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SCCI Urges Private Sector To Reinforce Trade Relations With Eastern Africa

Local Chamber meets with Kenyan Ambassador to discuss SCCI’s African trade visit

The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) urged the private sector to strengthen trade relations with countries in Africa’s eastern region during a special meeting with H.E. Mohammed Gello, Kenyan Ambassador to the UAE, to discuss the chamber’s upcoming promotional tour of Kenya and other Eastern and Northern African countries. The tour, which will run from February 21 to February 25, 2010, is part of the SCCI’s ‘Foreign Visit’ program that aims to promote the products and services of newly joined members and to help create business opportunities between Sharjah and neighboring countries. The coming trade visit complements the SCCI’s strategic thrust to aid the development of Sharjah’s business sector and attract more foreign investment opportunities into the area.

Present during the meeting were H.E. Mohammad Sultan Bin Houwaden, First Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, SCCI; Hussein Mohammed Al Mahmoudi, Director General, SCCI; Mohammad Jumaa Al Mushrakh, Head of Exhibition and Conference section, SCCI; members of the board of directors and various representatives coming from different companies and economic enterprises in Sharjah.

One of the major points discussed during the meeting was the recently signed cooperation agreement between the SCCI and the Diplomatic Kenyan Institution. Under the agreement, both parties are expected to develop joint programs and initiatives that can encourage more investment and economic opportunities between Kenya and Sharjah. Other points discussed were the planned activities and agenda for the coming promotional trade visit to Kenya. The delegation, which will be headed by Mohammad Sultan Bin Houwaden and will be joined by key members of the Board of Directors, the SCCI Director General and several Sharjah based businessmen, will include high profile meetings with top Kenyan government officials and representatives of the country’s different industry segments. The visit will also allow SCCI to promote Sharjah’s different products and services and discuss potential investment opportunities with some of Kenya’s leading businesses.

During the meeting, Houwaden made a presentation focusing on the potential opportunities of Kenya’s rich natural resources and skilled manpower reserves. He mentioned that both Kenya and Sharjah should focus on strengthening business relationships by concentrating on the development of key sectors like agriculture and tourism and to increase export and import activity in products like coffee, tea and petroleum. Houwaden concluded his presentation with the recommendations of increasing the volumes of commercial exchange as a means to maintain a sound and strong investment relationship.

Hussein Mohammed Al Mahmoudi said, “The SCCI’s Foreign Visit program reflects the chamber’s continuing commitment to boost Sharjah’s economic development and bring it closer to its goal of total sustainable development. These planned trade visits implements a two-fold strategy of promoting the diverse products and services that Sharjah has to offer and to create investment opportunities that can help boost the business of our members. Moreover, the SCCI remains steadfast in its efforts to tap into new markets and help promote Sharjah as an ideal investment venue.”

Mohammad Jumaa Al Mushrakh, said, “Kenya is a country that possesses a nice mix of rich natural resources and highly skilled labor force. Our partnership with Kenya allows us to explore the many investments possibilities that both parties can enter into. Aside from Kenya, the SCCI is planning to embark on trade visits to other emerging economies that can create business and networking opportunities for our members and help stir in more economic activity into the emirate.”

The SCCI’s African Trade visit will also include visits to Ethiopia and some Arab countries in the Northern African region like Libya, Algeria and Tunisia.

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