With its excellent links to the wider European region and its emergence as a stronger trade destination due to export growth and increased FDI inflows, the Czech Republic offers ample investment opportunities for Dubai businesses, H.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.
Speaking at Dubai Chamber’s Country Focus Briefing: Czech Republic 2013, held in cooperation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic at its headquarters on Monday, Buamim called upon businesses from both the sides to exploit investment opportunities offered by their respective countries.
The briefing was organised as part of Dubai Chamber’s initiative of exploring investment opportunities in promising markets of the world for its members while enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai businesses in the overseas business arenas.
The Director General of Dubai Chamber further stressed that the Czech Republic has highlighted a number of countries as priority in terms of collaboration and export and this is where Dubai comes in as a major trade hub in the Middle East. The emirate’s strategic links to MENA, Asia and Africa offers Czech traders easy access to these high-growth consumer markets, he said.
The briefing was attended by Mr. Ivan Jukl, Director General of Economic Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, and a large number of delegates from Dubai and the Czech Republic’s business communities, who were eager to learn about the strong investment potential to enhance trade and investment flows between the two trading partners.
Buamim also stressed on the importance of the briefing which he said aimed at building bridges of communication between the two countries while strengthening the status of the Czech Republic as a gateway for UAE businesses to expand into Central Europe. He also highlighted the areas of potential investment for UAE businesses including tourism, healthcare, and infrastructure in the country.
He further stressed that Dubai today is a leading example of a diversified economy which is led by its lucrative sectors of trade, tourism, logistics and financial services which are the main drivers of the emirate’s economic growth.
“Last year our members’ exports to the Czech Republic valued AED 14 million and it was Dubai’s 56th largest trade partners at the end of 2011 and we would like to see this increase through joint efforts beginning today,” said Buamim.
On his part, Mr. Ivan Jukl, Director General of Economic Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, lauded the spectacular growth witnessed by the UAE, especially Dubai which he said has become a safe haven for foreign investors.
Mr. Ivan Jukl further stressed that the trade sector is the most important link between the two countries as both the sides emphasise on offering a conducive business environment. He also said that the availability of daily flights between Dubai and Prague played a key role in promoting bilateral relations as he called upon businesses from the two countries to work jointly in their areas of common interest.
In his introductory presentation on Czech Republic Trade and Investment Opportunities, Mr. Kamil Blazek, Chairman, Association for Foreign Investment of the Czech Republic said his country is ready to offer its expertise in energy, mechanical engineering and glassware to UAE businesses.
He said that the UAE is one of the most important trading partners of the Czech Republic in the Middle East as the country’s exports to the emirates amounted to $637.5 million while its imports amounted to $41.3 million as he added that the UAE was the fifth largest export partner of his country outside Europe.
The main export items include glassware with a share of 26.4% of total exports of the Czech Republic to the UAE, as well as equipment for automatic data processing (18.9%), telephone and other broadcast equipment (7.1%), flat-rolled iron and steel products (3.7%), electricity distribution metres (3.6%), pumps, compressors, fans (2.5%) and storage units (2.2%). Imports comprise mainly aluminium and aluminium alloys (43), the presentation said.
Listing the countries of the Czech Republic’s share total of foreign trade in 2011, Mr. Blazek pointed out that Germany topped the list and was followed by Slovakia, Poland, France, Italy, Austria, China, Russia, UK and the Netherlands while the key economic sectors contributing to the GDP growth were manufacturing with 24.3%, wholesale and retail trade, with 10.5%, while both the real estate and construction sectors contributing 6.7% respectively.
The briefing also had presentations by International Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic, Czech Tourist Authority as well as a number of Czech companies highlighting their various services and initiatives.
Launched in 2010, the Dubai Chamber initiative of the Country Focus Briefing is organised in association with embassies, consulates, business councils, trade centres and representative offices of target countries. The main objective of the briefing is to introduce business opportunities in one chosen market to Dubai’s business community so as to empower them to explore emerging export destinations, develop relationships with relevant trade bodies as well as enhance their competitiveness in the global business arena.
So far, the initiative has brought into focus new markets like Chile, Switzerland, Japan, Turkey Brazil, Ethiopia, Australia, the Netherlands, Kurdistan, Kazakhstan and Qatar.