Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced today that it will lead a high-level delegation of UAE government officials and prominent businessmen to Panama in April, to explore new growth opportunities in markets across Latin America and the Caribbean region.
Kicking off on 6th April, the week-long trade mission will coincide with the 3rd Global Business Forum, GBF, Latin America which Dubai Chamber is hosting on 9th-10th April 2019 in Panama City. Food security, logistics, tourism, finance, renewable energy and infrastructure identified as high-potential areas where UAE and Latin American businesses can expand cooperation, and these prospects will be explored in further detail during the delegation visit and forum in Panama.
The trade mission to Panama aims to familiarise delegates with trade and investment opportunities in Latin America markets that offer the most potential for UAE companies. Under the theme "Next Hubs, New Regions", sessions and discussions at GBF Latin America – Panama 2019 will examine prospects for boosting Dubai’s non-oil exports and re-exports to Latin America Exports beyond the AED 2.1 billion and 207,000 tonnes accounted for in 2018.
The delegation will be led by Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber; and joined by Mohammed Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehhi, Under-Secretary for Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Economy of the UAE; Hisham Abdullah Al Shirawi, CEO of Oasis Enterprises; Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber; Essa Al Ghurair, Chairman of Essa Al Ghurair Investments; Abdul Hamied Ahmad Seddiqi, Vice Chairman, Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons LLC; Yahya Saeed Lootah, CEO - SS Lootah Group; Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai FDI; Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre); Dr. Juma Almatrooshi, Deputy CEO - Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority; and senior executives and officials from DP World; Expo 2020; Mubadala and other UAE entities.
Organised in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB, and programmed in association with the Economist Events, GBF Latin America – Panama 2019 will be joined by heads of state, ministers, policymakers, business leaders, entrepreneurs and industry experts, and key decision makers from the UAE and various Latin American countries.
The two-day forum in Panama will feature informative and insightful presentations and discussions covering key economic trends that are driving Latin America’s growth and development, as well as the opportunities and challenges that exist in the region. UAE and Latin American companies will also participate in bilateral business meetings that will be held on the sidelines of the forum.
Al Shehhi revealed that the UAE continues to maintain excellent relations of cooperation with Latin American countries, based on respect for interests and mutual benefit. He stressed on the growing importance of the Global Business Forum Latin America, including the active contributions gained from its two previous sessions-- highlighting commercial opportunities and investment capacities of the UAE and Latin American countries, the possibility of partnerships and linking business communities by focusing on sectors of mutual interest, such as aviation, cargo, logistic, agriculture, food security and the Halal industry.
He added that the forum continues to serve as a strategic platform to discuss and hold joint meetings, which is seen as an essential driver in the move to develop a clear road map for joint cooperation and exploring the possibilities offered by Latin American countries and the UAE.
For his part, Buamim , President and CEO, Dubai Chamber described the high-level trade mission to Panama and GBF Latin America – Panama 2019 as a prime opportunity for UAE businessmen to learn more about the vast potential that exists in Latin America and network with key public and private sector stakeholders from the region.
"We are trying to build a network to support our businesses in Dubai so they know more about the opportunities for trade and investment internationally. If they want to proceed, we want our people on the ground to help them close deals and connect with other businesses. We are also trying to promote Dubai through our overseas offices, facilitate more relationships and trade with Dubai, and attract more businesses to come to Dubai," added Buamim.
For his part, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World said, "Panama is an important country for trade connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific. We have been following the government’s investment in the Panama Canal and the surrounding logistics facilities with considerable interest. DP World has a significant presence across South America and the Dominican Republic; this region is a key part of our network, with considerable potential and value for our customers. This forum will be a good event for the region, for Panama, and Dubai, and we are very grateful to the Dubai Chamber for their active work in seeking international business opportunities and in promoting the emirate."
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC described Panama as "an important gateway that can be leveraged to unlock business potential in Latin America". He highlighted the synergies shared by Panama and Dubai as preferred trade hubs that are home to some of the world’s most successful free zones, adding that "DMCC is actively exploring business opportunities in Latin America and looking to position Dubai as a redistribution hub for coffee products exported from Latin American countries to the Middle East, Africa and Asia".
The trade mission will include site visits to the Panama Canal, City of Knowledge, Colon Free Zone where delegates will learn more about Panama’s business environment, economy and investment opportunities.
Having identified Latin America as a region of great potential, Dubai Chamber hosted the first edition of the Global Business Forum (GBF) on Latin America in 2016 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The second GBF Latin America, held in Dubai last year, attracted 1,300 delegates from 40 countries.