Intra-regional growth can enhance GCC economies
The Chief Executive of Dubai Exports, Saed Al Awadi, said exports to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) can benefit from geographical proximity, a common language and culture, as well as common standards and the absence of customs duties.
Speaking at the session on The Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab Region at the TPO World Conference 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 4 November, Mr. Al Awadi said initiatives taken by GCC countries towards diversification will increase intra-regional trade.
Trade has made this world smaller through the internet, fuelling global commerce, said the Chief Executive of Dubai Trade Mahmood Al Bastaki. He added that the goal of the government of Dubai is to be ahead of the game. To achieve this, he said the government is investing in both hard and soft infrastructure with a seamless integration between them. Mr. Al Bastaki said Dubai’s vision is to increase trade e-services through automated processes, which have reduced time, instant accessibility, reduced costs and carbon footprint. These measures, he said, has contributed to more than 100 million transactions. The focus is to have hassle-free trade by promoting the transparency of trade procedures and regulations, providing visibility of trade transactions to traders and service providers, and making available basic import and export information such as rules and regulations. He added that Dubai’s participation in global benchmarking studies related to international trade and logistics have helped to showcase the country as a leader in trade best practices.
The Commercial Director of DP World, Abdulla bin Damithan, said the region has witnessed an exponential growth in trade over the past decade. He said this is driven by the government’s economic diversification plans with imports being fuelled by consumption and growing populations while exports have been fuelled by downstream industrialisation and manufacturing. He said Dubai which operates a ‘smart port’ through the use of technology, has led it to become the world’s third-largest re-export market.
The General Manager of the Trade Cooperation and Promotion Programme at the Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), Syed Habib Ahmed, said his organisation is focused on trade promotion, capacity-building, trade facilitation, strategic commodity development and trade mainstreaming. He said the aim of the ITFC is to be a catalyst in developing trade among the member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), and with the rest of the world.
The Executive Director of Qatar Development Bank (QDB), Hassan Khalifa Al Mansoori, said the aim is to boost intra-regional trade by focusing on private sector growth through increased trade and investment flows.