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Diversification and FDI drive Sharjah’s economy

Oil and gas contribute less than 6% to GDP while manufacturing has the biggest pie

Gulf News

Dubai: Sharjah’s policy of diversification and its success in attracting foreign direct investment is driving the economy towards new heights, according to a new report revealed on Sunday.

The Report Sharjah 2018 by Oxford Business Group stated that 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.

According to the Sharjah FDI Office, the emirate attracted Dh5.97 billion of foreign direct investment in 2017 compared to Dh912 million in 2016.

Sharjah reported five per cent growth in GDP in 2017 with major contributions from manufacturing industries (16.9 per cent or Dh15.7 billion) while the oil and gas contributed less than six per cent to the GDP and no individual sector accounting for more than 20 per cent.

Manufacturing may become even more important in the years ahead, said the report, with the government estimating that it will account for around 25 per cent of GDP by 2025.

The report said that the financial and insurance sector’s contribution to the emirate’s GDP was Dh9.5 billion in 2017, equivalent to 10.3 per cent of the total and 11 per cent of non-oil GDP, according to preliminary data from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority.

Transformation

The report also said that the emirate has maintained its success in developing its industrial and manufacturing sector through a network of two free zones and 19 industrial zones, which continues to grow.

As a result, Sharjah is rated as one of the most important industrial and manufacturing centres of the UAE and the wider GCC.

“In the last few years Sharjah has underwent a substantial transformation in its economy to servicing the growing investment opportunities and demands made by local and international markets,” Marwan Bin Jasem Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of Shurooq, said in a statement.

“Our integrated efforts with our public and private counterparts form the backbone of Sharjah’s diversified and strategic economic growth, and our partnership with OBG reflects on our corporate mission and vision to further strengthen Sharjah’s position as a premiere investment destination in the Gulf region and wider Mena,” he said.

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