During the Diplomatic Circle Dinner
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Continuing its initiative of the Diplomatic Circle Dinner to strengthen communication ties between government officials and the diplomatic community, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a large number of ambassadors and consul generals to a networking dinner at The Address Downtown hotel on Monday evening.
The dinner meeting was attended by Mr. Khalid Ghanem Al Ghaith, UAE Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs, and over 90 diplomatic corps running diplomatic missions in the country. The attendees were received by H.E. Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Board members and H.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber.
In line with its objective of consolidating existing ties between Dubai Chamber, the diplomatic community and various government entities, the networking meeting served as an ideal platform to reveal Dubai’s economic growth indicators while also identifying investment opportunities available in the emirate and promoting Dubai as a global destination for trade and finance.
In his keynote address, Al Ghaith lauded the role of the diplomats in building mutual understanding, identifying and facilitating opportunities for cooperation and enabling easier travel and exchange between the citizens of their countries and the UAE.
He further stated that the diplomats’ role is now more important than ever as we live in a challenging time brought on by instability in the region but the UAE thankfully has a regulatory regime with stable and inviting business environment, first-class infrastructure, open economy, and is a global hub while ensuring a sustainable economic growth.
The Assistant Foreign Minister for Economic Affairs said that the UAE economy has achieved an annual growth rate of 6% during the past two decades which shows the country’s competitiveness and economic growth.
Al Ghaith added that guided by the UAE vision 2021, the country is continuing the growth trend as he stressed on the citizens to contribute to the nation’s growth by building their knowledge and to apply their talent with innovation while helping in to sustain its drive towards economic diversification as the country seeks to transform its economy into a model based on knowledge and innovation in cooperation with all countries by attracting their skilled workers and their investments and trade cooperation.
Highlighting his department’s support to Dubai Expo 2020 he said that this is part of the UAE Vision as the country is planning to provide support to up to 100 developing countries to enable them to participate in the Expo to make it truly representative and global.
He added that the Expo for the first time will have more global than domestic visitors as it will attract 25 million unique visitors, more than 75% from outside the country as this will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the UAE which gives the Expo added significance.
Welcoming the gathering, Buamim said that building stronger ties with the diplomatic community is something that we strongly advocate and we see this as central to supporting the growth and development of UAE businesses at home and abroad.
“This gathering provides a fertile ground to meet and update official representatives of a large number of countries with the latest indicators of Dubai’s economic growth while also bringing them face to face with government officials and members of Dubai Chamber from the private sector,” said Buamim.
The Director General of Dubai Chamber informed that 2013 looks to be a more promising year for Dubai and Dubai Chamber members as we expect leading engines of Dubai’s economic growth including trade, logistics, tourism and financial services to continue leading other sectors as they did in 2012.
He also said that Dubai ranked eighth among global top 20 destination cities by international visitors last year as it also ranked 18th amongst top 20 destination cities by international visitor spending while it occupied the second position in the list of top five cities where global retailers have a presence which clearly shows the popularity the emirate enjoyed on the international economic scene last year.
Highlighting the excellent start to 2013 by Chamber members, Buamim said that since the beginning of the year the value of exports and re-exports of Dubai Chamber members went up by by 18% compared to the same period last year, he said.
Buamim further explained that the tourism numbers were up with passengers at Dubai International Airport surpassing the 57 million mark last year as Dubai hotels also posted some of the biggest growth in MENA region while the emirate played host to a number of largest global exhibitions.
This year, Buamim said that Dubai Chamber will forge ahead with its strategy to strengthen ties with key markets around the world including new areas in Africa, Central Asia and Southeast Asia in order to facilitate two-way trade and investment flows between these countries while showcasing the competitiveness of Dubai businesses in the overseas markets.
Also, Dubai Chamber will be embarking on a programme of sending out trade missions to new and untapped markets of the world while opening representative offices in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan and Saudi Arabia. These will be followed by India, China, Turkey, Egypt and Brazil over the next three to five years, said Buamim.
The Director General of Dubai Chamber reiterated his organisation’s support to Dubai’s bid to host the 2020 World Expo which he said is well underway and gathering major support from across the community. He welcomed everyone’s input and backing stating that Dubai is the best and only place to host the Expo 2020 and that if this wish is granted it will be life-changing for the emirate’s economy and all businesses based here.
Buamim called upon the diplomats to benefit from Dubai’s strategic location and to highlight and promote the various Foreign Direct Investment opportunities offered by the emirate and encourage investors from their countries to set up businesses here to expand into the regional market. He also thanked them for their continuous support in highlighting the best Dubai has to offer to overseas investors while promoting bilateral trade between their countries and the emirate.