Dubai International Chamber begins new horizons trade mission to Central Asia

Mission underlines Dubai International Chambers’ target of boosting foreign trade to Dh2 trillion by 2026

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A Staff Reporter

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Mohammad Lootah, PCEO of Dubai Chambers and Dr. Saeed Matar AlQemzi, Ambassador of the UAE to Uzbekistan duirng the meeting with Sarvar Khamidov. - Supplied photo
Mohammad Lootah, PCEO of Dubai Chambers and Dr. Saeed Matar AlQemzi, Ambassador of the UAE to Uzbekistan duirng the meeting with Sarvar Khamidov. - Supplied photo

Published: Fri 17 Mar 2023, 4:16 PM

Dubai International Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, begun the first New Horizons Trade Mission to Central Asia in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The event saw more than 150 B2B meetings held between Dubai-based companies and Uzbek business leaders as well as a business forum which was attended by over 230 participants including senior Uzbek government officials, business leaders and leading investors interested in doing business in Dubai.


New Horizons is a programme spearheaded by Dubai International Chamber to drive international expansion of Dubai businesses into new select markets while promoting Dubai as a thriving global investment hub for companies from those markets. It builds on the chamber's ‘In Focus’ initiative, which is a platform for Dubai businesses and member companies to engage with public and private sector leaders in strategic markets, to help them grow and achieve their expansion goals.

A large delegation comprising 24 Dubai-headquartered companies representing 16 economic sectors also attended the business forum, opened by Mohammad Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, with keynote addresses from Sarvar Khamidov, Deputy Minister of Investment, Industry and Trade of Uzbekistan and Dr. Saeed Matar AlQemzi, Ambassador of the UAE to Uzbekistan.


Mohammad Lootah exchanging gifts with Uzbekistan deputy minister of investment, Industry and Trade in the presence of UAE Ambassador to Uzbekistan. - Supplied photo
Mohammad Lootah exchanging gifts with Uzbekistan deputy minister of investment, Industry and Trade in the presence of UAE Ambassador to Uzbekistan. - Supplied photo

Lootah said: “Central Asia is an area Dubai International Chamber has identified as one with huge growth potential for bilateral trade. Central Asia is an important market for us, and Uzbekistan is one of our key strategic partners in this region. We believe that together we can unlock great trade and investment opportunities for the business communities in both Dubai and in Uzbekistan to achieve their goals and investment objectives. With Dubai's Economic Agenda 'D33' aiming to double the size of the emirate's economy and double foreign trade to reach Dh25.6 trillion over the next decade, we can maximize opportunities focused on high-impact areas of shared economic and business priority.

"This meeting is our first step towards creating a plethora of new bilateral business and investment opportunities. There was a 49 per cent growth in the number of Uzbek companies that joined Dubai Chamber of Commerce, from 652 in 2016 to 968 in 2022 as well as an increase of total Dubai exporters to Uzbekistan to 200 in the same year. Today, we were gratified to see the relationships already forming between Uzbek and Dubai businesses during the first business matchmaking session, this indicates the success of these trade missions, and it means those numbers are set to grow.”

The Tashkent meeting included a panel discussion with local experts from the logistics, customs and banking sectors who took delegates through some of the benefits and advantages of doing business in Uzbekistan.

During the event, Sarvar Khamidov, Deputy Minister of Investment, Industry and Trade of Uzbekistan said, “Our bilateral investment portfolio is comprised of different projects in various sectors of economy with total value of about US$5 billion, and it continues to grow steadily. The UAE can serve as a bridge to the MENA region, while Uzbekistan can well serve as a hub for the Central Asian and CIS markets.”

Sharing similar sentiments, Dr. Saeed Matar AlQemzi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Republic of Uzbekistan highlighted, “Trade and investment indicators between the UAE and Uzbekistan are steadily growing. Trade turnover between our countries doubled and exceeded $500 million in 2022. UAE and Uzbekistan are developing investment collaboration in different fields, including traditional and alternative energy, infrastructure, agriculture, logistics, aviation and tourism. I believe that this event will contribute to further development of bilateral relations between the UAE and Uzbekistan.”

Around 80 per cent of UAE’s consumed food is imported from abroad. Uzbekistan has large arable land and favourable climatic conditions which create major investment opportunities for UAE food companies. Construction is another sector for potential investment. Dubai companies can invest in the construction of modern business centers, shopping and entertainment centers, a park area and a high-rise residential building.

In addition, Uzbekistan has the largest population (32 million) among the Central Asian countries which bear large investment opportunities for Dubai companies in manufacturing of consumer products such as tea, perfumes and soap.

After the pre-arranged business matching session, the New Horizons trade group conducted site visits to potential business partners in Tashkent, including a visit led by President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, Lootah, to “Allmed”, a Dubai based company that expanded its international footprint years ago into Uzbekistan.

Key partners that supported this trade mission and the roadshow in Uzbekistan include the UAE Embassy in Uzbekistan and the Uzbek Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade.

Dubai International Chamber enables Dubai businesses to expand successfully to global markets and ensures the emirate is a magnet for foreign direct investment supported by a powerful network of Dubai International Offices worldwide. Dubai International Chamber has a mandate to support Dubai’s target of boosting foreign trade from Dh1.4 trillion to Dh2 trillion by 2026 and support the expansion of 100 companies from Dubai to priority foreign markets by 2024.


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