(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) is conducting a series of meetings in France on the 4th and 5th of March in the run up to its participation in ITB Berlin 2013 from the 6th to the 10th of March.
The delegation, which includes Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Mohamed Al Musharrakh, Head of Investment Promotion, Shurooq, and Saud al Mazroee, Commercial Director, Hamriya Freezone Authority, is meeting with leading business, economic, energy, and trade organisations in France with the aim of discussing the available investment opportunities in Sharjah, as well as to familiarise potential French investors with the various policies, initiatives, business opportunities afforded to international investors by Sharjah's government departments and to explore avenues of mutual cooperation in the future.
Shurooq is taking the opportunity to introduce the four sectors that the Authority has identified as key areas for investment and development focus, namely healthcare, travel and leisure, logistics and transportation, and the environment to the French market.
Shurooq CEO Marwan Al Sarkal, commented, "Through focussing on these four sectors we aim to offer investors an in depth overview and sector guide to Sharjah's significant business potential and investment opportunities. In addition to its strategic central location and progressive business legislation, Sharjah currently has the most diversified economy in the UAE, making it an ideal destination for foreign investors wishing to either enter the Middle East market or further consolidate their presence in the region. Our primary goal at Shurooq is to ensure that potential investors have every possible form of support needed to ease their entry into Sharjah with the overall aim of further bolstering the Emirate and the UAE's economic growth." "The bonds of friendship, mutual respect, and trust between the UAE and France are well established, as is clearly evidenced by the number of cooperation agreements in effect between the two countries. Trade relations between the Emirates and France are also dynamic and diverse; in 2011 the UAE became France's leading trade partner in the GCC, with the value of French exports to the UAE rising to more than 3.5 billion Euros.
During these meetings, our aim is to further build on these bonds and deepen the cooperative nature of our interaction with our French counterparts, especially in light of the recently held first ever Sharjah-French Round-Table, a collaboration between Shurooq and the French Business Council in the UAE, which is also based in Sharjah. " Al Sarkal stated.
He went on to add that the meetings form part of Shurooq's larger business promotion strategy for the emirate throughout Europe this year, and that the Authority looks forward to a number of highly fruitful meetings with representatives of France's governmental and private sectors.
On the 4th of March, Shurooq had a meeting with Mohammed Meer Abdullah Al Raisi the UAE Ambassador to France, followed by a meeting with Joseph Burgarella, CEO of CIAS International Technologies, as well as meeting with representatives from the Franco Arab Chamber, including Chairman Herve de Charette, Secretary General Dr Saleh Baker, and CEO Neirouz Fahad along with 12 other companies representing different sectors in France, in addition to attending a lunch hosted by the Franco Arab Chamber on the same day.
There are currently in the region of 1,000 French companies present in the UAE and according to a report released by Abu Dhabi Chamber in 2010, trade between the Emirates and France had reached AED 14.3 billion by the end of 2010. France is also the 8th largest supplier of the UAE, with imports spanning a range of different commodities.
In addition there are about 11 Emirati companies currently investing in France in a diverse range of sectors, including aviation, tourism, banks, finance, building ships, properties, developing and operating industrial zones, and food.