An official trade mission from the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SCCI, showcased investment opportunities, as well as various opportunities available in the emirate's economic sectors in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Sharjah trade delegation, headed by Abdallah Sultan Al Owais, SCCI Chairman, aimed to enhance economic cooperation and mutual investment between Sharjah and Portugal, under the framework of the growing bilateral relations between the UAE and Portugal in various sectors.

The delegation, which included the participation of representatives of the Sharjah Economic Development Department and Expo Centre Sharjah, as well as a number of businesspeople and investors from Sharjah, reviewed ways to coordinate efforts with both the Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the investment authorities in Portugal, to attract more Portuguese people in business to invest in the emirate and to open up new and promising markets to the members of the SCCI.

During the visit, the SCCI organised the 2nd UAE-Portuguese Business Forum, which the chamber was honoured to host for the first time in 2013. The forum was organised in cooperation with the Arab-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, CCIAP, and AICEP Portugal Global, and in coordination with the UAE Embassy in Portugal.

Mousa Al Khaja, Ambassador of the UAE to Portugal; Dr Augusto Santos Silva, Portugal's Minister of Foreign Affairs; Eurico Brilhante Dias, Secretary of State of Internationalisation; Angelo Correia, President of the BOD of Arab-Portuguese Chamber; Dr. Luis Filipe de Castro Henriques, President of the BOD at AICEP, and officials of more than 150 government institutions and prominent Portuguese companies from various sectors in Portugal took part in the forum.

At the beginning of the forum, the representative of the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a speech, stressed the strong relations and the depth of the political, cultural and economic ties between the UAE and Portugal. He also expressed his country's desire to further enhance its relationship with the UAE and its keenness to encourage the Portuguese business community to exchange investments with the UAE business community.

During his speech, Abdallah Al Owais praised the long-standing bilateral relations between the UAE and Portugal, as well as the historical and cultural ties and growing economic relationships and interests between the business communities of both friendly countries.

He said that the chamber has ensured that it plays an active role in all Arab-Portuguese economic forums, and that it has contributed in raising the volume of trade exchange between the UAE and Portugal to more than AED1.23 billion in 2016, and increasing it by eight percent in 2017, while the number of Portuguese companies operating in the UAE has exceeded 600 companies. Al Owais added that this has resulted in Sharjah becoming host to the headquarters of various Portuguese companies that work in the fields of general trade, business consulting, aviation, engineering equipment and real estate and that the emirate provides these companies with all the facilities and support that they need to grow and expand.

Ambassador Al Khaja said that the UAE-Portuguese Business Forum represents an additional incentive to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields. He also praised the SCCI for organising this forum that aims to support and enhance economic cooperation between the two sides.

The SCCI Chairman and President of the BOD of Arab-Portuguese Chamber, signed a cooperation agreement on the sidelines of the forum with the aim to enhance cooperation for the organisation of an annual business forum that showcases the investment opportunities in Sharjah and Portugal, and assist in establishing contact relations with exhibitions and commercial markets of both sides, in addition to organising forums, conferences and other means of trade promotion, which include the exchange of information on the economy and trade between the two countries.

The delegation also held a variety of business meetings with government officials and representatives of promising economic sectors in Portugal. The meetings reviewed the prospects of economic and trade cooperation, the exchange of investments, and building partnerships in areas that are of interest to both sides.

Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs