Sharjah: A landmark legislation in the Commercial Companies Law, which allows 100 percent foreign ownership of onshore companies in the UAE, is in its final stages of formation, said Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry.
The legislation will enable investors and business in 10 new sectors of strategic importance to come under the purview of the law, and the list sectors and the regulations associated with their entry into the local market will be announced by the UAE Cabinet soon.
Al Saleh added that the cancellation of the national service agent requirement came into force on April 1, also affirming that all current and previously licensed businesses in the UAE can amend their statuses according to the new amendments to the commercial companies law.
The announcement was made earlier this week at the seventh edition of Sharjah Economic Ramadan Majlis organised by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in collaboration with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) at Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP).
The majlis discussions were led by Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry; Omar Ahmed Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology; Osama Amir Fadl, Assistant Undersecretary for the Industrial Accelerators Sector at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology; Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, Executive Chairman of Shurooq; Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTIP; Dr Khalid Omar Al Midfa, Chairman, Sharjah Media City (SHAMS); Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO, Dubai Investment Development Agency; Mohammad Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO of Invest in Sharjah; Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa); and Abdul Aziz Shattaf, Assistant Director General of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). The session was moderated by Ahmad Al Marzouki.
Foundation of future economies
“Legislations that have been issued or those that will be enacted soon seek to increase the country’s competitiveness for both local and international investors, and advance business performance. These legislations are not the outcome of a crisis, but follow a clear vision of the country’s economic future envisioned collaboratively by federal, local, and private sector stakeholders. The future depends primarily on attracting innovative talents who will lay the foundations of economies of the future,” said Al Saleh
Focusing on the execution of The UAE Industrial Strategy “Operation 300 billion”, which aims to raise the manufacturing sector’s contribution to national GDP to Dh300 billion by 2031, Omar Ahmed Suwaina Al Suwaidi, said: “We have held meetings and workshops with our industry partners to identify their challenges and discussed priority sectors under 3 pillars – the UAE’s competitive industries, including the chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, defense and heavy industries; the national food and healthcare security industries; and industries of the future, including space and renewable energy, among others.”
“A new industrial law will soon come into force and will be instrumental to promoting a conducive environment for industry in the UAE. We have also tackled financing issues startups face in order to boost their performance. A National Added Value Programme will be launched soon to support national products, enhance their competitiveness and find new markets for them”, he said.
Boosting investors’ trust
Mohammad Juma Al Musharrkh, said: “The UAE keenly amends and updates economic legislation to accommodate the changing needs of global investors and lighten the burden on business owners and entrepreneurs, in order to promote strong economic growth and boost the local economy’s competitiveness. This has been proved by our leadership, who have continuously amended legislations and issued new ones to encourage foreign investments in the post-pandemic era, which has resulted in an impressive FDI flow in the past year and created a stable market environment by boosting investor confidence.”
"The unprecedented economic climate in recent times has brought the vital role of entrepreneurs to the forefront. They are transforming challenges into opportunities, developing markets, and boosting competitiveness and the long-term stability of the national economy. It was to support pandemic-hit startups Sheraa pledged a US$1 million-dollar solidarity fund last year,” said Najla Al Midfa
Abdulaziz Shattaf, Assistant General Director at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Members Services Sector and Director of Sharjah Exports Development Center (SEDC), stated that the industrial sector in Sharjah is one of the biggest and most lucrative sectors in the UAE and the region, and home to 2,300 factories operating across various industrial sectors such as agricultural products and electronic devices.