UAE a gold mine of opportunity

Issac John /Dubai Filed on November 26, 2020
Humaid Ben Salem and Sajith Kumar PK at Global Gold Convention 2020, along with Dr Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi, Rashid Al Noori, Anoop PS and Khalifa Al Qubaisi. — Supplied photo


Ideal ecosystem and innovation make it a ‘perfect bedrock for global trade of precious metal

An investor-friendly business ecosystem, resilient private sector, standardised regulations, ideal geopolitical location, and rapid integration of digitisation make the UAE “a perfect bedrock” for global gold trade, delegates from 33 countries at the Global Gold Convention heard.

The 2020 edition of the Global Gold Convention was hosted by IBMC and co-organised by the International Chamber of Commerce UAE and the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Humaid Ben Salem, chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, in his keynote address said holding the conference on the backdrop Covid-19 pandemic is a testimony to the crucial role of the private sector and the UAE economy’s resilience power and adaptability.

The one-day convention comprised nine industry panels covering a wide spectrum of topics including “the gold sector as a non-oil diversification strategy,” and the future of the UAE as a gold hub during volatile economic times.

The theme largely centred on how the UAE is maintaining its status as a global gold trade hub with the digitisation and democratisation of the precious metals trade.

Sheikha Hend bint Faisal Al Qasmi; former UAE Minister Dr Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi; Rashid Al Noori, advisor at Khaled Al Hamed Group; Dr Tariq Al Nizami, founder and CEO of CEO Clubs Network Worldwide; and Vishal Patel, executive director for client coverage at Morgan Stanley Capital International, were among the panelists discussing at length the UAE’s progressive outlook and diverse skill force as a driving force for the gold trade. Also at the event were Anoop PS, CBO and executive director of IBMC Financial Professionals group, and Khalifa Al Qubaisi, vice-president of IBMC UAE.

“The UAE currently trades more gold than leading markets like Hong Kong and America. This is largely due to the fact that the UAE is a place of peace and prosperity, where diversity has flourished. We are a tolerant nation, where we strive to stand shoulder to shoulder with our industry peers,” said Sheikha Hend.

Over the past two decades, the UAE has emerged as a global gold trading hub, ranking as the sixth-largest exporter of the yellow metal in the world with a 5.04 per cent of total global exports of $305 billion. The county’s annual exports of gold are valued at $15.4 billion, diamonds at $10.2 billion and gold jewellery at $12.2 billion. In gold imports, the UAE claims the world’s fourth-largest rank with a value of $27.3 billion. As a leading export product, gold is a significant commodity for the UAE, representing 6.36 per cent of its total exports.

As late as 1996, the UAE did not even appear among the world’s top one hundred gold-importing countries. Two decades later, the UAE ranked among the top four, above Hong Kong and the United States. Of the 11 gold refineries in the UAE, the majority are located in Dubai.

“The UAE is home to over 200 different nationalities and therefore we have an incredibly diverse and specialised workforce. This, alongside our ease of accessibility and limited barriers to entry, make it very easy for new entrants to the gold market,” said Dr Al Kindi.

The IBMC presented before the global audience its innovative Digital Gold Asset Stable Currency and SME Economy eMarketplace and Secure Gold Trade Flow to enhance UAE’s position as the global gold trade hub.

The Gold eMarketplace Trade Flow platform launched by IBMC will facilitate SMEs to enter gold business, transact deals, arrange secured funds by a match-making mechanism by roping in the investors and investees, insurance and banks. It’s part of the IBMC’S SME Economy e-Marketplace Platform for secured and transparent transactions. Mining companies, gold exporters, gold importers, refineries, gold ornament manufacturers, retail traders and re-exporters can join in the trade flow system, said Sajith Kumar PK, managing director and CEO of IBMC. Kumar said the introduction of the digital US gold currency, a state-of-the-art currency that blends stability with convenience, “will lead to a new wave of gold investors by overcoming obstacles such as daily fluctuations in gold and forex rates, difficulties with cross border gold transfers, and reduced costs”.

“USG holders will also benefit from keeping gold as an asset in a digital format as well as redeem it as a physical gold coin or in US dollars anywhere in the world,” he said.

“The IBMC trade platform will enable traditional retailers, importers, and investors to transition their business dealings and activities online through trailblazing new tech that will provide added assurance, security and transparency for all parties. Increasing confidence in effect.”



Issac John

Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.

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