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20 July 2024

Dubai Chambers’ In Focus initiative showcases opportunities in East and West Africa

By E247

Dubai Chambers successfully hosted the latest edition of its In Focus series of events to promote international trade today at the chambers’ headquarters, enabling members to gain a deeper understanding of business opportunities across Africa.

“In Focus” is a platform for Dubai businesses and member companies to engage with public and private sector leaders in selected markets to promote cross-border partnerships and drive mutual business growth. Participants benefit from access to first-hand information on the countries and region in focus, in addition to expert guidance through every stage of the international expansion journey, from market intelligence and business introductions to company set-up. 

Dubai International Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, set the scene with a presentation outlining the key synergies between Dubai and the African continent, with a strong focus on countries in East and West Africa including Kenya, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, and Nigeria. Attendees learned more about Africa’s enduring significant value as a region for business expansion, as well as multiple initiatives launched by Dubai International Chamber to support Dubai-based businesses seeking to tap into this vast market of 1.3 billion consumers.

This was followed by an insightful panel discussion featuring Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers and representatives from DP World and the Standard Bank Group. The session focused on Dubai's robust economic and commercial connections with Africa and underlined the participating entities shared commitment to supporting the expansion of Dubai-based businesses into Africa.

Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, said: “We import and export a variety of goods between Dubai and these four nations, but there is still enormous room for growth in both directions. From a Dubai business perspective, there is increasing demand from East and West Africa for technology, electronics, vehicles, and raw materials, while Dubai has considerable needs for raw materials, food, and precious stones and metals.”

Lootah continued: “Today’s In Focus event represents the first stage in our overarching plan to encourage greater bilateral trade between Dubai and the featured African countries. We are conducting a trade mission to all four nations later in the year, and are confident this event has inspired companies from Dubai to consider how they can benefit from the wide range of opportunities available in East and West Africa.”

Later in the day, two dedicated panel sessions took a deep dive into potential trade and investment opportunities in East and West Africa. The sessions outlined key government initiatives designed to assist entrepreneurs in establishing and conducting business in the four countries, together with opportunities to hear from representatives of companies that have already undertaken their expansion into the African continent. 

The day concluded with breakout sessions for each region that allowed members to engage in productive discussions with country experts, fellow entrepreneurs, and representatives from Dubai Chambers, with participants sharing their ideas on how the chambers and the representatives of the African nations could assist in helping them realise their ambitions for expansion.

The UAE enjoys an elevated status as the Arab World’s second-largest economy, while Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy. Nigeria is closely followed by Kenya, which falls within the continent’s top five economies. The In Focus session was hosted in the presence of distinguished guest H.E. Vacaba Diaby, Ambassador of the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire to the UAE and attracted the attendance of over 100 delegates. The event sought to highlight the multitude of benefits and bilateral trade closer cooperation can unlock for each of the economies. 

In line with Dubai Chambers’ strategic priority of assisting members to expand into international markets, this edition of the In Focus series highlighted potential sectors for investment and trade between Dubai and the participating African nations. The event also provided members with an opportunity to transparently discuss market entry opportunities and strategies in the four featured countries. 

Members were encouraged to sign up for Dubai International Chamber's future trade missions to East and West Africa, which will offer an engaging combination of meetings with key stakeholders in each country, site visits to industrial and economic zones, and cultural activities. The event succeeded in attracting strong interest and registrations for the upcoming trade missions.

Dubai International Chamber remains committed to supporting its members to expand into strategic markets across the globe, as well as attracting foreign investments and international companies to the emirate and further enhancing Dubai’s reputation as a global business and trade hub.