Sharjah is making efforts to attract more large-scale industries to the emirate by building infrastructure and facilities, and increasing the availability of land for industries, according to a senior official of the emirate.
Ali bin Salem Al Mahmoud, Director-General of the Economic Development Department, said his department was working on a study on the needs of big industrial projects and the means of attracting them.
Al Mahmoud was speaking on the sidelines of a press conference yesterday to announce the first Arab forum for industrial and economic zones, which will be held on April 27 and 28.
He said the number of trade licences issued in Sharjah in January were 404, against 400 in the same period last year. This is a positive indicator that Sharjah continues to attract commercial and industrial investments, he said.
The number of industrial projects registered in Sharjah by the end of 2008 was 1,210, representing an increase of 90 projects in comparison to 2007, and forming 28.7 per cent of the UAE's total, Al Mahmoud said.
The total investment in these projects was Dh4,288 million at an average Dh3.5m per facility, he said. This was an increase of Dh249m compared to 2007. The sector employed 77,564 workers at the end of 2008 at an average of 64 workers per facility, an increase of 3,940 workers compared to 2007.
Al Mahmoud said the forum will be of great benefit for all economic sectors of Sharjah, primarily the industrial sector. It will have four major targets: setting the strategic aims of economic development, defining the approach to support the establishment of specialised industrial networks, development of exports, and improvement of investment, he said.
The conference was attended by two sponsors of the forum: Faisal Abu Zeki, Director-General of the Economy and Business Group, and Abdullah Al Shakra, Chairman of Hanoo Holding.