Trade and commercial cooperation between Dubai and France is set to further increase following discussions between the two sides to explore new mutually beneficial opportunities. Dubai Customs today organised a virtual Ertibat meeting with a visiting French diplomatic and business delegation.
Speaking during the meeting HE Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, said the growth momentum of Dubai’s external trade is gathering pace, driven by a number of factors including the emirate’s outstanding capabilities, dynamism and agility in handling the pandemic.
“We can see tourism and exhibition activity going back to normal in the emirate, with EXPO 2020 around the corner. Dubai has largely managed to mitigate the economic repercussions from the spread of the pandemic. DP World and its terminals around the world are performing very well,” he said.
The meeting between Dubai Customs and the French delegation discussed a number of topics including means to further boost cooperation and facilities offered to foreign businesses. HE Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Director General of Dubai Customs; and HE Xavier Chatel, Ambassador of France to the UAE attended the meeting along with a number of executive directors and heads of departments of Dubai Customs and representatives of French businesses.
“Meetings like these help us develop our economic relationships with friendly states. We are committed to facilitating French trade and investment activities in the best possible way in alignment with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to make Dubai the world’s leading global economic hub,” said Bin Sulayem.
Ahmed Mahboob Musabih welcomed the French delegation and reaffirmed Dubai Customs’ commitment to develop cooperation with French diplomatic missions and businesses in line with the coherent and fruitful partnership between the UAE and France.
Musabih said; “Our trade sector saw considerable growth in Q1 this year despite many challenges posed by the global pandemic. Dubai’s non-oil external trade grew 10% to AED354.4 billion from AED323 billion in Q1 2020. Customs transactions skyrocketed 53.4% to 11.2 million in the first half of this year from 7.3 million in the corresponding period in 2020.”
Dubai saw a total trade of AED14.9 billion with France in 2020. In H1 2021, trade between the two sides touched AED8.5 billion. Top commodities included jewellery, perfumes, medical products, textiles and leather.
HE Xavier Chatel, Ambassador of France to the UAE, thanked Dubai Customs for organising this meeting, which comes when the world is awaiting the start of EXPO 2020 Dubai. He invited the participants to visit the French pavilion at the exhibition.
“The UAE has demonstrated exceptional capabilities in managing the COVID-19 crisis, proving its competence in adapting to changes and overcoming challenges. The UAE is our preferred choice for investment and trade. This is the message that I always convey to French officials. Dubai is the perfect link between the west and the east thanks to its strategic location and advanced infrastructure,” said Chatel.
Eman Badr Al Suwaidi, Director of Customs Valuation Department, who is in charge of the implementation of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme, said the AEO programme applies advanced procedures in compliance with the WTO requirements.“The AEO programme will help member companies gain better access to world markets,” said Al Suwaidi. “Currently 85 companies have registered in the programme, and we have signed mutual recognition agreements with South Korea, China and Saudi Arabia so far.”
Dubai Customs delivered a presentation on its Cross Border e-Commerce platform during the meeting. The innovative platform, developed by Dubai Customs, utilises blockchain technology to integrate and automate operations between Customs, Free Zones, logistics, and courier companies. The first of its kind in the region, the initiative aims to help the emirate become a global hub for e-commerce, and encourage e-commerce companies set up their businesses in Dubai. Online trade in the UAE is estimated to reach $27 billion in 2022, a growth of 23%.
Dubai Customs’ IPR Department also delivered a presentation on the Department’s role in raising awareness about the importance of intellectual property and how to protect it. The presentation outlined Dubai Customs’ efforts to resolve intellectual property disputes, registering trademarks and protecting the rights of global brands including famous French brands such as Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, and Cartier.
Another presentation highlighted Dubai Customs’ facilities and incentives for exhibitors and visitors to EXPO2020 including a dedicated customs channel, online registration and submission of customs declarations, and waiver of registration fees.