Sharjah .In furthering its efforts to boost its services for the publishing industry in the UAE, Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) – the world’s first publishing and printing free zone and a subsidiary of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday (Sunday) with the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) on the side-lines of the ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2018). Sharjah Furthers Advantages for Publishers to Set Up Shop in the Emirate.
Signed by HE Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairperson of SBA; and HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of SEDD, the agreement aims to further their role in developing economic and cultural activities in the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) project, to grow Sharjah’s and the UAE’s economy.
The MoU will facilitate stronger collaboration between the two entities, where among other facilities, SEDD will expedite issuance of Dual licences to businesses operating in SPC. They will benefit each other through the sharing of expertise, and also look into how they can streamline electronic connectivity to facilitate business activities.
The MoU stipulates that the SEDD will issue SEZ licenses to companies operating under the umbrella of SPC, in accordance with the terms and conditions specified, which includes supervision and follow up, by SEDD. Additionally, SEDD will give SPC governmental inquiry status to access its licensing system.
As per the MoU, SPC is authorised to grant approval to its members to join SEZ and grant authorized SEDD employees to inspect entities operating in SPC are in compliance with the local and federal laws.
Welcoming this new collaboration, Al Ameri said: “The MoU reflects the efforts of Sharjah organisations to merge their expertise and develop the cultural sector, and boosting the emirate’s share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
“The integration of all sectors, including the cultural sector, aligns with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council; and Ruler of Sharjah, who calls for a joint action plan that promote Sharjah’s cultural messages globally. The MoU contributes to cementing the stature of Sharjah; as a platform for international authors and publishers; who will be able to promote their titles in the UAE ;and the region, and expand their global market outreach,” Al Ameri noted.
For his part, HE Sultan bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of SEDD, said: “We are always looking for new ways to boost the economy in Sharjah; by diversifying the emirate’s services; and making it more investor-friendly with a variety of incentives and world-class offerings. We can do this better by forging new partnerships like this one; and extending collaborations with other entities who help us further specialise our services.”
“The MoU is in line with SPC’s vision to fuel the country’s efforts to establish a knowledge-based economy; and support the publishing industry; which is the beating heart of the cultural movement in Sharjah; the UNESCO World Book Capital in 2019. We want to continue to offer publishers worldwide a vibrant; and supportive environment to design and grow their cultural projects and programmes.”
Sharjah Furthers Advantages for Publishers to Set Up Shop in the Emirate
Speaking on the occasion, Salim Omar Salim, Director of SPC said: “This partnership with SEDD will go a long way in achieving our goals. This new endeavour is key to activating the roles of partners; and stakeholders who want to join the UAE’s; and Sharjah’s rapidly growing publishing industry. We look forward to delivering innovative services and solutions; and providing publishers with the ideal environment to operate, innovate and grow.”
SPC opened its doors to the global publishing market last year; as a response to the growing need for a specialized publishing hub; in the Arab region that can offer world-class infrastructure; strong air and sea links, supportive laws and flexible government regulations; competitive costs and a skilled in-house workforce; to support the regional operations of international businesses.
SPC was established in 2017 as the world’s very first publishing free zone offering those in the book industry the opportunity to capitalise on an array of benefits emerging from operating within a free zone environment. Further benefits also include the ideal location, at the epicentre of the globe with all the advantages of having the MENA, African and Asian region’s marketplace to hand.