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Dubai Chamber aims to grow UAE trade with China and South East Asia

Hamad Buamim is the President & CEO of the Dubai Chamber. He spoke with The Prospect Group about Dubai’s economic relationship with South East Asia and China, Dubai Chamber’s new office in Shanghai, and why Dubai is a great place for Chinese businesses.

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How would you describe the trade relationship between Dubai and its East Asian trading partners?

HAMAD BUAMIM: East Asia is one of our biggest trading blocks. It’s around US$72 billion in 2015. That’s around 20 percent of the total trade of Dubai. But when you look carefully to that, what’s really important is the growth that we’ve been witnessing during the past four or five years. It’s growing more than 50 percent. Of course, China is two-thirds of that trade. But Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong are also big contributors to the trade relationship. When you zoom into China, China by itself is around US$48 billion worth of trade. It has shown a great phenomenon of growth for us during the past five years. It grew from US$24 billion in 2010 to $48 billion. That’s 100 percent growth.

We hope to be able, through the initiatives that we are doing, to continue this growth even further. To be able to cater for the demands, not only in Dubai and UAE, but the Middle East and Africa are very important for us. I would say the share of the trade of Dubai and the existence of Chinese companies here in Dubai is also part of the whole story where the growth is coming from.

What are the current trade levels between Dubai and China?

HAMAD BUAMIM: As I said, US$48 billion. But again, when you start analyzing that, 95 percent of that is export from China to Dubai and around US$2 billion is the export and re-export to China. Most of the products are electronics, machinery, textile, and chemicals. It’s very important for us to continue the growth because, though we import a lot from China, but we re-export a lot of whatever we imported to the region. And this is really contributing also to grow the re-exports and the exports of Dubai further to Africa, to the Middle East, and different parts of our region.

How important is Dubai’s location for Chinese investors?

HAMAD BUAMIM: The proximity of Dubai is making it, I would say, the well-established city closest to markets of big interest for the Chinese, mainly I’m talking about Africa. Africa is the market that Chinese export to and import from, especially raw materials. And a lot of these markets are not well established. For the Chinese companies to be able to be close enough in well-established markets, this is what Dubai is offering. As I said, the platform where they can have great warehouses over here, the ports, the laws and regulations, and the ease of entry and the connectivity with Africa where they can, you know, whether they fly or they can ship from. And this infrastructure is making…

Dubai Chamber opening office in Shanghai, aims to grow UAE trade with China & South East Asia is originally published by and copyright of The Prospect Group.

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