transformations. the award witnessed not only substantial participation from the UAE and Gulf business communities but also notable developments in various award categories.
These changes aimed to boost the level of positive competition among the economic entities participating in the award, reflecting a qualitative leap in the pursuit of excellence and innovation in the region's business landscape.
The Sharjah Training & Development Centre, operating under the umbrella of the SCCI, achieved notable success in its mission to improve workforce skills and knowledge. The centre conducted 66 training programmes, benefiting 588 individuals from both the public and private sectors. Additionally, it focused on the future generation and job seekers by training and qualifying 71 students from various universities, colleges, and schools and job seekers.
Furthermore, 25 specialized internal training programs were arranged for staff members, training 131 male and female employees for a total of 3,377 hours dedicated to enhancing the skills of the Chamber's workforce.
Additionally, 16 field visits were conducted to observe the best practices of the Center, and 105 Human Resources Department employees received training, totaling 1,260 hours.
Moreover, 7 educational and awareness workshops and seminars were organized for both the Chamber's employees and individuals from the public and private sectors.
The centre also signed five new cooperation agreements and memoranda of understanding, along with the implementation of two HACCP consultations in the food sector for the benefit of the private sector.