Dubai to host forum on Latin America

14 de julho de 2016

São Paulo – The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is holding the Latin America Business Forum on November 9 and 10 at the Atlantis, The Palm hotel in Dubai, UAE. The agenda will include food security, public-private partnerships, the future of global aviation and opportunities in times of crisis. The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce is helping promote the event.

According to DCCI president and CEO Hamad Buamim, the forum is a result of the fact that bilateral relations between Dubai and Latin America have been steadily strengthening in recent years.

He remarked that in 2014, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, visited Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, highlighting the importance of cooperation in the fields of investment, defence and culture to strategic partnerships as well as the numerous economic opportunities present.

“Continuing his vision, Dubai Chamber is increasingly expanding bilateral ties with the dynamic emerging economies in Latin America. As part of this endeavor, the Chamber is organizing the first Latin America Global Business Forum in November, which will bring together key decision makers from across the public and private sectors to discuss challenges and opportunities in the market while identifying areas for increased trade and business growth,” Buamim told ANBA by email.

Buamim also said that Dubai’s total non-oil trade with Latin America in 2015 was almost AED 17.5 billion (USD 4.8 billion), and prospects for growth exist across numerous lucrative economic sectors. According to the DCCI president, Brazil and Mexico are two of Dubai’s leading trading partners, ranking 35 and 43, respectively.

“The region’s blossoming economy and growing middle class drive higher demand; particularly promising sectors are energy and industry. Furthermore, there is much potential for economic cooperation between Latin American countries and their Middle Eastern counterparts, especially amongst the pillars of Islamic economy, encompassing Islamic finance, halal food, family-friendly tourism and retail/fashion, amongst other sectors,” he said.

According to Buamim, a study commissioned by the DCCI this year on the economic opportunities of various Latin American countries found that Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Mexico stand out with particularly promising prospects.

“Since 2014, the governments of Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Mexico have unveiled infrastructure investment plans cumulatively worth USD 767 billion to boost roads, railways, ports, and airports across the region. Brazil boasts a robust renewable energy sector and was the largest recipient of renewable energy investments in 2015, receiving USD 7.1 billion, whilst Chile introduced new tax incentives for the promotion of renewable energy through its recently-passed Renewable Energy Law,” he pointed out.

The forecasts within the tourism sector are positive all around, with Mexico’s tourism industry standing out with a record 32 million tourists in 2015 and with the projected 40 million tourists expected to arrive by 2018 while Chile’s 2015 investment for the tourism sector made up 10.8% of total investments of the country, as it expects to welcome four million tourists in the current year.

“The agribusiness sector also stands out as having promising prospects for trade with the Middle East. Peru is seeking to double its food exports, currently at USD 4 billion, by encouraging investment in irrigation and agricultural expansion. Chile is a strong exporter of seafood, and is the world’s 2nd largest salmon producer. Brazil’s agribusiness exports reached USD 88.2 billion, and it intends to expand its share of the world’s agricultural trade from the current 7% to 10%,” he pointed out.

To Buamim, the physical distance between the Middle East and Latin America tends to be less and less of an obstacle to business.

“The Latin American and Middle Eastern markets are set to grow closer, both figuratively and physically - currently Emirates airlines maintains three direct routes between Dubai and Argentina and Brazil, with additional routes planned in the future. Increasing physical access is one way to help strengthen relations, and we believe that through increasing dialogue through the Latin America Global Business Forum and two-way trade delegations, new doors will open for increased bilateral cooperation,” he said.

Buamim remarked that several high-level visits have been conducted between Latin American and UAE heads of state in recent years, “signaling the mutual recognized importance of increased relations. To further promote bilateral relations, we are planning to open an office in Sao Paulo, which will accomplish this goal by facilitating business and trade between Dubai and the wider Latin America region.”

The Latin America Global Business Forum will bring together an exclusive, invite-only target audience of heads of state, ministers and Government officials, prominent CEOs operating globally, heads of private banks, sovereign wealth funds, private equity firms and a multitude of global business leaders from across the public and private sectors as well as representatives of businesses from both the regions in large numbers.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum