Dubai Customs Consultative Council held its meeting in an atmosphere of optimism with several economic indicators in the UAE showing growth. The meeting focused on several topics including the prospects of trade recovery and the multiple economic benefits that will be provided by the historic UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which is expected to help increase trade between the two friendly countries by 120% to $100 billion within 5 years, compared to $45 billion currently.
His Excellency Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Chairman of the Consultative Council, the leadership team of Dubai Customs, and representatives of business and trade group members of the Council attended the virtual meeting.
Musabih stressed that 2022 indicators give rise to optimism in all economic sectors, noting that the UAE played a decisive role in containing the Corona pandemic and its effects through continuous development of strategies and innovative initiatives that were able to absorb the repercussions of the crisis. The UAE has succeeded in facing challenges and turning them into real opportunities to support economic growth, as the World Bank report stated that the economic recovery in the UAE would continue during 2022, and that growth will reach 4.7%, driven by the oil and non-oil sectors.
The UAE’s foreign trade in 2021 recorded nearly AED 1.9 trillion, growing 27% compared to 2020 and 11% compared to 2019.
Musabih stated the growth included all components of trade, including export, import and re-export, and it is expected that the commercial sectors will continue to grow during the current year. In addition, in October 2021, the UAE approved the federal budget for the years 2022-2026 with a total of AED 290 billion, making it the largest federal budget in the history of the UAE. The budget translates the country's commitment towards achieving national development and providing a decent life for its people.
“The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the UAE and India ushers a new era of economic cooperation based on mutual interests between the two friendly countries, reflects the deep historical relations between them, improves mutual access to markets, and enhances economic, trade and investment opportunities. The agreement helps reduce tariffs and facilitate trade between the two countries significantly, supported by innovative initiatives such as the Authorized Economic Operator and the cross-border e-commerce platform, as well as the Logistics Passport initiative” Musabih said.
Suresh Kumar, Chairman the Indian Business Professional Council (IBPC) stressed the role of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement during the next stage in terms of developing trade exchange, as it includes many strategic aspects, and is considered a testament to the depth of relations between the two friendly countries. This agreement is the first of its kind that the UAE has signed with any country, and it is India's first with any country in the Middle East and the Gulf region. The agreement will assist companies and trade bodies in achieving greater market access while activating Indian exports, especially petroleum products, precious metals, chemicals and agricultural products.
Kumar indicated that the UAE's investments in India amount to $67 billion, and India's investments in the UAE amount to $18 billion dollars.
A presentation delivered by Ruhan Siroya from the Dubai Gold & Jewellery Group talked about lab-grown diamonds and the opportunities available in that field. Another presentation from the Steel Manufacturers Group focused on the promising opportunities available in Dubai for steel producers.