Sharjah Economic Development Department Issued 56,493 Licences In 2020

Sharjah Economic Development Department issued 56,493 licences in 2020

SHARJAH, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / WAM - 17th Feb, 2021) Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) confirmed that the total number of licences issued and renewed in the last year amounted to 56,493.

The economic development indicators in Sharjah achieved remarkable growth of 13 percent in the second half of 2020, bringing the total number of licences issued and renewed by the department during the second half to 33,326. The number of licences issued during this period reached 2,935, with a growth rate of 17 percent.

SEDD clarified that the number of renewed licences rose to 30,391 in the second half of 2020, with a growth rate of 13 percent, which is a positive indicator in the attraction of the investor for the emirate and to the growth of the economy in its various sectors. Also, this confirms the stability and sustainability of the economic situation in the emirate during the time and the conditions that cast a shadow over the global economy in 2020, thanks to the incentives launched by Sharjah Executive Council. In addition, the total number of issued and renewed licences in the first half of last year reached 23,167 according to data released by the SEDD.

Also, the data issued by the Department for the second half of the year 2020 revealed that e-commerce licences topped the issued and renewed licences with a growth rate of 106 percent, while it made a big leap in the first half with a growth of 333 percent. This licence was followed by the "Eitimad" domestic licence with a rate of 48 percent. As for industrial licences, their growth rates reached 17 percent, while commercial licences reached a growth rate of about 13 percent in the second half of 2020. On the other hand, professional licences achieved a growth of 12 percent during the same period.

During 2020, 120 "e-commerce" licences were issued compared to 27 issued in 2019 with a growth rate of 344 percent. Some traditional licences also added to e-commerce activity, as these licences reached 51 percent of licences for such activity.

The "Eitimad" domestic licence recorded growth rates for the issued and renewed licences at rates of seven percent and 33 percent respectively in 2020, with a total growth of 21 percent. Also, the "Eitimad" licence recorded a growth under the "e-commerce" activity by 25 percent during 2020. It should be noted that the pledges to supply ready meals increased by 27 percent, and the activity of preparing sweets and traditional sweets, as well as preparing pies and pastries, increased 71 percent in 2020.

Commenting on this, Sultan Abdullah bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, SEDD Chairman, said that issuing this data is one of the important economic indicators that the department relies on to study the economic situation in the emirate. He stressed that the department's strategic goal is to achieve a comprehensive development plan that promotes economic development in Sharjah.

In addition, he emphasised that the effect of government incentives was evident in all economic, commercial and industrial sectors in the emirate during 2020. These incentives included exemption of 25 percent of renewal fees, deduction of 50 percent of delay fines and inspection violations, exemption of 50 percent of fees for issuing industrial licences, and exemption of nurseries from renewal fees. The total number of licences renewed during incentives amounted to 51,945 during 2020.

Likewise, he pointed out that the transactions of service centres recorded a growth of 144 percent in 2020. He explained that the service centres are among the strategic partners of the department, as these centres provide a set of procedures and services that are considered one of the main priorities in practising commercial activities.

He added that the transactions of the smart investor recorded a growth rate of 130 percent in 2020. Also, the number of service centres increased to 17 in 2020, with an increase of 13 percent, while the number of procedures for transactions completed in service centres increased to 58 procedures, and by 49 percent in 2020. The number of transactions through these centres is 193,513 in 2020.

He noted that the department's digital services come within its initiatives to simplify procedures, reduce time, and provide services that meet the customers' aspirations. He clarified that the growth rate of industrial licences increased in the second half of 2020 by 17 percent, issued licences grew by 23 percent, and renewed licences grew by 16 percent.

Fahad Al Khamiri, Director of Registration and Licencing Department at SEDD, affirmed that the data issued by the Department indicated a significant increase in the investment movement in existing projects. He clarified that these indicators are ones showing the sustainable growth for the economy of the emirate, as it has a strategy through which it seeks to maintain a good pace of growth rates during the next phase. This strategy depends on attractions that include the distinctive geographical location and the great development witnessed by the service sectors in addition to a system of incentives.

Al Khamiri also stressed that the department provides advanced digital services and employs the latest remote communication technologies to communicate with partners and the public of dealers.

Khalfan Al Herathi, Director of SEDD Branches, said that the department pays great attention to economic development in all cities and regions of the emirate, especially the Eastern Region, which is witnessing great care by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

He indicated that the data issued by the department during the year 2020 revealed there was a growth of the branch in the Central Region by 15 percent, and its branches in the Eastern Region during the same period achieved a growth of 12 percent.

Al Herathi also pointed out that licences issued and renewed in the Kalba Branch had achieved a growth of 15 percent during the second half of 2020. On the other hand, Dibba Al Hisn Branch came second with a growth of 12 percent, and Khor Fakkan Branch took third in place with a growth of 11 percent for the same period.

When it comes to the legal side, Hamad Al Midfa, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs Department at SEDD, stated that the 100 percent digital transformation of the Department's procedures is a qualitative leap in terms of improving performance, raising efficiency and ensuring its safety from a legal point of view. Also, it is considered an application of Law No. 1 of 2006 in the matter of electronic transactions and commerce.

He added that SEDD recently activated commercial companies' transactions contracts digitally during the pandemic, as part of its concern for public health and public safety, and in line with the precautionary and preventive measures issued by the competent authorities in the country, where 47,557 contracts for commercial companies were documented in 2020.

Salim Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director of Commercial Control and Protection Department at SEDD, confirmed that the department handled 9,388 complaints it received during 2020. He carried on that SEDD conducted 132,718 inspection campaigns during the same period to ensure the safety of commercial and economic establishments.

In detail, consumer protection complaints acquired the largest share with 8,468 out of the total number of complaints handled, while the number of commercial fraud complaints reached 555, while service agent complaints reached 365.

It should be noted that consumer protection complaints were distributed to include many sectors. Complaints from the auto and spare parts sector recorded 21 percent. mobile phones and electronics complaints reached 14 percent. Also, complaints about personal services activities hit 12 percent, electrical appliances and building materials complaints reached 10 percent, furnishings and curtains nine percent, fashion design and wedding services complaints reached 6.2 percent, and tourism, travel and shipping complaints reached 5.8 percent. It should be noted that the other complaints were distributed unevenly on the various other economic sectors.

Furthermore, Ali Ahmed Al Naqbi, Deputy Director of the Information Technology Department, said that the year 2020 witnessed great developments in the development of digital services aspect at SEDD. Such a thing had an important and pivotal implication and result in digital work, as the department was able to raise the use of digital services from 54.3 percent in the year 2019 to 88.1 percent in 2020.

The year 2020 witnessed an improvement in the development of the user experience, and facilitating the customer's journey, as the service quality index rose to 66 points.