UAE - The bilateral trade between Dubai and France, which recorded a surge to Dh8.5 billion in the first half of 2021, is set to get a further boost following discussions between the two sides to explore new mutually beneficial opportunities.
Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said the growth momentum of Dubai’s external trade is gathering pace, driven by a number of factors, including the emirate’s outstanding capabilities, dynamism and agility in handling the pandemic.
Speaking during an event organised by Dubai Customs, a virtual Ertibat meeting with a visiting French diplomatic and business delegation, he said tourism and exhibition activity was going back to normal in the emirate, with Expo 2020 around the corner.
The meeting discussed a number of topics, including means to boost further cooperation and facilities offered to foreign businesses. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, executive chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, director-general of Dubai Customs; and Xavier Chatel, Ambassador of France to the UAE attended the meeting along with a number of executive directors and heads of departments of Dubai Customs and representatives of French businesses.
“Meetings like these help us develop our economic relationships with friendly states. We are committed to facilitating French trade and investment activities in the best possible way in alignment with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to make Dubai the world’s leading global economic hub,” said Sulayem.
Ahmed Mahboob Musabih welcomed the French delegation and reaffirmed Dubai Customs’ commitment to developing cooperation with French diplomatic missions and businesses in line with the coherent and fruitful partnership between the UAE and France.
“Our trade sector saw considerable growth in Q1 this year despite many challenges posed by the global pandemic. Dubai’s non-oil external trade grew 10 per cent to Dh354.4 billion from Dh323 billion in Q1 2020. Customs transactions skyrocketed 53.4 per cent to 11.2 million in the first half of this year from 7.3 million in the corresponding period in 2020,” said Musabih.
Dubai recorded a total trade of Dh14.9 billion with France in 2020. In H1 2021, trade between the two sides touched Dh8.5 billion. Top commodities included jewellery, perfumes, medical products, textiles and leather.
Xavier Chatel, Ambassador of France to the UAE, said the UAE has demonstrated exceptional capabilities in managing the Covid-19 crisis, proving its competence in adapting to changes and overcoming challenges.
“The UAE is our preferred choice for investment and trade. This is the message that I always convey to French officials. Dubai is the perfect link between the west and the east thanks to its strategic location and advanced infrastructure,” said Chatel.
Eman Badr Al Suwaidi, director of Customs Valuation Department, who is in charge of the implementation of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme, said the AEO programme applies advanced procedures in compliance with the WTO requirements. “The AEO programme will help member companies gain better access to world markets,” said Al Suwaidi.
“Currently 85 companies have registered in the programme, and we have signed mutual recognition agreements with South Korea, China and Saudi Arabia so far.”
Dubai Customs delivered a presentation on its Cross Border e-Commerce platform during the meeting. The innovative platform, developed by Dubai Customs, utilises blockchain technology to integrate and automate operations between Customs, Free Zones, logistics, and courier companies.
The first of its kind in the region, the initiative aims to help the emirate become a global hub for e-commerce, and encourage e-commerce companies to set up their businesses in Dubai. Online trade in the UAE is estimated to reach $27 billion in 2022, a growth of 23 per cent.
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