Dubai Chamber members' trade up 15.2% in 2010

December registered highest monthly exports of Dh21.1bn

Dubai economy is back on the track registering increase in exports and re-exports and rise in the number of new companies coming to the emirate.

The Dubai Chamber released its Annual Report 2010 on Saturday indicating positive growth patterns by key economic sectors - a clear tell-tale sign of recovery and better growth prospects being witnessed by the Emirate’s leading economic performers.

Exports and re-exports by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s members increased 15.2 per cent in 2010 to Dh214.4 billion against Dh186.1bn for the same period last year.

While the month of December registered the highest monthly exports of Dh21.1 bn.

The report further shows how Dubai retains its position of first choice of investment in the region while playing its leading role of a vibrant gateway to the neighbouring GCC countries. It also highlights the Chamber’s efforts in fulfilling its strategic objectives of creating a favourable business environment for the Emirate, supporting the development of business and promoting Dubai as an international business hub.

In comparison to the year 2007, the members’ growth in exports in 2010 indicated a 27.8 per cent rise proving that the trade sector is regaining its former position as key driver of the emirate’s economic growth.

The number of certificates of origin issued by the Chamber during last year was 644,809 indicating a 7.6 per cent growth in comparison to the 599,303 certificates of origin issued in 2009 while its membership number went up to 117,827 compared to 108,489 in 2009 with an increase of 8.6 per cent showing a clear rise in the number of companies operating in the emirate.

Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber, pointed out that the challenges faced by the business community enticed the Chamber to come up with new initiatives and to focus more sharply on its role as a business facilitator, adviser and mediator. He said the annual report clearly demonstrates the achievements and growth patterns in light of the positive economic indicators that point out to trade returning to the pre-crisis figures of 2008.

Buamim further said that the past year saw the return of the Emirate’s leading economic sectors like trade including export and re-export, tourism and logistics as main drivers of the Emirate’s economic growth.

He cited these sectors’ excellent performance due to the Government’s timely intervention and its continuing support for the completion of the Emirate’s ongoing infrastructural projects as well as its efforts in boosting the investor confidence and attracting investments by offering a sound business environment through world-class infrastructural and financial services.

In 2010, five new business councils including the Chinese, Tunisian, Irish, Hellenic, Russian, and two business groups, the Bankers Business Group and International Special Events Society, were set up by the Chamber to help support their respective countries and sectors to expand the scope of their business activities. With these new entrants the strength of the business groups went up to 24 and the councils to 39.

During the year, Dubai Chamber hosted 208 visiting trade delegations comprising of over 870 businessman, government officials and senior trade leaders, as well as delegations participating in major international exhibitions such as Big 5, Arabian Travel Market, Gulfood and Arab Health exhibitions.

The Chamber’s Legal Services Department received 1,009 mediation cases out of which it settled 295 in comparison to the 930 cases received in 2009 as the department organized a number of seminars and workshops on consumer protection against counterfeit, setting up business, drafting legal contracts and intellectual asset management.

On its part, the Dubai International Arbitration Centre received 422 cases in 2010 compared to the 292 cases of 2009 which is a clear increase of 44.5 per cent in the number of cases handled by the Centre which also raised the awareness of the importance of arbitration and mediation in the settlement of commercial disputes.

Dubai Chamber said it achieved 52 per cent Emiritisation with the percentage of women employees going up to 50 per cent while its employee satisfaction reached 89 per cent registering a nine per cent increase from 2009. The various economic studies and reports issued by the Chamber during the year reached 48 while the Centre for Responsible Business organized 16 workshops and seminars to promote a culture of responsible business practices. The Centre issued six issues of their newsletter CSR Al Youm which further helped in promoting the concept of corporate social responsibility.

The Chamber also participated in 10 global events, most prominently the Hamburg Summit: China Meets Europe which aims at creating an opportunity for leaders from both ends of the Eurasian continent to network and exchange ideas, the annual IBA Conference and the Consumer Electronics Show in the US.

The website of the Chamber registered over 542,000 visitors during the year taking the percentage of new visitors to 41% which clearly shows the Chamber’s prominence in being an important source of information for the business community in Dubai.

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