Experienced, Self-Driven & Results Orientated

HE Salem Ahmed Musabbeh Alsuwaidi, Director General of the Ajman Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Interview with HE Salem Ahmed Musabbeh Alsuwaidi, Director General of the Ajman Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
by Lawrence J. Ireton.

Ajman 2
Lawrence J. Ireton: Please provide our foreign audience with an introduction to Ajman and your thoughts and opinions on how Ajman differentiates itself within the UAE.

Ajman emirate has experienced significant social and economic developments since the year 1972. This has been reflected in the notable growth in all economic sectors.

Although Ajman is small in area and population and has no oil, it has considerable potential in the manufacturing industry. The major industries are: chemical and plastic, fabricated metal and equipment, textile, wearing apparel and leather, wood and furniture, paper products, printing and publishing, and food, beverages and tobacco.

Ajman is distinguished with its central location in the UAE and its nearness to the other northern emirates, namely Dubai, Sharjah, Um al Quwain and Ras Al Khaima. It has a modern port with an advanced free zone association. It is also distinguished as it has the oldest private university in the UAE, i.e, Ajman University of science and technology, in addition to its local laws on land freehold.

Lawrence J. Ireton: What are the main sectors of Ajman’s economy and how have they evolved in previous years?

Ajman Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been increasing since 2001 at an average growth rate of 13.0% per annum. The main sectors contributing to GDP are the following:
1- Manufacturing
2- Construction
3- Wholesale and retail
4- Real estate and business
5- Transport, storage and communication

While these sectors have achieved rapid growth since 2000, the contribution of the agricultural sectors into GDP has been on the decline.

Lawrence J. Ireton: Please tell us about the investment opportunities that can be found in the emirate of Ajman, discussing any facilities that are in place to help investors, such as good infrastructure, favorable investment laws, etc?

The emirate of Ajman, as a free market economy, has an indusive investment climate. It offers a host of investment incentives to foreign investors. These include the following:

1- Low customs duties
2- No income or property taxes
3- No foreign exchange controls
4- Availability of supported water and electricity services
5- Availability of a modern industrial zone
6- Availability of an advanced free zone
7- Import duties exemption
8- Free industrial land
9- Easy importation of labor force
10- Low cost of labor
11- Availability of modern infrastructure (roads, telecommunications..)
12- Low cost accommodation
13- Availability of low cost finance
14- Availability of an advanced banking and financial system
15- General political and economic stability
16- Stability of economic and investment laws
17- Unavailability of red-tape
18- Low cost of establishing business

Moreover, Ajman has many investment opportunities in the manufacturing, commercial, construction and real estate sectors. Even though, a list of specific investment opportunities in these sectors is not available at present, Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry has prepared the attached list of potential import substitution industries for investors who are interested in investing in the industrial sector.

Lawrence J. Ireton: Please discuss the importance and function of the Ajman Chamber and what it can do for any foreign investors interested in the emirate?

The Ajman Chamber of commerce and industry facilitates the work of foreign investors in Ajman by providing them with the required information and data on the available investment opportunities and regulations, investment incentives, and trade statistics. It also can provide its member of the industrial, commercial and professional sectors with training in the relevant business fields.

Furthermore, Ajman Chamber intends to establish a department for the foreign direct investment in the near future in order to attract foreign investments to Ajman by providing the needed services for the success of investors.