Chang­ing trade dy­nam­ics will bring new op­por­tu­ni­ties

Emerg­ing mar­kets still of­fer huge po­ten­tial for busi­nesses in Dubai

Arabian Business English - - 2019 PREDICTIONS INVESTMENT - PRES­I­DENT AND CEO, DUBAI CHAM­BER By Ha­mad Buamim,

SHIFTING TRADE PAT­TERNS and the rise of anti-glob­al­i­sa­tion sen­ti­ment are just few key trends that busi­nesses around the world will con­tinue to watch in 2019 as they nav­i­gate head­winds and look for new growth op­por­tu­ni­ties. Al­though po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty and US-China ten­sions may con­tinue to hang over the global econ­omy, there is still rea­son to be op­ti­mistic about the chang­ing global trade land­scape. The new NAFTA re­place­ment agree­ment be­tween the US, Mex­ico and Canada is a pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment that would boost con­fi­dence in global mar­kets once it is of­fi­cially rat­i­fied by all three trade part­ners. In­no­va­tive and dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies such as blockchain and ar­ti­fi­cial intelligence are trans­form­ing global trade and com­merce as they boost ef­fi­ciency of cross-bor­der transactions and elim­i­nate trade bar­ri­ers. We are closely watch­ing these global trends as we look for new ways to meet the evolv­ing needs of Dubai’s ma­tur­ing busi­ness com­mu­nity. As we en­ter the Fourth In­dus­trial Revo­lu­tion, it is clear that the only con­stant is change.

Busi­nesses that fail to adapt face the risk of fall­ing be­hind and los­ing their com­pet­i­tive edge. In the UAE, the out­look looks bright with the IMF fore­cast­ing GDP growth in the coun­try to rise from 2.9 per­cent in 2018 to

3.7 per­cent in 2019, out­pac­ing growth pro­jec­tions for the Mid­dle East and North Africa. Strate­gic de­vel­op­ment plans and in­fra­struc­ture projects re­lated to Expo 2020 and higher oil prices will likely fuel this up­ward trend. Dubai’s ris­ing role in global trade is re­flected in the emi­rate’s non-oil for­eign trade for the first nine months of 2018 which reached AED965bn ($262bn). The stim­u­lus plan and other pro-busi­ness re­forms un­veiled in Dubai over the last year were im­por­tant de­vel­op­ments that will not only fa­cil­i­tate trade, but also en­hance the emi­rate’s rep­u­ta­tion as an at­trac­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion.

We ex­pect to see the pos­i­tive ef­fects of these proac­tive mea­sures felt within the busi­ness com­mu­nity in the near fu­ture. The shift in eco­nomic power from the West to the East – a trend we have ob­served for some time – is ex­pected to con­tinue in 2019 with China and In­dia serv­ing as main en­gines that are in­creas­ingly ac­count­ing for a larger share of global growth.

Many emerg­ing mar­kets in Latin Amer­ica and Africa still of­fer un­tapped po­ten­tial, es­pe­cially in key sec­tors where coun­tries are look­ing to ex­pand in­fra­struc­ture, pri­va­tise and at­tract for­eign in­vest­ment. These re­gions are a ma­jor fo­cus of Dubai Cham­ber’s in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion strat­egy, due to their strong eco­nomic indicators, such as a ris­ing mid­dle class and in­creased consumer spend­ing. Dubai Cham­ber’s net­work of in­ter­na­tional of­fices across Africa and Latin Amer­ica are fo­cus­ing their ef­forts on iden­ti­fy­ing busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in these mar­kets that of­fer the most po­ten­tial for

our mem­bers. At the same time, we are work­ing to build re­la­tion­ships with key pub­lic and pri­vate stake­hold­ers, at­tract for­eign companies to Dubai and pro­mote the emi­rate as a global gate­way.

We are see­ing grow­ing in­ter­est among busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties in emerg­ing mar­kets that are keen to learn more about Dubai and the com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages that the emi­rate of­fers. Ev­i­dence of this trend can be seen in high num­ber of in­ter­na­tional del­e­ga­tions we are re­ceiv­ing at Dubai Cham­ber, as well as stronger par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Global Busi­ness Fo­rum se­ries, our flag­ship event plat­form that aims to ex­pand eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Dubai and promis­ing mar­kets across Latin Amer­ica, Africa and the CIS re­gion.

For the first time ever, we will be host­ing the Global Busi­ness Fo­rum on Latin Amer­ica out­side of the UAE in 2019 as we bring the in­ter­na­tional event to Panama City. We look for­ward to lev­er­ag­ing this op­por­tu­nity to cap­i­talise on grow­ing in­ter­est in Dubai and pave the way for new eco­nomic part­ner­ships that sup­port the ob­jec­tives of the Dubai Plan 2021. With Expo 2020 fast ap­proach­ing, Dubai will soon be step­ping into the spot­light and show­cas­ing its brand, eco­nomic model and vi­sion for the fu­ture to a global au­di­ence of 25 mil­lion vis­i­tors. In­ter­na­tional out­reach and forg­ing new eco­nomic part­ner­ships will be para­mount to this process as the emi­rate writes a new chap­ter in its suc­cess story.

WE ARE COM­MIT­TED TO PRO­VID­ING BUSI­NESSES OF ALL SIZES WITH AC­CESS TO NEW OP­POR­TU­NI­TIES”

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