Direct flights to Latin America would be a "huge" boost to Dubai business ties

Emirates currently operates flights between Dubai, Brazil, Chile and Argentina
Direct flights to Latin America would be a
In December, Mexican and UAE authorities reportedly agreed to operate ‘fifth freedom’ flights between the two countries through Barcelona.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Sun 14 Apr 2019 02:27 PM

An increased number of direct flights between Dubai and Latin America would be a “huge” boost to economic ties and business opportunities between the two, according to Luis Alberto Moreno, the President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Speaking to Arabian Business on the sidelines of the Global Business Forum Latin America 2019 in Panama, Moreno said that large swathes of Latin America are missing out on business opportunities with Dubai because of a lack of direct connectivity.

“Northern South America is missing that, and Mexico as well,” he said. “The more that we build that connectivity, the more trade will take place, especially trade in services.”

Currently, Emirates operates direct flights between Dubai and Brazil, as well as to Chile and Argentina through Brazil.

In December, Mexican and UAE authorities reportedly agreed to operate ‘fifth freedom’ flights between the two countries through Barcelona.

Additionally, Eduardo Fonseca, Panama’s ambassador in the UAE, recently told Arabian Business that a direct flight between Dubai and Panama “is only a matter of time” after previous plans for it were scrapped in 2016.

A report launched by the IDB and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the forum in Panama noted that additional direct flights between the GCC and Latin America are among the steps that should be taken to increase bilateral trade between the two regions by $9.8 billion per year.

Moreno added that he believes the single largest challenge standing in the way of greater trade between the two regions is the distance and lack of connectivity.

“Because of the gulf [in distance] that we have between the two regions due of a lack of knowledge and proximity to each other, we don't explore a lot of possibilities on either side,” he said.

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