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Mon 17-11-2014 17:46 PM

Shurooq strengthens US ties during Sharjah-US roundtable

SHARJAH, 17th November, 2014 (WAM) -- Continuing its commitment to promoting Sharjah as a world-class destination for international investment, the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shurooq, has concluded the Sharjah-US Business Roundtable, which was arranged in collaboration with the American Business Council of Dubai and the Northern Emirates at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 16th of November.

The event was attended by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Shurooq, Rob Waller, US Consul-General, Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority, Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, Ramsey Jurdi, President of the American Business Council Dubai, Hussain Al Mahmoudi, Director-General of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Bjron Kjerfve Chancellor, American University of Sharjah, UAE, Saud Al Mazroui, Director of Hamriya Free Zone and SAIF Zone Authority, Conny Boettger, Destination Development Manager at Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, SCTDA, Dr. Abdulaziz Al Muhairi, Director of the Sharjah Health Authority, and Mohammed Al Hosani, Director of Sales of Bee’ah, as well as members of the American Business Council and representatives of the US business community.

The Roundtable formed the most recent of a number of of initiatives and events by Shurooq to encourage investment from the US, which included a series of high level investment seminars that were held by the Authority in Washington DC in April this year.

Speaking during her opening address, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi reaffirmed the strong ties that exist between Sharjah and the US. "Sharjah and the US are no strangers. We have a long and successful shared business history that has brought benefit and progress to both our countries. Our emirate is growing, and I am very pleased that the American business communities have been and continue to be very important partners in this growth." In his welcome note Rob Waller said, "Supporting the business and trade ties between our two countries is of the highest policy priority and we are justifiably proud of the strength of our trade relationship. We’ve enjoyed three years of record-breaking trade between the US and the UAE and as we look forward we see even more opportunity to strengthen our business relationships. We are particularly enthusiastic about the opportunities here in Sharjah and look forward to the day’s discussion of the Emirate’s four business pillars." The welcomes were followed by a presentation on investment and tourism projects by Shurooq CEO, Marwan Al Sarkal, which gave an overview of the four key sectors identified by Shurooq as major areas of potential growth, namely travel and tourism, environment, healthcare, and transport and logistics.

The presentation also highlighted a number of tourism projects being undertaken by the Authority, including Al Jabal Resort – The Chedi Khorfakkan, Sir Bu Nair Island, Mlieha Eco-tourism project, the Heart of Sharjah, Al Bait Hotel, Al Majaz Waterfront, Flag Island, the Kalba Eco-tourism project, Al Montazah Amusement and Water Park, and Al Hisn Island – Dibba Al Hisn. Al Sarkal emphasised that through these projects Shurooq aims to stimulate the local economy, while also providing foreign investors with unique opportunities to leverage on the exceptional development that Sharjah’s tourism and leisure sector is currently experiencing.

The roundtable furter included presentations by Sharjah authorities representing the Emirate’s key growth areas.

According to recent figures issued by the American government, the UAE is one of the fastest growing trade partners of the USA. Total bilateral trade between both countries has grown from about $4.5 billion in 2002 to $24.8 billion in 2012. In the first nine months of last year, the total value of trade between the UAE and the USA rose by 12.5 per cent to $20,56 billion (AED75.46 billion), compared with $18.27 billion (AED67.05 billion) in the first nine months in 2012 - a strong growth that reflects the desire of both countries to further expand their bilateral relations.