Dubai’s trading sector remains robust

Published December 12th, 2010 - 01:22 GMT

Dubai is still the preferred destination for trading among countries globally, according to Al Fajer Information and Services, the organiser of the 25th edition the International Autumn Trade Fair (IATF10), which is taking place from December 13 to 15, 2010, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

At a press conference unveiling details of the show, it was revealed that countries around the world still look at Dubai as the preferred business destination, thanks to the world-class logistics infrastructure.

Satish Khanna, General Manager of Al Fajer Information & Services, said: "Dubai's consumer goods business will continue to flourish because the logistics market is mature and the number of consumers in Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, CIS countries and Africa are increasing rapidly. Dubai offers facilities that help boost the non conventional sectors in the consumer goods field."

Khanna added: "We heard it from several trade officials from different parts of the world that Dubai has been instrumental in boosting the trade revenues of many countries because of its unassailable position as an established re-export center."

Dubai's retailing, distribution, manufacturing and the supply chain are the best in the entire MENA region. The city's continuous drive for globalisation has placed it as one of the best consumer goods traders in the world.

Khanna added: "Companies prefer Dubai because it has reached the status of a mature trading hub for consumer goods business. Dubai will be the leader in logistics business. The supply chain market in the city is mature and evolving rapidly. Dubai succeeded in re-engineering the consumer goods supply chains to match the regional consumer demand."

Referring to consumers goods verticals, Khanna said that retail sub-sectors consisted of winners, losers and those just breaking even in the first three quarters of 2010. Retail spend levels has fallen in household products, electronics goods and luxury retail categories. On the other hand, sales of food and beverage products has been very high. Also, more food products were bought for home dining instead of dining out. Cosmetics and powders were bought more to be used at home, rather than for use at salons."

Consumer goods trade in the UAE has shown signs of growth in 2010 reflecting Dubai's intrinsic economic strengths and dynamism as a buyer-seller meeting point for the entire region, Khanna added.

The 25th edition the International Autumn Trade Fair (IATF10) will feature around 500 exhibitors from 25 countries. The three-day Autumn Fair, to be held in Halls 2, 3 and 4, is a leading regional buyer-seller meeting ground for the consumer goods segment. The exhibition, ranked as one of the more popular general trade fairs in the region running in its successful 25th year, will occupy 13,000 square meters of space.

Khanna said: "Over the last 25 years, IATF has been recognised as a robust regional business platform for the global consumer goods industry keen to expand footprints in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region."

This year, the fair will host the official national pavilions of eight countries, occupying 80 per cent of exhibition space. The national pavilions include 225 exhibitors from China, 35 from Hong Kong, 10 from Singapore, 35 from Korea, 15 from Iran, 20 from Turkey, 40 from India and 15 from Malaysia. In all, 500 companies are scheduled to participate from over 25 countries and eight of them are participating as official pavilions supported by their respective governments. Turkey and India are participating for the first time. The other countries participating at individual level are Japan, Indonesia, Italy, Taiwan and the Netherlands.

As for the Chinese participation, the total volume of trade between China and the UAE was US $21.20 billion in 2009, with exports to UAE amounting $18.6 billion against $ 2.6 billion imports into China, according to the Commercial Office of Chinese Consulate in Dubai. The bulk of products imported from China are household and domestic appliances, cookware and kitchenware, tyre and rubber products, shoes, hardware, machinery and machine tool and building materials.

Currently, the UAE has the highest number of Chinese companies in the GCC where the country is home to 2,000 Chinese companies compared with just 20 in Saudi Arabia for instance. The strategic location of the UAE and its close proximity to markets in central Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Africa are the major attractions for Chinese companies.

Nearly 70 percent of goods imported to the UAE from the China are re-exported to other countries in the Middle East, Africa and even Europe. Handicrafts, textile products, clothes and apparels, light industrial products, machinery equipments and products made of gold, silver, copper, iron and tin are the major Chinese export items to the UAE.

UAE mainly exports products like aluminum ingot, chemical fertilizer, petroleum and petrochemical products—like polythene and polypropylene.

Trade between the UAE and China rose 40.5 per cent last year to $28bn, and exports from China to the Gulf are expected to rise next year with China consolidating its position as the biggest exporter to the region, having overtaken the USA. Exports from the Asian country to the Middle East reached $60bn last year.

Trade between the GCC and China is expected to receive a further boost once China begins to buy more of the Gulf's hydrocarbon production to meet its surging energy needs.

In particular, gold and gold jewellery trade between Dubai and China reached over AED 411 million in 2008. Imports reached 368.84 million, while imports stood at nearly AED 34 million. Over AED 9.12 million of gold and gold jewellery was re-exported from Dubai to China.

As for the Hong Kong participation, The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) will bring more than 35 Hong Kong companies to Dubai under the Hong Kong Pavilion at the show.

The Hong Kong Pavilion at IATF will showcase a wide variety of Hong Kong consumer products, including gifts, premium items, electronics, house ware, household products, fashion and fashion accessories. The presence of quality Hong Kong manufacturers and exporters will provide a great opportunity for entrepreneurs from the Middle East and North Africa to meet potential suppliers from Hong Kong. Various value-added services will be also provided to visitors, including a free business matching service to help pair up buyers with the right Hong Kong suppliers.

"Hong Kong is renowned as a supplier of quality products with superior designs and the UAE is Hong Kong's most important trading partner in the Middle East region. We are very committed to this market and will continue to help promote bilateral trade, in both the product as well as services sectors, between Hong Kong and the Middle East", said Stephen Wong, Regional Director, Middle East and Africa, HKTDC. "Although we have witnessed a slight dip in the trade volume over the past year, we believe there will continue to be tremendous potential for growth in the trade flow between Hong Kong and the UAE in the longer term." 


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