Wednesday 27, July 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: As part of the ongoing efforts to support its members’ expansion into the African market and to provide them informative business services, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with Coface Emirates Services organised a workshop on Kenya Country Overview, at the Chamber premises on Wednesday.
Organised as part of the Business Beyond Borders Series, this third workshop on risks and opportunities in Kenya follows the two successful workshops held earlier in March and June on Africa – Turn Risks Into Rewards and Trade Credit Management Solutions.
The aim behind the series, which initiated from the Chamber’s Africa Global Business Forum signature event, is to help the business community in expanding into the most promising and emerging markets of the world while stimulating joint cooperation ties between the global business communities.
Attended by H.E. Kariuki Mugwe, Consul General of Kenya in Dubai, and Akash Kumar, Managing Director, MiDCOM Group, the workshop had larger participation by the Chamber’s members looking to enter the international markets particularly company owners and businessmen interested in reaching out to the private companies operating in Africa.
In his welcome address, Omar Khan, Director, International Offices, Dubai Chamber, stated that these workshops enlighten the Chamber’s members with crucial information including the opportunities and risks involved in entering and expanding into new African markets.
“These workshops help UAE-based investors to grasp on-the-ground, practical, and real-time information on opportunities to trade credit, success stories and major challenges as emerging markets in Africa have a higher return but also a higher risk,” he said.
Highlighting the recent trends in Dubai’s trade with Kenya, Khan informed that over the past few years Dubai-Kenya trade has increased significantly as the non-oil trade between the two sides was AED936.4m in Q1-2016, making Kenya Dubai’s 49th major trade partner as presently, there are 262 Kenyan companies registered with Dubai Chamber, he said.
The Director of Dubai Chamber International Offices further stated that the Chamber’s three African offices, which are part of the five international offices, not only provide access and information on their particular countries’ markets, but also serve as a gateway to neighbouring countries in the region.
“Also, these Business Beyond Borders workshops complement the efforts of our international offices in Africa in consolidating bilateral trade ties and economic cooperation between UAE businesses and their African counterparts,” said Khan.
In light of the international office’s crucial role in stimulating two-way trade flow between Dubai and the countries they operate in, Dubai Chamber is preparing to open its fourth African office in Kenya this year, said Khan adding that this new office will help enhance Kenya’s trade into the region through Dubai which offers excellent infrastructural, logistical and financial facilities to overseas investors looking to expand their business activities in the region.
Massimo Falcioni, CEO of Middle East Countries, Coface, said: “The ramifications of modern trade make it imperative to conduct a risk assessment for companies looking to enter a new market. Safeguarding business interests and weighing risks empower trade partners to engage with each other without hesitation, thus, fulfilling their potential. Coface is able to support companies across various sectors through trade credit management and risk information which are all vital elements in trade promotion.
“We are pleased to once again jointly organise workshops such as this with the Dubai Chamber. All these are aimed at sustaining the non-oil real GDP growth and the small and medium-sized enterprises’ export development, which are in line with one of the six pillars of the UAE Vision 2021 national agenda launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” he said.
At the workshop, Haitham Al Khazaleh, Director of Risk and Information, Coface Emirates Services, who gave a presentation on ‘Kenya Country Overview’, said: “As is the case with many emerging economies, doing business in Africa carries risks. Nevertheless, there are solid businesses and dynamic entrepreneurs in these African nations, especially in Kenya, which have had long involvements in international trade and supported large business communities. The economic studies of Coface include country-wise risk analyses and evaluations which reveal the macro-environment of a country and the risk of defaulting by businesses based there. Through these information, we endeavour to assist companies to be more equipped in finding more viable business opportunities even outside the UAE.”
During the 3rd Africa Global Business Forum (AGBF) last November, Dubai Chamber signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Coface and the National General Insurance Company (NGI) to cooperate in supporting Chamber members in African trade and exports as well as those exporting to Africa with access to NGI trade credit insurance products while Coface will provide various value-added services that aim to assist companies entering or expanding their businesses in the continent besides organising a series of workshops and training courses.