UAE to add 10 new sectors for 100% foreign ownership

UAE working on new legislation to include 10 new sectors to Commercial Companies Law

  
Dubai Skyline. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

Dubai Skyline. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle.

ABU DHABI:  Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade and Industry has revealed that 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. 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, 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).

Held under the title, 'The role of the New Industrial Strategy and Commercial Companies Law in developing the national economy and enhancing its competitiveness,' the Majlis convened senior government officials, diplomats, investors, prominent business leaders, and media representatives.

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.

Abdulla Al Saleh, said: "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." "A comprehensive strategy to attract bright minds from around the region and the world will be announced soon", he added.

Focusing on the execution of The UAE Industrial Strategy "Operation 300bn", which aims to raise the manufacturing sector’s contribution to national GDP to Dh300 billion by 2031, HE 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 added.

Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal lauded the UAE’s agility in changing and advancing the national legislative framework to keep pace with the rapid changes in economic, investment and technological developments locally and globally to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

Speaking about the industry's future, Al Sarkal noted: "Markets will continue to transform and businesses will grow with the accelerated adoption of existing and emerging technologies, which will stimulate innovation, productivity and sustainable development, and contribute to overcoming societal, economic, environmental challenges." For his part, Hussain Mohamed Al Mahmoudi, asserted that SRTIP serves as a hub of innovation and exchange among governmental, private and academic entities who are leading the movement for the creation of a knowledge economy in the UAE. "SRTIP is home to one of the largest scientific research centres of smart transport in the world. We are currently testing a new train system over 3km track. With our innovation-driven centres, augmented reality and agri-tech labs, SRTIP is fuelling the UAE’s national strategy to shape an economy of the future." Fahad Al Gergawi noted that the UAE is ready to leap into the future by supporting the local economy with advanced modern technology, research and studies. He remarked that UAE’s approach to attract talents from across the globe is part of a long-term strategy and is complemented by the nation’s resilient legislative structure which has done particularly well over the past year in staying ahead of the unprecedented commercial and technological changes, both regionally and globally.

"During the coronavirus crisis, a countries’ ability to transform challenges to opportunities and achieve positive results is what has distinguished them and their success. The UAE has an impressive portfolio of investment-ready projects, thanks to strategies and initiatives like the Industrial Strategy ‘Operation 300bn’ which will become a significant tributary for future investment", he added.

For his part, 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." He reaffirmed that businesses and investors to looking to enter the UAE’s and Sharjah’s lucrative and fast-growing economy are welcome to receive the expert consultation offered by Invest in Sharjah, and benefit from the integrated business services of the Sharjah Investors Services Center (SAEED).

Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), said: "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." She added: "Our latest initiative was to launch the "Sharjah Startup Studio" the first government-backed startup studio in the UAE. It is designed to build enduring businesses that will accelerate the region’s digital transformation. Through every initiative, we reaffirm Sheraa’s commitment to support high impact startups, who will in turn play a vital role in reinvigorating the UAE’s economy." 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.

He also highlighted that the SCCI launched a number initiatives and programs in support of the sector’s growth, including the "Sadder" export fund which was launched its Sharjah Exports Development Center (SEDC) the beginning of this year with an early stage budget of AED 10 million, aimed at investing, growing and fostering Sharjah’s export operations, as well as paving the way for investments in new markets, and reduce risks for exporters through credit protection.

Shattaf added that the fund's budget is planned to reach AED 60 million during the next five years.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.

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