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SCCI Urges UAE Chambers To Strengthen Ties With Local Businesses To Create More Investment Opportunities

SCCI hosts first Forum of Business Councils in the UAE to help develop strategic initiatives aimed at positioning UAE as global business and investment hub

The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) urged the country’s different chambers of commerce to strengthen working relationships with local businesses to help reinforce the effort to create more investment opportunities for the UAE. The call for stronger ties was made today (Tuesday, November 17, 2009) during the first Forum of Business Councils in the UAE held at the SCCI headquarters in Sharjah, UAE. Hosted by the SCCI under the theme “Business Councils and Chambers of Commerce… Partnership Fostering Investment,” the forum focused on the creation of programs and initiatives that are in line with the government’s vision of creating overall sustainability and development for the country.

Present during the forum were H.E. Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade, who delivered the keynote address; Ahmed Mohammad Al Midfaa, SCCI Chairman, who welcomed the gathering; Hussein Mohammad Al Mahmoudi, SCCI Director General; Sudesh Agarwal, President Indian Business and Professional Council; and Joseph Elias Nahra, Chairman of Lebanese Business Council-Dubai. Also in attendance were representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Labor, Department of Naturalization and Residency, Hamriyah Free Zone, Sharjah Department of Economic Development, Development and Investment Authority, Al Hanoo Holding Company and Gulftainer Company Limited. In addition, also present during the event were representatives of the UAE’s different chambers of commerce and members of business groups representing the country’s key economic sectors.

The opening session of the forum titled ‘Chambers-Business Councils Partnership: Ambitions and Challenges’, was chaired by H.E. Mohamed Salim Al Musharrakh, SCCI board member; the second session titled ‘Contribution of public sector to activate business environment’ was chaired by H.E. Abdalla bin Sultan Al Owais, SCCI board member; the third session named ‘Invest in Sharjah’ was chaired by Saeed Obaid Al Jarwan, Vice Chairman of Tourism & Trade Development Authority, and Second Vice Chairman of SCCI; while the closing session titled ‘Conclusion and Recommendation’ was chaired by SCCI Chairman Ahmed Mohammad Al Midfaa.

The forum focused on discussions covering the importance of maintaining strong relationships between the local chambers and different businesses, the forging of newer strategic partnerships with other business groups and entities, and the sharing of knowledge and skills between the two parties. Representatives from the various chambers highlighted the importance of setting common goals that both parties can benefit from and affirmed their continued support for initiatives of the private business sector that are aimed at bolstering the country’s economic development.

SCCI hosted the first Forum of Business Councils in the UAE to allow businessmen and members of the various chambers a better understanding of the country’s current economic status and address the challenges and opportunities that have come about as a result of the global financial crisis. Through hosting events like this, the SCCI is also able to develop the necessary strategies and mechanisms needed to leverage the UAE’s position as a global destination for business and investment.

Ahmed Mohammad Al Midfaa said, “Today’s forum opens many opportunities for both the private business sector and the different chambers across the UAE. It is also an opportune time to renew and strengthen strategic partnerships as well as set common goals that complement the government’s efforts to achieve sustainable growth at all levels. Moreover, the UAE has experienced steady economic growth over the past few decades, which is one of the main reasons the country has continuously attracted foreign investments. In this regard, the SCCI hosted this pioneering forum to help define a mutual and strategic work plan that not only seeks to complement the government’s development initiatives but also help position the UAE as a global destination for business and investment.”

Hussein Mohammed Al Mahmoudi said, “The UAE is abundant with encouraging economic factors that can help enhance its growth and economic development. In fact, the implementation of government initiatives and programs, which are based on the principles of governance and transparency in conducting economic activities, comply with world’s best practices. The Forum of Business Councils in the UAE plays a vital role in developing and diversifying business and investment opportunities for local, regional and international businesses.

Furthermore, the SCCI affirms its support to provide the forum with the facilities and expertise needed in implementing its programs and activities. Our support for the forum demonstrates our continuous commitment to develop a competitive arena built on strong partnerships between the private and public sectors and the achievement of overall sustainability for the UAE.”

The Forum of Business Councils in the UAE was launched to provide UAE-based businessmen with a regular platform to discuss current economic issues, programs and initiatives. The forum aims to provide its members with regular seminars, workshops, lectures and roundtable discussions. The creation of the Forum of Business Councils in the UAE complements the government’s initiatives towards achieving overall sustainability and growth; with the aims of enhancing cooperation between the public and private sector, the creation of more investment opportunities, providing leadership training and to define opportunities and challenges brought about by changing economic conditions.

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