Sharjah Chamber meets private sector representatives to discuss implementation of new strategies to further promote local products
The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) recently held a meeting with local enterprises participating in the Chamber’s permanent exhibition for local industries to help determine newer strategies that can further promote sales of products manufactured in Sharjah. The meeting, which complements the government’s policy on economic diversification, is part of a series of discussions aimed at highlighting the SCCI’s “Made in Sharjah” program; an integrated promotional system that provides support for locally-made products.
Present during the meeting were Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa, Chairman, SCCI; Saeed Obaid Al Jarwan, Second Vice Chairman, SCCI; Hussein Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, Director General, SCCI; Mohammed Ahmed Amin, Assistant Director General of the Economic and International Affairs, SCCI and several directors and board members. Also present were government officials and representatives headed by Waheed Al Serkal, Director General of Sharjah Civil Defence and Fahed Ali Shuhail, Director, Consumer Protection Department, Sharjah Municipality.
During the meeting, representatives from the business sector expressed their gratitude to H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for his continuous support and guidance for the development of local products and investments. The group also expressed their appreciation to the SCCI and H.H. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince of Sharjah, for his constant encouragement and call for stronger coordination between local government bodies and the business sector.
Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa said, “Today’s meeting aims to strengthen our communication ties with the private sector by discussing and formulating ideas and solutions that can help improve Sharjah’s wide range of local products and services. The permanent exhibition area within SCCI is part of the chamber’s commitment to provide local businesses a venue where they can promote their products throughout the year. This initiative has proved so effective that several countries have followed our example and now provide the same form of support for their local enterprises.”
Al Midfa further urged the local enterprises to continue with their efforts in developing performance, improving products and adopting best trade practices. He also encouraged them to take part in excellence programs such as the Sharjah Economic Excellence Award (SEEA) and to participate in the Chamber’s foreign visits, which provides them an excellent opportunity to promote and market their products while also encouraging foreign investment opportunities and increased export activity.
The SCCI Chairman shared that the chamber’s seven per cent membership growth among industrial enterprises in 2009 and the successful launch of several industrial projects in the emirate this year have become positive indicators of Sharjah’s move towards economic development and the country’s economic recovery as a whole.
During the meeting, Hussein Mohammed Al Mahmoudi made a presentation on the chamber’s role in serving the business community and gave a detailed explanation of the SCCI’s objectives and responsibilities. He also spoke about the organizations associated with the chamber like the Sharjah Businesswomen Council, Sharjah International Arbitration Centre and Sharjah Expo. The presentation also focused on the chamber’s short and long term programs and initiatives, which include the Business Groups, a set of working committees representing Sharjah’s diversified economic sectors; the “Sharjah Shopping Weeks” initiative, a program aimed at increasing sales activity in selected commercial sectors; the “Business Breakfast Meetings”, a monthly meeting between the SCCI and various business groups that aim at discussing key issues and develop effective business solutions and the “Made in Sharjah” program, which aims to showcase the excellence of local products.
Al Mahmoudi reported that the SCCI’s number of industrial memberships reached 1,447 in 2009; registering a 3.06 per cent growth from the 1,404 membership figure posted in 2008. He also shared that the value of Sharjah’s non-oil manufacturing exports reached AED 3.1 billion in 2009; representing a 0.07 per cent growth from the AED 2.89 billion posted in 2008.
Other points discussed during the meeting included the strengthening of communication ties between the SCCI, the business sector and other concerned parties, and the establishment of a special authority that will be tasked with developing plans and programs aimed at improving the growth of the different local industries. The participants also discussed measures on how to improve and promote the Chamber’s permanent exhibition area and how it can attract more participating enterprises. After the meeting, the participants were given a short tour of the permanent exhibition area and the newly opened International Businessmen Club.
The SCCI’s “Made in Sharjah” program covers nine major areas of development, promotion and advertising of local made products. These areas include the “Made in Sharjah” exhibition; the “Made in Sharjah” trademark; the promotional plan for the permanent exhibition; a short video documentary entitled “Made in Sharjah”; the monthly electronic newsletter “Made in Sharjah”; a special section on www.tejari.com; the export processing guide, a standardized specifications program; and a series of training and rehabilitation programs currently being implemented by the Chamber in relation to the “Made in Sharjah” initiative.
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