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Dubai Customs discusses expansion of economic cooperation and trade with Singapore delegation 

Dubai Customs discusses expansion of economic cooperation and trade with Singapore delegation

Dubai’s external trade with Singapore grows 12% in the first half of 2021 to AED6.8 billion

Government of Dubai Media Office – 14 November 2021: Dubai Customs held a virtual meeting with a Singaporean business delegation visiting Dubai to discuss means of enhancing economic cooperation and trade between Dubai and Singapore. HE Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Director General of Dubai Customs; and HE Pit Chen Low, Singaporean Consul General to Dubai, led the two sides respectively in the meeting. 

The meeting was part of Dubai Customs’ Ertibat initiative, which aims to develop ties with foreign companies and businesses. The two sides discussed ways to expand collaboration between Dubai and Singapore and opportunities arising from EXPO2020 Dubai. 

Dubai’s external trade with Singapore grew 12% in the first half of 2021 to AED6.8 billion from AED5.4 billion in the corresponding period in 2020. Direct trade touched AED4.5 billion, while free zone trade totaled AED2.1 billion, and customs warehouse trade reached AED8.37 million. Major commodities traded included gold, jewelry, diamonds, precious metals and perfumes. 

“Dubai Customs has developed a range of innovative smart services as part of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to consolidate the UAE and Dubai’s status as a leading hub for international trade,” said Musabih during the meeting. “99.6% of our customs transactions are completed through smart channels which resulted in a client happiness rate of 98% and more streamlined trade and passenger traffic.

Dubai and Singapore have enjoyed strong trade ties since the signing of the Free Trade Agreement between the GCC and Singapore in 2008. During the meeting, Musabih highlighted the deep historic relationship between the UAE and Singapore. 

HE Pit Chen Low, Singaporean Consul General to Dubai, said: “Singapore’s relations with the UAE and Dubai are strong and historic. Dubai is an important economic and strategic partner and we look forward to more mutual investment and trade activity. We have many things in common as hubs in our respective regions, and Dubai remains the favourite place for Singaporean businesses in the Middle East region." 

Eman Badr Al Suwaidi, Director of Customs Valuation Department, who is in charge of the implementation of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program, delivered a presentation highlighting the role of the AEO programme, which applies modern and advanced procedures in compliance with WTO requirements, in facilitating and boosting trade. “The AEO programme will help member companies gain better access to world markets,” said Al Suwaidi. “There are now 85 companies registered in the programme, and we have signed mutual recognition agreements with South Korea, China and Saudi Arabia so far.”

The meeting saw a presentation on the Cross Border e-Commerce Platform developed by Dubai Customs based on blockchain technology to integrate and automate operations between Customs, Free Zones, logistics, and courier companies. The platform, the first of its kind in the region, aims to help the emirate reinforce its position as a global hub for e-commerce, and encourage e-commerce companies to set up their businesses in Dubai. Dubai Customs’ IPR Department delivered a presentation on the Department’s role in raising awareness about the importance of protecting intellectual property. The presentation highlighted Dubai Customs’ efforts to resolve intellectual property disputes, register trademarks and protect the rights of brand owners.  

The value of Dubai’s total external trade surged 31% to AED722.3 billion in the first half of 2021 from AED550.6 billion in the corresponding period last year, and also went up above AED676 recorded in the first half of 2019, which signals accelerated recovery and growth in the post-pandemic phase. 

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