Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre in partnership with the Consulate General of the UAE recently hosted more than 180 representatives from diverse industries in a business forum in Sao Paulo as part of the strategy to position Dubai as an Islamic economy capital and halal products hub.
Organised by the Dubai Exports representative office in Brazil, the forum was part of a trade mission jointly organised by Dubai Exports, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre and Dubai South to Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay with the goal of promoting the export capabilities in the emirate and the UAE in general, particularly the Hub-to-Hub concept of integrating Dubai as a vital point in the halal supply chain.
His Excellency Saleh Al Suwaidi, UAE Consul General in Sao Paulo, Engineer Saed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Exports, and senior Brazilian officials led by HE Ana Fava, head of the Special Advisory for International Affairs in the Sao Paulo Government, were present at the forum.
Welcoming the Dubai delegation, Fava lauded the efforts of the UAE Consulate General in Sao Paulo for its successful efforts in improving UAE-Brazil bilateral engagement, particularly in areas such as economy, culture and renewable energy. Referring to Sao Paulo’s reputation as the chief commercial and financial centre not only in Brazil but in the entire Latin America, Fava said the Sao Paulo Government was keen to facilitate communication between the economic, trade and agricultural sectors in Brazil and the UAE.
Senior executives from the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, including Dr. Khalid Janahi, General Counsel, and Saeed Kharbash, Director of Strategic Planning Department, participated in the discussions held during the forum.
“We are pleased to organise this forum in co-operation with Dubai Exports through their office in Brazil for the second year in a row. The UAE is keen to promote and advance our economic relations with Brazil in general, and particularly with Sao Paulo. Through this forum we seek to send a clear message that the UAE business community is interested to engage with Brazil, most notably in the Islamic economy sector,” said HE Al Suwaidi.
Referring to Islamic economy as a promising sector where the UAE and Brazil can build and expand their relations, Al Suwaidi said the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre participating in the forum for the second consecutive year confirmed Dubai’s strategic target of growing into an Islamic economy capital.
The Consul General added that the UAE is currently ranked 20 among Brazil’s trade partners and bilateral trade was worth AED 12.5 billion (US $ 3.4 billion) in 2014. “Despite a difficult economic situation in Brazil, our bilateral trade amounted to $ 3 billion in 2015, and the state of Sao Paulo accounted for nearly half of the trade volume.”
Speaking of Dubai’s strategic role in linking global trade to the Middle East and the strong reputation of the UAE and Dubai as competitive hubs, Engineer Saed Al Awadi said Dubai Exports focuses on strengthen Dubai’s export and re-export advantages. “Dubai Exports contributes to Dubai’s strategy of providing a strong platform for businessmen and investors, particularly exporters and small and medium entrepreneurs, to connect to fast-growing markets in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.”
Al Awadi also highlighted the role of the UAE diplomatic missions in highlighting the advanced logistics infrastructure in the country and Dubai’s position as one of the most competitive trade centres in the world. “Through promoting the halal activities across sectors such as education, services and Islamic finance we seek to support Dubai’s Islamic economy capital initiative. Dubai Exports is also keen to highlight the advantages of doing business in Dubai and the export capabilities of the emirate through visits and bilateral meetings abroad, especially direct interactions with the private sector.”
Al Awadi also emphasised the importance of the ‘Hub-to-Hub’ initiative that was launched in co-operation with the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre in support of the ongoing efforts to establish Dubai as a global hub for halal products and also linked to countries exporting or importing halal products.
“Dubai Exports plays a vital role in supporting exporters in strategic markets and organising this forum underlines our belief in the relevance of our services and sustainability of the export sector in Dubai and the UAE in general. Last year we opened three representative offices in Russia, Brazil and Germany in line with the policy of the Government of Dubai and directives of the Economic Sector Development Committee of the Executive Council of Dubai to promote Dubai’s foreign trade,” said Al Awadi.
Abdulla Al Awar, CEO of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, said: “With the growing international interest in Islamic economy and our efforts to provide a complementary infrastructure and financial as well as legal framework for the halal sector, this forum has great significance. It opens up new avenues for investment and partnerships between Dubai as well as the UAE and Latin American countries including Brazil at a time when the halal industry is expected to be worth US$ 3 trillion by 2020.”
Al Awar said Dubai Islamic Economy Centre see it as a historic opportunity to empower the sector with all the financial and organisational components to be a major growth driver in global economy.
Dubai Exports through its varied services and programmes enables exporters and manufacturers to explore international opportunities and compete successfully in overseas markets. Since exports represent a starting point for local companies, the services provided by Dubai Exports by way of diversifying exports and export markets play a major role in the strategy of Dubai and the UAE in enhancing economic development and growth in gross domestic product.