Dubai Chamber of Commerce to open two more African offices in 2016

Kenya and Mozambique outposts will “strengthen” chamber’s footprint in region  
Dubai Chamber of Commerce to open two more African offices in 2016
By Sarah Townsend
Sun 01 Nov 2015 03:34 PM

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce is to open two new offices in Africa next year – its third and fourth as the emirate seeks to forge closer trade links with the continent.

The two offices will be in Nairobi, Kenya and Maputo, Mozambique, Arabian Business can reveal. Deals have been signed to open the offices in the first quarter of 2016.

Kenya is the fifth largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa and the chamber said it believed there are opportunities for closer integration between the two countries in sectors including tourism, ICT (information and communications technology) and logistics.

In particular, Emaar Properties and Jumeirah Group are among Dubai developers that have invested in Kenya’s hotels sector. 

A spokesperson from Dubai Chamber of Commerce said of the Nairobi opening: “We are looking forward to opening our new office in Africa, in Kenya, in Q1 2016.

“Kenya is an important trade and investment partner for us as it is strategically located and a member of the East Africa Community and [trading bloc] the Common Market for Eastern & Southern Africa (COMESA).

“It is also the fifth largest economy in the Sub-Saharan Africa with good economic growth and a dynamic market. We believe there are a lot of synergies between Kenya and Dubai in various sectors, such as tourism, ICT, and logistics, and this office will help us strengthen our footprint in the country and the wider region.

“At the same time, it will help businesses from Kenya to take advantage of the opportunities that Dubai has to offer.”

On the
Mozambique office, the spokesperson added: “With a 500 percent increase in trade
between 2004 and 2014, Mozambique is an important trade partner for Dubai with
numerous opportunities for mutual cooperation.

“Our
decision to open an office in Mozambique is reflective of our aim to increase
our footprint in the country and to give the businesses the chance to
capitalize on the 250 million strong consumer base as Mozambique will open
doors to the wider Southern African Development Community (SADC), for us.”

Dubai Chamber of Commerce already has representative offices in Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia, and Accra, in Ghana.

The Ethiopia office opened in 2012 and the Accra office in January this year.

The news comes as a report from the chamber reveals that African exports to the UAE have grown by 11 percent over the past five years.

In a report published on Sunday, the chamber said the UAE was Africa’s 19th major export destination, accounting for 1.1 percent of Africa’s total world exports.

And the UAE is Africa’s 18th major import supplying market with a share of 1.6 percent, the research found.

It said that the formation of Africa’s prospective Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA), to which 26 countries have signed in principle but which has yet to be ratified, “would bring about major economic and structural reforms in most of the African economies”.

“The projected increase in Africa’s private demand and government development expenditures are expected to encourage more investments in Africa,” including from the Gulf, the report said.

Meanwhile, Dubai Chamber of Commerce’s most recent research on Gulf foreign direct investment into Africa, published last September, showed that Gulf entities provided in excess of $30 billion of funding to African infrastructure over the past decade – which amounts to between 7 percent and 10 percent of total inflows.

It predicted that annual contributions from the Gulf to African nations would average a total of $5 billion in the “coming years” – though it did not specify the timeframe.

The chamber is due to publish this year’s figures at its Africa conference later this month – it told Arabian Business updated figures were not available in advance.

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