Dubai Chamber roundtable in Baku discusses expansion of trade ties

DUBAI - The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s International Representative Office in Azerbaijan has recently organised a roundtable discussion on ‘Expanding Trade between Dubai and Azerbaijan’ at the JW Marriott Absheron in Baku.

By (WAM)

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Published: Thu 21 Mar 2013, 11:19 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:43 AM

The roundtable was attended by Mr. Hassan Al Hashemi, Director, External Relations, Dubai Chamber, Mr. Sanan Nasibli, Head of Dubai Chamber Representative Office in Azerbaijan, leading Azerbaijani importers and exporters, and representatives of logistics companies, Dubai franchisees, the UAE Embassy, the Ministry of Economic Development of Azerbaijan, and the Azerbaijan Export and Investment Promotion Agency (AzPromo).

In his welcome address, Al Hashemi reiterated Dubai’s solid position as a world-class trade hub for the CIS, GCC, and Africa.

He also stressed the importance of Azerbaijan as a strategic location for trade and business and expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Economic Development and AzPromo for partnership and support.

Al Hashemi also shed light on Dubai Chamber’s plans to expand its international presence with 15-20 offices until 2016 in the CIS, Africa, and Asia noting that Africa and the CIS are very promising markets and Dubai continues to be an excellent hub for cross-continent trade to these regions.

He took the opportunity to highlight the ease of doing business the emirate of Dubai offers to foreign investors via its unconditional government support, business-friendly laws, world-class infrastructural and financial services and a high return business environment.

On his part, Mr. Rufat Mammadov, Acting President of AzPromo, informed that Azerbaijan has gone through a period of significant development and growth with overall trade up nine times and the non-oil trade up five times in the last 10 years.

He also stressed that Azerbaijan’s trade with the UAE is based on imports from the emirates. Apart from hydrocarbons and related products, AzPromo would like to see agricultural products and food stuffs exported to the UAE and other MENA markets.

Representative of leading local retail and commercial real estate companies expressed strong confidence in the growing local consumer market and noted the need and potential of bringing more Dubai management and franchise experience to Azerbaijan.

A Dubai Chamber presentation informed that the biggest export articles to Azerbaijan have been consumer electronics, IT and communications equipment, whereas gold and aluminium, and lately oil and gas products have been import leads.

The presentation was followed by a sector-specific question answer session where a construction company representative expressed desire to see more Dubai companies do business with Azerbaijan, while another representative indicated the need to implement top modern standards in construction and management of modern malls and retail facilities and the potential of bringing Dubai’s experience to the retail market in Azerbaijan.

Another attendee highlighted the need to educate Azerbaijani importers of Dubai’s world-class manufacturing facilities as he said that the emirate is incorrectly perceived as a re-export hub and expressed his company’s intention to expand exports of Dubai-manufactured products to Azerbaijan.

Leading Azerbaijani fruit juice and concentrate producers spoke of a strong interest to explore exporting opportunities to Dubai and the GCC region, but highlighted a lack of sufficient market knowledge and research as primary reasons for a very poor penetration by Azerbaijani producers.

Mr. Faig Amirov, Cargo Manager, flydubai Azerbaijan, spoke of a steady rise in cargo shipments from Dubai, a trend the budget carrier expects to continue in the future.

“In addition to exports from Dubai to Azerbaijan, the airline is well-positioned to service exports from Azerbaijan to the MENA, Africa, and other markets, where flydubai has or plans to establish operations,” he said.

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