Dubai eyes Syria, Yemen and Libya markets to boost trade, investments


Dubai eyes Syria, Yemen and Libya markets to boost trade, investments
Hamad Buamim reviewing Chamber's 2018 performance.- Supplied photo

Published: Tue 29 Jan 2019, 9:10 PM

Last updated: Tue 29 Jan 2019, 11:14 PM

Dubai is hoping to tap war-torn countries of Syria, Yemen and Libya again to give fillip to trade as they slowly open up for the foreign investors with easing in tension in those countries, a senior official of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Tuesday.
"Markets of Yemen, Syria and Libya are opening again slowly for Dubai and UAE companies. The UAE will also take part in Damascus International Fair. Dubai Chamber's members lost around Dh20 billion over the last three years from these three countries," said Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of Dubai Chamber.
The three Arab countries have been closed for foreign trade due to war that has badly damaged the infrastructure and business environment in those countries.
Recently, low-cost carrier flydubai has announced that it is considering resuming flights to Syria.
The General Civil Aviation Authority of the UAE earlier this month said it was evaluating the return of UAE carriers to the Syrian market and is looking into safety aspect of Damascus airport. The flights from UAE to Syria were suspended in 2019 due to security reasons.
Buamim said Dubai Chamber is focused on enhancing the competitiveness of its members at home and abroad.
"We are studying new markets in various regions of the world, including Mexico, Nigeria, Uganda, and the Baltic States as potential destinations for future international offices. These markets are evaluated based on several criteria, including the competitive advantages they offer our members, ease of doing business, growth opportunities, and political stability," he added.
Buamim was speaking to media to shares chamber's full-year performance. He noted that the companies in the UAE will start realising the benefits of over 200 initiatives such as reducing fees and waiving off fines announced by Dubai and federal governments in 12-month time.
"Dubai and UAE governments announced over 200 initiatives. We will see positive results going forward. In 2019, there is more confidence now in the market. The market will see benefit from the initiatives during the second half," Buamim told Khalej Times in an interview on Tuesday.
Dubai Chamber president revealed that the multinational advisory body will be announced in this quarter which will meet regularly to advise the emirate's government on different aspects of the economy.
This public-private partnership will have around 15-20 members and include companies like Boeing, General Electric and Amazon.
Dubai Chamber unveiled the findings of the 3rd Dubai Innovation Index which showed that Dubai improved its ranking to 14 among 30 global cities in 2018.
Membership grows
Dubai Chamber's total membership grew 6.5 per cent year-on-year, adding 14,476 companies to reach over 231,000 by the end of 2018.
Exports and re-exports of Dubai Chamber members grew steadily in 2018, reaching Dh254 billion as the scope of export markets widened to an average of 173 destinations per month during the year. The value of member exports and re-exports exceeded Dh1.38 trillion over the past five years (2014-2018).
It issued 803,000 certificates of origin in 2018, bringing the total number of certificates issued over the 2014-2018 period to 4.42 million. -

By Waheed Abbas

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