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UAE and Africa non-oil trade hits $40.7b in first nine months of 2020

The value of non-oil trade between the UAE and Africa totalled $40.7 billion in the first nine months of 2020, compared to $36.9 billion in the same period of 2019, underscoring the growing trade between the UAE and African countries despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), on the occasion of the launch of “Dubai Week in Africa-Kenya” forum on Monday, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said that the value of non-oil trade between the UAE and Africa amounted to $50 billion in 2019, compared to $33 billion in 2015.

He said that the commercial exchange between the UAE and Kenya has witnessed significant growth from 2015 to 2019, amounting to nearly $2.7 billion, compared to $1.5 billion in 2015.

Regarding Emirati investments in Kenya and future cooperation opportunities between the two countries, Al Zeyoudi highlighted the growing investment flows between the two countries, noting that Emirati investments in Kenya are equivalent to some $2.38 billion while Kenyan investments in the UAE are valued at $63 million, with around 18 trademarks in the UAE being from Kenya.

On the exchange of expertise that will enable Kenya to benefit from the UAE’s pivotal role in maintaining the sustainability of supply chains and maritime and aerial shipping movements in global markets, he stressed that the UAE has become a leading global trade destination, noting the country’s advanced position in many global indexes related to logistical supply, facilitating the practice of business, advanced port and logistical facilities, and adopting the best global practices in related areas. He then pointed out that the UAE has become a permanent regional hub in the Middle East for leading international companies and trademarks.

The UAE is considered a vital and geostrategic gateway to Middle Eastern and African markets and is ranked third globally in re-exports, only behind Hong Kong and Singapore, underscoring the country’s attractiveness to global trade, most notably with African countries, Al Zeyoudi further added, stressing that the UAE appreciates its cooperation with Kenya and is willing to facilitate the entry of Kenyan products into new markets.

On the role of the forum in promoting mutual dialogue on exploring available opportunities, in light of the current changes to the global economy, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Al Zeyoudi said that the unprecedented repercussions of the pandemic are difficult to predict, given their profound impact on the global economy.

The repercussions of the pandemic will dominate the discussions on the forum’s first day, which will include exploring related opportunities and adopting appropriate new practices, he further said, noting that the forum’s recommendations and outcomes will likely focus on finding solutions to overcome the current obstacles.

Meanwhile, DMCC – the world’s flagship Free Zone, business hub and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise – announced record-breaking performance in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some 2,025 new companies joined the DMCC in 2020, the highest number of registrations in five years. Retention rate remained at an all-time high. This was primarily due to the Business Support Package launched in March 2020 that saw interest from companies in 149 countries. More than 8,000 member companies availed over 13,000 offers and incentives throughout the year.

In recognition of its continued efforts to enhance its ecosystem, the DMCC claimed Global Free Zone of the Year by the Financial Times’ fDi Magazine for a record sixth consecutive year in October 2020.

For its efforts in supporting business and residents in the JLT-community in terms of COVID-19 relief efforts, the DMCC is shortlisted for “Best Communications During COVID-19” and “Best Integrated Campaign” by PRCA, the world’s largest professional PR body, in its MENA regional awards.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC, said, “A year like no other, 2020 was shaped by market uncertainty, geopolitical tension and a global pandemic. Despite the difficult context, the UAE’s visionary leadership and prompt and decisive actions meant that our economy remained resilient. As for the DMCC, we continued to attract, facilitate and promote global trade flows to and through Dubai. We surpassed 18,000 member companies, broke company registration records while launching new initiatives and progressing on time with flagship projects. Building on this momentum, we will maximise the progress made to reach new heights in 2021.”

China – 2020 saw a 20 percent year-on-year increase in Chinese companies joining the DMCC. A China Service Centre opened its doors in Almas Tower with Mandarin onboarding support while a representative office in Shenzhen was inaugurated all to promote the ease of doing business through the business hub.

Israel – Following a Memorandum of Understanding with the Israel Diamond Exchange, the DMCC inaugurated its representative office in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv, Israel in 2020. The new office is supporting Israeli businesses, from all industries and sectors, to set up an office in DMCC.

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