Sharjah 2016 | ECONOMY | B2B

Diversity through collaboration and partnership have been key to strengthening the economy. These two institutions have focused on strengthening Sharjah from the outside in and the inside out.

Jassem Mohamed Al Blooshi
Tatweer Forum
HE Abdalla sultan Al Owais
Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry

How are your two institutions working to strengthen the Sharjah economy?

Jassem Mohamed Al Blooshi His Highness founded Sharjah Tatweer Forum (STF) for a specific reason. The focus was on youth and encouraging them to participate in society and the development of the Emirate. STF is based upon three main goals. Firstly, capacity building, to develop young leaders and empower them to contribute innovative ideas to the Emirate of Sharjah and the UAE as a whole. Secondly, fostering public private partnerships and a culture of collaborations. Thirdly, providing a platform for innovation and entrepreneurship by facilitating the transfer of ideas, projects, and/or businesses to the concerned entities and officials for implementation. We are a think tank and a catalyst and we set the trends. Until 2010, our trend was leadership, and in 2012 we pushed a new buzzword, which matched the vision of His Highness: entrepreneur. The next focus that we launched in January of 2014 was innovation, and the response for that has been strong.

HE Abdalla sultan Al Owais The Chamber will remain keen on strengthening and developing economic and commercial relations, while exploring mutual investment opportunities. The basic purpose is also to develop our services in a manner that can promote its reputation worldwide; it will also help it to make a wider representation of the local business community at the global level. Annually, SCCI conducts a foreign visit program that is approved by the board of directors. Russia and Africa, with which SCCI is keen on building business networks for the benefit of local business community, are always among our most important markets. The chamber recently dispatched a business delegation to the Russian Federation in collaboration with a group of business establishments in Sharjah.

How do you look into the future and how you plan to achieve your goals?

JMAB We hold conferences every year and this year we will have a surprise focus on space. We are bringing in informed and well-known speakers from around the world to come and speak at a session. We started these special conferences when Dubai won the Expo 2020 and we brought in Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimi to talk about opportunities for the youth of the UAE. The outcome was phenomenal and now we bring in speakers at least once or twice a year. Another aspect of achieving our goals involves bolstering our partnerships. We have partnerships with most of Sharjah's government departments and the UAE's federal ministries. We currently have technology partners like SAP, academic partners like the American University of Sharjah, and are working with the University of Sharjah on an Arabic leadership program. We have a partnership with Etihad Airways as our official carrier, and consultants as partners like PwC and Bain & Co. For the next year, we are hoping to encourage innovative entrepreneurs who focus more on innovation to push our development goals.

ASAO There is no doubt that the future of the economic vision for Sharjah should be based on the development of the investment environment in a strategic framework; this would be fortified with the legislative frameworks protecting and attracting more investors and investments and encouraging the establishment of various projects by the joint contributions of local and foreign investors based on mutual interest. Hence, any challenges affecting trade and investment in Sharjah will be avoided through the concerted efforts of all government entities to overcome all the obstacles. Sharjah gains ground with the available resources and possibilities of its investment policy due to its clear vision and ambitious strategy to achieve sustainable and comprehensive development for all sectors, and this can be achieved by encouraging partnerships, boosting the role of the private sector, and encouraging investors and entrepreneurs to establish SMEs. Once these enterprises achieve their maximum desired revenues, growth, and continuity, they will drive economic growth and help achieve the desired growth targets. We believe that this vision, along with its strategic magnitudes, is supported by the government of Sharjah to ensure the implementation of its plans in a devised, creative, and successful manner. As we emphasized before, the economic diversification policy of Sharjah is a safety valve and a smart, wise step for sustainable long-term development and consolidated dynamic renewable economy elements, and one that is capable of attracting capital from various countries around the world.