Dubai – MENA Herald: As part of its efforts to reinforce Dubai’s status as a world-class international business hub, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s International Office in Baku, Azerbaijan, hosted their annual networking reception which was attended by over 180 leading business leaders from Dubai and Azerbaijan.

The aim of the meeting was to highlight to Azeri businesses the benefits of investing in Dubai’s lucrative business environment while operating from the emirate to reach out to investors in the region and beyond. It also served as an ideal venue to bring together prominent Azeri and UAE business representatives to look at this year’s business activities as well as to discuss investment opportunities and joint ventures between the two countries.
Speaking at the meeting were Adil Al Zarooni, Senior Vice President, Sales, JAFZA, Omar Khan, Director, International Offices, Dubai Chamber, Sinan Nasibli, Head of the Dubai Chamber International Office in Azerbaijan and Abdulhakim Al Shamsi, Administrative Attaché, UAE Embassy in Azerbaijan.

In his welcome address, Omar Khan stressed on the importance of the strategic locations enjoyed by the cities of Dubai and Baku as he highlighted the emirate’s status as a gateway to the regional markets as well as the world, its infrastructural and logistics facilities and cultural diversity which leads to enhanced trade ties with major global cities.

He pointed out that the number of Azeri companies operating in Dubai and registered with Dubai Chamber showed a 49% growth, up from 176 companies in 2012 to 262 in 2014, which clearly reflects on the broader framework of the economic relations existing between the business communities of Dubai and Azerbaijan as well as the potential the future holds for both the sides.

Khan further informed that Dubai’s non-oil trade with Azerbaijan has maintained a steady growth during the years 2011-2014 registering a growth rate of 13%, an increase from AED 1.6 billion in 2011 to AED 1.8 billion in 2014, as the country ranked 75th on the list of Dubai’s trading partners during the year 2014.

He said: ‘‘Our International Office in Baku opens the doors to UAE investments to the Azeri markets’ rewarding sectors like logistics, construction, tourism, agriculture while also facilitating Azerbaijani companies to enter the lucrative market of Dubai as well as to use the emirate as a base to expand in the regional markets.”

On his part, Adil Al Zarooni highlighted the economic and investment relations between the two countries, pointing out that JAFZA seeks to develop and strengthen relations between UAE and Azerbaijan companies and investors while also promoting the UAE’s investment potential to foreign investors.

Also, honoured during the reception were companies for their contribution to the promotion of trade between the UAE and Azerbaijan including Dubai Chamber members Aggreko UK Limited for most exports to Azerbaijan in terms of value, Jaguar Land Rover with most exports to Azerbaijan in terms of numbers of certificates of origin, and Turan Travel, for handling the largest Dubai-bound passenger traffic.

In his message, Dr. Mohammed Al Qubaisi, the UAE Ambassador to Azerbaijan, lauded the strong bilateral relations enjoyed by the UAE and Azerbaijan and expressed his desire to see this relationship developing into joint ventures in the area of trade and investment.