Sharjah-France Economic Forum highlights mutual trade interests - GulfToday

Sharjah-France Economic Forum highlights mutual trade interests

Sharjah-France

Officials during the Economic Forum between the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and France.

Business Bureau, Gulf Today

The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) has called on businessmen and investors in the Emirate of Sharjah to explore and take advantage of the mutual investment opportunities with the business community in France, so as to open new horizons of partnership and develop the long-standing economic, trade and cultural relations between the UAE and France.

The SCCI emphasised the importance of France as a promising market within the European Union, expressing its readiness to provide all aspects of support to the private sector in the Emirate of Sharjah to build up business partnerships with the French business community in various fields of investment and to facilitate trade exchange and entry of national products that meet the highest international standards to French markets.

The statements came on the sidelines of the Sharjah-France Economic Forum, organised by the SCCI on Monday, in collaboration with the French Business Council (FBC) in Dubai & Northern Emirates. The forum shed light on the investment opportunities available for the French companies in economic, touristic and cultural sectors in the Emirate of Sharjah.

Present at the forum were Abdallah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ludovic Pouille, French Ambassador to the UAE, Khaled Jassem Al-Madfaa, Chairman of Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, Mohamed Ahmed Amin, SCCI’s Director-General.

Also president were Geoffroy Bunetel, FBC President, Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) and Najla Al-Midfa, Chief Executive Officer of Sheraa -Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center, as well as a number of officials from government departments and private sector representatives in Sharjah and France.

The forum reviewed the advantages of a number of economic sectors in Sharjah and highlighted the joint investment opportunities in vital sectors including energy and sustainability, free zones sector, government sector, higher education and culture sector, entrepreneurship sector, small and medium-sized enterprises, tourism and hospitality and healthcare sector.

The forum also provided an opportunity for businessmen from both countries to discuss cooperation and investment opportunities available for both sides, strengthen trade relations and promote mutual investment between Sharjah and France.

Sharjah: Ideal hub for French Companies At the outset of the forum, HE Abdallah Sultan Al Owais welcomed members of the French Business Council, wishing that the forum will contribute to enhancing the economic and trade relations, as well as the cooperation between the two friendly countries, stressing that the UAE has strong political, economic and social ties with France.

Al Owais added that the forum stresses Sharjah’s good reputation on the economic level and reaffirm its cultural and scientific position on the international level.

It also reflects Sharjah’s great attention to the spread of culture, the book industry, thought, research, translation and the arts. These efforts have been culminated with naming Sharjah as the World Book Capital City for the year 2019 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

This selection is also a culmination of the continuous and sustained efforts of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.

Al Owais further said: “The SCCI strives to connect the UAE government, private entities, and Emirati entrepreneurs with the investment entities and businessmen in France. The Chamber is also keen to introduce Sharjah’s economic resources and its investment opportunities to the French business community, and seek a joint mechanism of action between the two sides.” He added that the economic relations between the UAE and France are dynamic and diversified. This is evident in the bilateral commitment to strengthening political, strategic and commercial relations, as well as military, educational, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation.

“Over the past years, the relations between the two countries witnessed a remarkable development in several fields, the most important of which is the economic field, where the French companies and expertise make an important contribution to the development process of the UAE,” Al Owais pointed out.

He added: “This is clearly reflected in the volume of trade in goods and products between the two countries. The UAE ranks second in the GCC countries among the French trade markets. The value of French exports amounted to 3.4 billion euros, the volume of trade between the two countries reached 4.5 billion euros, and there are more than 600 branches of French companies operating in the UAE, most of them are major companies, and the UAE is the largest Gulf investor in France.” Al Owais underscored that the Emirate of Sharjah is considered an ideal hub for French companies in the Middle East.