By Shane McGinley
Dubai Exports chief forecasts 2010’s trade levels will be maintained, but companies bemoan red tape
Total foreign trade in Dubai is expected to grow by 20 percent or more next year, the head of Dubai Exports has said.
“I think we will grow another 20 percent at least,” Saed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Export Development Corporation (DEDC), a unit of the Department of Economic Development (DED), told Arabian Business.
Dubai Trade data showed foreign trade increased by 21 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2010. Direct exports increased by 35 percent, re-exports saw a rise of 25 percent and imports increased by 17 percent.
Dubai has a stated aim to become of the world’s largest trade hubs, however Al Awadi said it was struggling to compete with export giants such as India and China.
Dubai struggles to rival “the dumping policy of some major industrial countries and their long history in manufacturing that is hard to compete with. Yet our government is willing and able to overcome such challenges,” he said.
Companies active in the emirate, however, have said Dubai’s export ambitions are hamstrung by the amount of red tape associated with the movement of goods.
Mohammed Abdulaziz Alshaya, executive chairman of Kuwait based MH Alshaya Co said: “There is still too much red tape. Too much paperwork… [the] challenge of moving goods is very frustrating.”
The retail conglomerate oversees some 55 brands and has said it plans to open 1,250 new stores across the Gulf in the next five years.
The UAE Supreme Council last week urged the establishment of a GCC-wide customs union and to streamline custom laws and bolster inter-Gulf trade
This has been welcomed by Al Awadi.
He said: “I think [the customs union] is a big step and a very important step. We think this will help the ease of doing business within the GCC countries.”
And added: “We support that 100 percent… It will increase the interactive and ease the inter-trade between the GCC.”
Dubai trying to compete against India & China.. firstly try to be transparent to the people of Dubai.
How can this be possible while trade with Iran, UAE's biggest export destination, is shrinking rapidly due to the renewed sanctions imposed by the US?