Sharjah woos more Indian businesses to Hamriyah

Mumbai, Oct 22 (IANS) With new norms for foreign company ownership and attractive exemptions, the Hamriyah Free Zone Authority at Sharjah in UAE is seeking more Indian investments, a top visiting official said here on Saturday.

Leading a business delegation which met over 150 Indian businessmen on Saturday, HFZA Director Saud Salim Al Mazrouei highlighted the benefits offered for investments.

He said HFZA currently is home to more than 6,500 companies from 157 countries but Indian companies are the top investors with around 30 per cent of the total investments.

More than 1,500 Indian companies are already operating from HFZA and (India’s) Radiant Group is currently constructing a $10 million oil distillation plant there.

HFZA is presently offering 100 per cent foreign company ownership with 25 year lease, full tax exemption on imports/exports, all commercial levies, no personal income tax or corporate profit tax and 100 per cent repatriation of capital and profits allowed, said Al Mazrouei.

“Indian economy is growing at a fast and steady pace, led by its entrepreneurs and businessesa We believe the time is ripe for Indian businesses to benefit from the avantages provided by HFZA as they plan to globally into newer markets,” Al Mazrouei urged.

He explained HFZA is strategically located, making it accessible to Europe, Africa, US and other countries, with a world-class infrastructure designed to create a robust business environment and fulfilling the needs and demands of the investors.

“India is one of the UAE’s primary trade partner, accounting for almost 9.8 per cent of the UAE’s total non-oil trade, while Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries account for more than 11 per cent of India’s global exports. HFZA provides an opportunity to increase business with each other and strengthen the partnership,” Al Mazrouei said.

Al Mazrouei, along with India Events managing partner Rohit Sanga hosted a business conclave for Indian businesses exploring new foreign markets.

Sanga said as per the rules of the Gulf nations, a local business partner was required to set up any office/business in the respective country, which affected their profitability.

In order to counter this issue, many Gulf nations have set up free trade zones to promote overseas investments and businesses with simplified regulations and benefits, Sanga added.

Spread over 22 million sq. metres near a 14-metre deep water port, HFZA was set up by an Emiri decree in November 1995, providing competitive incentives to establish a business in a tax-free environment, full company ownership, exemptions from all commercial levies and repatriation of capital and profits.