Dubai – MENA Herald: Trade promotion agencies bring substantial returns in terms of diversifying exports and export markets as well as in country branding and economic growth, says a report published by the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint affiliate of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations. According to the report, every single dollar spent on export promotion generates US$87 worth of additional exports and a US$384 increase in gross domestic product (GDP).

Commenting on the report, His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, said the emirate is uniquely placed to benefit from sustained focus in trade and export promotion.

“Dubai continues to evolve into a strategic manufacturing, export and re-export hub. The more local firms realise their export potential and the more Dubai communicates its advantages as a source market for diverse products overseas, the outward-looking growth strategy of Dubai and the UAE will have the desired results, including a favourable balance of trade,” said Al Qamzi.

Engineer Saed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of DED said the role of trade promotion organisations (TPOs) in driving growth has become more important with the global trade scene becoming more dynamic and volatile.

“A mere one per cent increase in export promotion budget is seen to increase overall exports by 0.074%. Besides, the indirect impact of such investment reflects on the domestic economy, as growth in related sectors such as manufacturing and logistics, in addition to reinforcing the source market as a competitive destination to do business,” added Al Awadi.

ITC, a joint initiative of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), found in its research that TPOs contribute to 5%-6% rise in GDP per capita and 7%-8% rise in exports, through varied services covering financial assistance, market intelligence, product certification assistance and facilitating participation in trade promotion events.

Al Awadi said the comprehensive services provided by Dubai Exports as part of its strategic objective of enabling local firms to export has resulted in improved awareness on quality and best international practices, among small to medium and large enterprises in diverse sectors.

“We have initiated a set of services and products aimed to enhance the value of exports through Dubai. Through market research, raising export markets awareness, training and participation in exhibitions and trade missions we are enabling large firms as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Dubai and the UAE in general to be competitive players in the global supply chain,” added Al Awadi.

Dubai Exports currently has six overseas offices, connecting manufacturers and exporters in the UAE to potential international markets. The agency also collaborates with international organisations like ITC, UNCTAD, UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) and GOIC (Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting) to stay updated on export-related information and shares critical knowledge within the exporter community through initiatives such as the Dubai Exports Academy and Exporters’ Forum.

“Our efforts were instrumental in Dubai registering a 15% growth in exports in 2015, in contrast to the 14% global slump in exports. We are confident that our market coverage and focus, along with further investments in building awareness and relations, can support Dubai in achieving its sustainable development goals,” said Al Awadi

The top 10 markets for Dubai Exports in 2015 were India, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Oman, Singapore, Bahrain, USA, Turkey, Kuwait, and Iraq. Al Awadi said in 2016 the focus is on further diversifying exports from Dubai to 15 countries – China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, France, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Nigeria, Rwanda, Brazil, Paraguay, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan.