With a view to give new opportunities to Indian businesses, Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA) has organized a roadshow in Chennai on June 11 and welcomed them to invest in Sharjah.
Addressing the potential investors during the “Interactive Roadshow” on Hamriyah Free Zone, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr Saud Salim Al Mazrouei Director, Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA), said, “We make it practical for our investors in our industry-integrated zone. We always believe that red tape is not required. We want to offer the best practice from the government side.”
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is India’s top export market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and also a prime gateway to other markets, observed Mr Mazrouei.
“India is expected to replace the US as the UAE’s top export destination by 2030. Rising demand from India’s emerging economy and growing middle class opens myriad opportunities for all MENA,” Mr Mazrouei said.
Acknowledging that the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement signed on December 12, 2013, serves to protect investments in both countries, also sets out robust framework for bilateral engagement, Mr Mazrouei said that the trade between the two regions has grown quickly, reaching $75 billion in 2012-13, up from $43 billion in 2009-10.
“The two countries have been selected in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development list of top 10 most promising investor economies for FDI in 2012-14,” he added.
Located in the Emirate of Sharjah, and established in 1995, HFZA manages an area of 22 million sq metres of prime industrial and commercial land.
Mr Muhamed Basheer, Head of Business Development Dept, Hamriyah Free Zone Authority; Mr Saud Salim Al Mazrouei, Director, Hamriyah Free Zone Authority; Mr M Ponnuswami Member, CII (SR) International Linkages Task Force & CMD, Pon Pure Chem (P) Ltd and Mr J Chandrasekaran, International Desk, CII SR.
Mr Mazrouei stated: “It has direct access to the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. The Zone has pre-built warehouses, factories and office units for lease, and on-site accommodation for labourers. To address the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the Zone offers executive and economical offices.”
Earlier, in his opening remarks, Mr M. Ponnuswami, Member – CII (SR) International Linkages Task Force and CMD, Pon Pure Chem P Ltd, noted that over the last two decades CII has been closely and continuously working with Hamriyah Free Zone to promote Indian industry’s capabilities in the West Asia region.
He underlined that Hamriyah, owing to its strategic location, has benefited many Indian companies. He emphasized the need to identify specific areas for cooperation – such as export of engineering goods and textiles, consultancy, and turnkey projects in the infrastructure sector.
Reminding the audience about the longstanding cultural and historical relations between India and the West Asia region, Mr Ponnuswami added that this region is of great significance since it represents India’s largest export market among all the geographical regions in the world.
“There are nearly 6.5 million Indians living and working in the West Asia region. According to a World Bank report, India received $70 billion in remittances during 2012 and a majority of the remittances came from the West Asia region. The region is also vital for India’s energy security and nearly two-thirds of our hydrocarbon imports are from this region,” he mentioned.
In his address at the roadshow, Mr Muhamed Basheer, Head of Business Development Department, HFZA, said that licences are issued at the Zone in less than two hours. The types of licences are industrial (for manufacturing and assembling), service (consultancy), and commercial (general trading, import/ export).