SHARJAH, (Pakistan Point News - 24th Jun, 2018) The 2018 Oxford business Group, OBG, report for Sharjah shows that the emirate’s policy of diversification and its success in attracting foreign direct investment is driving the economy towards new heights.
The document, 'The Report Sharjah 2018', provides an in-depth analysis of the most prevalent sectors and industries, highlighting the move away from hydrocarbons and towards a diverse and innovation-led economy. The report states, "Sharjah authorities have been undertaking a range of measures to boost foreign investment flows, supported by competitive advantages, such as strong connectivity and a culture of entrepreneurship."
The report goes on to reinforce Sharjah’s attractiveness to foreign investors, in terms of facilities and services, saying the emirate is "home to a growing network of free zones the emirate punches above its weight, in terms of commerce, and is highly diversified by regional standards, with oil and gas contributing less than 6 percent to the GDP and no individual sector accounting for more than 20 percent."
Continuing its theme of overseas businesses either beginning or expanding their operations in Sharjah, the report said that the emirate attracted AED912 million (US$248.2 mn) in foreign direct investment in 2016 a record amount according to the Sharjah FDI Office, also known as Invest in Sharjah, IIS. In April 2018 the IIS announced that the emirate had registered AED5.97 billion in FDI in 2017, representing a significant increase from the previous year.
Among the main contributors to Sharjah’s GDP were manufacturing; real estate; wholesale and retail trade; financial services; construction; mining and quarrying; professional, scientific and technical activities; and transportation and storage.
Commenting on the report, Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), said, " Similar to what we have done with the OBG since 2016, the report plays a key role in boosting our visibility. The volume of the analysis presented allows investors and readers to fully grasp the milestones achieved in Sharjah’s economic growth, and its upcoming plans to further sustain this into new and emerging markets."
After the issuance of the report, Oliver Cornock, OBG’s Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor for the middle East, said, "Our report shows that Sharjah has taken steps to capitalise on its prime regional position and central location in the UAE, with ports on both the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, while also strengthening the appeal of its commercial, educational and cultural institutions. With rising international oil prices likely to provide an added economic boost, all indications point to a bright outlook."