SHARJAH, 26th October, 2016 (WAM) — The array of opportunities for Sharjah and Russia to do business was the topic of discussion at a roundtable event organised by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shurooq, at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Wednesday.
More than 100 businesspersons and representatives of Sharjah-based Russian companies attended the meeting, which was aimed at boosting bilateral cooperation between Sharjah and the Russian Federation.
Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Department of Government Relations in Sharjah, Gocha Bauchidze, Consul-General of the Russian Federation in Dubai and Northern Emirates, Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq, Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Muhairi, Director of the Sharjah Health Authority and Saleh Al Aroud, Chairman of the Russian Business Council board, participated in the discussion.
Al Qasimi in his welcome address acknowledged the strong similarities between Sharjah and Russia, saying, “Like Sharjah, Russia places a strong focus on culture, history and the arts. Similarly, Russia is also committed to education and knows that innovation is critical in a fast-changing business environment.”
Speaking about the longstanding relationship between Sharjah and Russia, Gocha Bauchidze said, “Sharjah hosted the UAE’s first Russian company, which started its operations in 1991. It had the first Russian school and the first Russian hospital. It is also home to the UAE’s largest Russian Orthodox church.”
Al Sarkal said, “Emirati-Russian relations are a role model for international relations at all levels and in all sectors, including trade, economy and culture. We have a strong community of Russian expatriates living in the UAE and thousands of the country’s citizens visit every year. We welcomed 65 thousand Russian tourists to the UAE in 2014, a figure that we anticipate to grow with the 124 flights weekly now operating between the two countries.”
“Up to 2015, 607 out of 3,000 registered companies operating in the UAE chose Sharjah as their headquarters, operating primarily from Hamriya Free Zone Authority and Sharjah International Free Zone, SAIF Zone. This reflects the growing business opportunities which Russian investors can enjoy,” he continued.
A key component of the roundtable was a panel discussion entitled, ‘Investment Opportunities in Sharjah’. Mohammed Al Musharrkh, Director of Sharjah FDI at Shurooq, Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Muhairi, Director of the Sharjah Health Authority, Ms. Wafa BalAswad, Marketing Manager of SAIF Zone, Fahad Shehail, Chief Development Officer of Bee’ah, the Sharjah Environment Company, and Saleh Al Aroud, Chairman of RUS Aviation, participated in panel session, which was moderated by Roman Gavrilin, Board Member of the Russian Business Council.
Al Musharrkh said, “Sharjah provides an ideal investment environment for Russian companies and Shurooq seeks to both highlight the emirate’s advantages and facilitate the maximum benefits that Russian businesspersons can avail when setting up their operations here.”
Dr. Al Muhairi explained the benefits that Russian companies can receive by investing in Sharjah Healthcare City. “There is a wealth of opportunities for Russian investors seeking to undertake business in healthcare. One specific area of interest is ophthalmology. We are aware that Russia is one of the world leaders in eye-care expertise, and we are keen to establish a Russian centre of excellence for eye-care in the region at Sharjah Healthcare City,” he said.