SPC Free Zone capitalises its unique advantages to nurture and build creative ecosystem

October 28, 2022

SHARJAH, 28th October, 2022 (WAM) — With its strategic location in the heart of Sharjah that offers easy access to trade links across the wider MENA region, the Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) Free Zone, under Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), has been empowering entrepreneurs and investors in the creative sector with a suite of flexible, convenient, and competitive solutions to accelerate their businesses.

SPC Free Zone, the world’s first printing and publishing free zone, has successfully capitalised on the unique strengths of Sharjah’s diversified economy, its strategic geographic location at the crossroads of three continents, and international status as a cultural and economic hub to provide a comprehensive business ecosystem with extensive support initiatives to enable businesses in the publishing, printing, and allied sectors to grow and thrive.

The mix of modern infrastructure facilities at SPC Free Zone including co-working, retail, storage, and commercial offices, and the streamlined business set-up processes and offerings under Sharjah’s globally recognised business-friendly regulatory environment, offer investors an ideal business set-up platform to access lucrative markets in the region and beyond.

Businesses from around the world can leverage the state-of-the-art free zone’s unique offerings and benefit from the growth-focused mindset and preferential investment climate in Sharjah. Among the key factors that continue to draw aspiring entrepreneurs into the SPC Free Zone’s enabling ecosystem are the inherent benefits for investors stemming from its presence in the versatile and agile business environment of Sharjah.

Strategic location

With coastlines both on the eastern and western borders of the UAE, an expanding network of destinations served by an international airport, and with three seaports, Sharjah is the perfect gateway to the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and other international markets. In addition, Sharjah shares borders with all other emirates in the UAE enabling businesses based in Sharjah to reach more than 10 million potential customers residing in the country.

Diverse cultural agenda

As the cultural capital of the UAE and home to major international cultural events, Sharjah offers the publishing sector unique opportunities to network, expand their businesses, and connect with customers through major cultural events organised throughout the year such as the annual Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) – recognised as the largest event of its kind globally in 2021 in terms of buying and selling copyrights and one of the top three book fairs in the world; Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF); SIBF Publishers Conference; Sharjah Book Sellers Conference; and many more.

Ease of business setup

In Sharjah’s modern investment environment, investors can get pre-approvals and formalise a business registration within 45 minutes. All the mandatory steps in the business setup processes are streamlined to speed up the establishment of companies, and investors can complete all formalities to start operations in just five days, enabling them to dedicate more time and efforts to expand their reach regionally and internationally.

Unique services

Since its inception in 2017, SPC Free Zone has attracted significant players and businesses across the creative sector. It has created a unified platform for publishers to complete all translation, publishing, and distribution activities and provides world-class services and advanced infrastructure to assist publishers including storage, logistics, and printing. The launch of Lightning Source Sharjah, the first-of-its-kind large-scale print-on-demand service in the region, offers stakeholders at SPC Free Zone significant opportunities to expand access to books and content, and reach the Asian and African markets quicker and at lower costs.

Smart, simple solutions

While enjoying 100 percent ownership and 0 percent income or corporate tax, investors at SPC Free Zone can choose from a host of cost-effective 1,500+ business activities to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey. The tailored solutions further enable investors to combine up to five activities and receive up to 100 visas on one license. Under the flexible package solutions, a 10-year trade license or dual license to operate in the mainland, are available for investors with varied business needs.

Salim Omar Salim, Executive Director of SBA, said, “We are committed to providing strategic opportunities, unique facilities and services, and world-class innovations to enable the publishing sector in the region to accelerate their entrepreneurial ambitions. At SPC Free Zone, our value proposition builds on the strengths of Sharjah’s huge natural and geographic advantage, its proximity to large regional economies, a stable and regulatory environment to support them in the long run, and the presence of a large pool of talent to accelerate sustainable growth in the cultural and creative sectors.”

Lina Ibrahim/ Hazem Hussein

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