Sharjah to have Indian trade centre within 15 months

November 19th, 2008 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Sharjah, Nov 19 (IANS) A new Indian Trade and Exhibition Centre to promote Indian trade and business in the Middle Eastern and North African markets will come up here within the next 15 months.”The design for the building is ready and we hope to have the new trade centre open within the next 12 to 15 months,” Sudesh Aggarwal, chairman of the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) at Sharjah said at the council’s annual business meeting here Tuesday night.

The new centre is being set up with approval from India’s ministry of commerce and is aimed at promoting trade between this region and India.

The IBPC, a recognised organisation representing the Indian business and professionals in Dubai, has signed an agreement with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry to set up the centre.

Announcing the new trade centre in February this year, Aggarwal said: “Indian businessmen planning trade ventures here need not to worry about getting a local sponsor. We will sponsor them and even give them office space on a temporary basis till they get permanent office space.”

To be built on a 20,000 square feet area, it will comprise a basement and three floors with a total built-up area of 50,000 square feet.

It will have conference rooms, exhibition halls, office space, an auditorium, administrative offices, storage space and a restaurant.

The centre will hold exhibitions of Indian products and services and host meetings, conferences and seminars for the Indian business and professional community and visiting delegations.

It will also lease office and exhibition space to Indian government enterprises and corporations, local companies providing services to the centre and provide information about Indian products and services.

At Tuesday’s meeting attended by around 50 businessmen and professionals based in Sharjah, various issues of concern relating to Indian businesses in this emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were also taken up for discussion.

Among the issues that came up were a new UAE law requiring all expatriate residents and nationals of this Gulf nation to have identity cards, visa procedures, licensing, setting up of businesses in Sharjah, customs duty, labour, cost of business in UAE, and free trade agreements between the Gulf and other parts of the world.

A panel comprising Aggarwal, IBPC vice-chairman K.V. Shamsudeen and IBPC governing body members-elect Hayat Yar Khan and Saju Augustine listened to the issues and decided to form a delegation that will present the issues to authorities concerned in Sharjah for action.

“A committee shall be formed in the due course and the concerns, problems and suggestions, raised by the Indian business community in Sharjah shall be put forward to the Sharjah government departments,” Aggarwal said at the conclusion of the deliberations.

India is the top trade partner of the emirate of Sharjah with bilateral trade valued at $2 billion in 2007.

According to figures released by the Sharjah Economic Development Department in June this year, India was followed by Japan at $953 million and China at $626.2 million.

Imports into Sharjah from India in 2007 stood at $1.8 billion, a rise of 5.9 percent from the previous year.

Exports, including re-exports from Sharjah to India, totalled $300 million in 2007, a rise of 50 percent from 2006.

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