Dubai Chamber supports trade with Chile
HE Eng Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, received HE Alicia Frohmann, Director of Foreign Trade Promotion (ProChile), Ministry of Foreign Relations, and Jean-Paul Tarud-Kuborn, Trade Commissioner of Chile in Dubai at the Chamber premises yesterday (Wednesday). Frohmann’s visit came as a follow up to the former Chilean President HE Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle’s visit to Dubai in February. She also inaugurated the new Chilean Foreign Trade Commission office in Mirdif along with Buamim.
Frohmann’s visit was also seen as a means to consolidate trade ties between Dubai and Chile as she hoped that the trade commission office will provide an opportunity for businesses from both sides to know each other and collaborate with the business community here to discover opportunities between Chile and the UAE as Chile’s past focus has been on Far Eastern and Asian countries but they now want to delve into new territories and Dubai is the best location to reach out to the Middle East.
Said Buamim, “We welcome the new Trade Commission Office in Dubai and see this as a very positive means of developing and consolidating trade ties with Chile as the new office will definitely help facilitate smooth transactions and easy flow of information between the two sides. I also feel that it’s time now for the Chilean officials to open their Consulate General in Dubai as this will not only strengthen ties but reduce the time for obtaining visas and also create a platform for formal channels of communication.”
Added Buamim, “I also feel that it’s high time we should look at exploring air and sea routes between Dubai and Chile as there is still no direct flight to the
South American country.” The director general informed the visitors that the Chamber was seriously thinking of planning a trade mission to South America by the beginning of next year as Dubai businesses from construction, real estate, wood, food and beverages sectors were keenly interested in exploring trade ties with Chile.
On her part, Frohmann informed the hosts that Chile enjoys a niche economy and that the country doesn’t try to specialise in all sectors but certain sectors and that the Chilean economy in the past was based on forestry, mining, food and beverage but now it’s investing heavily in the services sector such as global services and offshore businesses.
The Chilean delegates also urged the Chamber to think of Chile as a source of fresh water as it has one of the largest supplies of pure drinking water in the world. No wonder the country has set a target of becoming one of the top 10 food and beverage exporters while tourism was developing rapidly as Chile offered best of eco-tourism, such as trekking and fly fishing.
Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade with Chile reached AED 406.3 million ($110.6 million) in 2007, although there are no direct Chilean ownership companies operating in Dubai and registered at Dubai Chamber, Chile still ranked 84 in a list of Dubai’s trade partners in 2007 as the Chamber issued a total of 60 certificates of origin for goods exported to the value of AED 26.5 million in 2007.
Chile has signed over 60 treaties with many countries around the world and has a market-oriented economy characterised by a high level of foreign trade. Growth in real GDP averaged 8% during 1991-97, but fell to half that level in 1998 because of tight monetary policies implemented to keep the current account deficit in check and because of lower export earnings. Between 2000 and 2007 growth ranged between 2%-6% as the country maintained a low rate of inflation with GDP growth coming from high copper prices, solid export earnings (particularly forestry, fishing, and mining), and growing domestic consumption. Today, Chile continues to attract foreign direct investment, but most foreign investment goes into gas, water, electricity and mining. Unemployment has exhibited a downward trend over