Private-public cooperation is key to economic growth

DUBAI — UAE Minister of Foreign Trade Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi on Tuesday discussed important UAE laws, benefits and issues of foreign trade at a Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s networking event with top private sector representatives.

By (Staff Report)

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Published: Wed 27 Feb 2013, 10:43 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:41 AM

The Dubai Chamber’s director-general, Hamad Buamim, also spoke about the 13 per cent year-on-year growth in the value of Chamber members’ exports and re-exports.

Shaikha Lubna emphasised the importance of forging strong bonds between the public and private sectors stating that the two sectors have jointly achieved huge success in the economic growth of the country.

Now, with the changing times, the two sectors can achieve higher success by maintaining economic and commercial vibrancy, she added.

“We… have helped accelerate economic diversification to a point where non-oil activities now account for more than 74.6 per cent of our GDP. We continue to lead exports of strategic global commodities such as gold and aluminium,” she said.

In order to enhance the UAE’s foreign trade, Shaikha Lubna said that the country continues to participate in trade negotiations with its partners in the GCC region and beyond, push for more strategic economic and commercial cooperative agreements, and fine-tune legal frameworks for economic and commercial cooperation.

Free trade agreements, or FTAs, were signed with Singapore and the Afta bloc in 2008 and 2009 respectively, she said.

“Now, we are cooperating with the GCC’s negotiating team to conclude other FTAs with the EU, Japan, China, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Australia, Korea and the Mercosur bloc comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay,” Shaikha Lubna added.

Replying to queries from the gathered businessmen on the impact of the currently-understudy Companies Law on the country’s economic growth and the soon-to-come Bankruptcy Law, Shaikha Lubna pointed out that the approved Companies Law will come with some changes but it will definitely be in favour of the UAE’s business environment while the Bankruptcy Law, which she assured is coming soon, is one of the top priorities with the UAE Government, she said.

In response to another question on the benefits of FTAs for the UAE, she said that FTAs are very important for economic growth of the country as they promote intra-regional trade and facilitate ease of doing business, while they create new job opportunities and open up doors for know-how and technology, informing that the GCC countries have a consensus on the promotion of FTAs in the region.

To another businessman’s query seeking more support from the Ministry of Foreign Trade in new markets of the world, Shaikha Lubna shed light on the efforts of the ministry, which she said was coordinating with UAE embassies, other ministries and chambers of commerce in promoting international trade.

On his part, the Buamim praised the efforts of the MoFT in enhancing UAE trade while making the country a strategic trading hub in the region.

He took the opportunity to highlight the latest figures coming out of the trade sector as he said that Chamber members’ exports and re-exports during January was 13 per cent higher than the same month last year.

“This is a strong start to 2013 and a good sign for continued trade growth this year as the business community as a whole is generally optimistic about conditions and confidence for the first quarter,” he said.

Buamim added: “According to our recent quarterly business leaders’ survey, expectations of large corporations scored 75 per cent for business condition and 69 per cent for business confidence, with not one leader surveyed expressing negative sentiment.”

On the Dubai Chamber’s strategy for 2013, Buamim said that the Dubai Chamber is moving forward with its global expansion.

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