Advice. During the discussion a number of important financial fact and figures relating to Portugal and Sharjah were reiterated, with the observation that the two entities have a great deal in common.
Cited during the talks was the March 2016 report from Moody's, the renowned bond credit rating organisation, that stated that Portugal's economy was ranked as ‘very comfortable’ and its expectation that the country would experience strong growth as its government pursues more strategic local and global investments.
Also mentioned was the statistic that bilateral trade between the UAE and Portugal was valued at AED 1.23 bn in 2015, with the two countries aiming to double this figure to AED 2.5 bn in 2016. Sharjah’s positioning as one of the leading and most diverse economy across the entire MENA region was highlighted.
Mohammed Al Musharrkh, Deputy Director of Sharjah Foreign Direct Investment at Shurooq, said, "We seek to attract foreign direct investment to Sharjah, through introducing business and stakeholders to the diverse features and opportunities in the emirate by means of internal and external promotional campaigns. Over the past few years, Shurooq has launched a number of projects that have transformed Sharjah into an attractive destination in the tourism investment sector. These projects need technology and consulting experts, as well as other key professionals. This represents a great opportunity for Portuguese companies to achieve a great ROI within a tax-free work environment."
For his part, Mohamed Almahmoud, Commercial Director, Sharjah Airport international Free Zone, said, "Our free Zone offers a range of incentives and attractions to investors, such as the possibility of 100 per cent company ownership, exemption from taxes, rapid granting of visas, quick facilitating of incorporation procedures, close proximity to the airport ensuring the smooth flow logistic operations, and the ability to get a business license within 48 hours, with plans to reduce the time to two hours in the near future."
For his turn, Fahad Shehail, Chief development Officer at Bee’ah,’ said; "Bee’ah focuses on responsible environmental practices, waste management and spreading awareness about the importance of recycling. The company currently recycles 70 per cent of waste going to dumpsters in the emirate. Our goal is to increase waste recycling up to 100 per cent and we are collaborating with partners to achieve this. Bee’ah will soon start operating in Saudi Arabia and Oman, which confirms its success in establishing its name on the wider regional map. Our operations give Portuguese companies opportunities in several fields, including; investing in the marketing of our production of raw materials that are produced as a result of the recycling operations, such as plastic, wood, glass and compost."
Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Muhairi, Director of the Sharjah Health Authority, said, "The health sector in Sharjah includes pioneering projects that attract international companies. Our most important project is Sharjah Medical City, which extends over an area of 2.5 million square metres and is designed to be the first city of its kind in the world. There are huge opportunities to invest in the city, with its highly advanced infrastructure and strategic location near the Mohammed bin Zayed road and Emirates Road. Sharjah Medical City provides an entire array of health facilities, including those not found elsewhere in the UAE. All of these factors make it one of the most attractive investment destinations in the UAE, especially with regards to the benefits we offer to investors, such as the ability to complete proceedings through a single window."
Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Head of the Commercial Investment Section, Sharjah Economic Development Department, said; "Our department is dedicated to making business in the emirate straightforward and complication-free. In doing so, we have provided investors with 130 electronic and intelligent services designed to save them a great deal of time and effort. Sharjah Economic Development Department also ensures that its structures are sustainable. I am confident that Portuguese companies looking to invest in Sharjah will find what they are looking for in the emirate’s rich projects that provide them with real opportunities from which they can benefit."
Finally, giving her experience of setting up a company in Sharjah, Lurdes Eusebio, Managing Director of The First International Business, said that it was a combination of ease of operation and Sharjah’s central location that encouraged her to start her business in the emirate. She explained that she received her business licence in one day, was able to enjoy 100 per cent ownership of her company and since starting it, has enjoyed numerous services in the emirate that have facilitated its growth and expansion.