Over 800 experts to attend trade development event

More than 800 experts, decision makers and representatives of customs agencies from over 100 countries are attending the 7th Global Trade Development Week which kicked off today (October 31) in Dubai, UAE.

The event, which is being held under the patronage of the Ministry of Economy in partnership with the Federal Customs Authority (FCA), will run for three days until November 2 at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel.

The latest edition of the event will discuss issues related to customs programmes and better facilitation of international trade. It will also deal with trade agreements without borders and ways to ensure the safe management of global supply chains, said the organisers.

The opening session began with a speech by Juma Mohammed Al Kait, assistant undersecretary for Foreign Trade Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy, delivered on behalf of Eng Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, the Minister of Economy.

Also, participating in the session were Ali Al Kaabi, customs commissioner and Head of the FCA; Joakim Reiter, deputy secretary general of the UN Conference on Trade and Development; and Antonis Kastrissianakis, director for security, safety, trade facilitation, rules of origin and international cooperation, DG taxation and customs union, European Commission.

Al Kait relayed Al Mansoori’s message that the current session of the event is of great importance considering the increasing challenges being faced by the global economy to achieve a smoother flow of cross-border trade and ensure the safe management of supply chains worldwide.

He also emphasised the necessity of continuously working to strengthen communication and cooperation to derive the best solutions for removing all obstacles to the development and facilitation of international trade.

Additionally, Al Kait also shared Al Mansoori’s thoughts that the UAE prides itself on being the first among Arab countries and one of the first in the world to ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement with the World Trade Organization, sending a clear message of its active role in stimulating regional and global trade movements.

The Minister also wished to emphasise that trade opportunities remain vibrant in the country thanks to its proximity to other Gulf markets and the wider Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, as well as its role as a vital link to the major trade routes intersecting Asia, Europe and Africa.

Al Mansoori concluded his message by saying that the volume of the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade grew by 10 per cent in 2015 over the previous year, totalling Dh1.75 trillion (about $467.4 billion), inclusive of free zone trade.

The official added that owing to its advanced infrastructure, robust banking system, political stability as well as the presence of more than 36 free zone areas involved in a variety of disciplines, the UAE will continue to push the competitiveness of its commercial sector forward.

He noted that the country is a gateway to around one-third of the UAE’s foreign non-oil trade which totalled around Dh500 billion ($136.1 billion) in 2015.

The Minister also referred to new horizons for economic growth being opened by Dubai’s upcoming hosting of Expo 2020, which will introduce more infrastructural modernisation and developments to the logistics services sector as well as significantly trade and investment, it stated. – TradeArabia News Service

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