DUBAI, 21st March, 2021 (WAM) — Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, confirmed that COVID-19 as a pandemic is now behind us and that the indicators of the local market in different sectors in Q1 are positive, and trade figures are higher than those of the pre-pandemic Q1, 2019.
At Dubai Customs’ 1st Consultative Council Meeting (DCCC) for 2021, bin Sulayem said, “The directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to extend freezing on Dubai government fees until early 2023 is a great support for businesses to help them maximise their revenues and attract more foreign investments to the country.”
Dubai maintained the top standing in the Middle East and North Africa on the Z/Yen Global Financial Centres Index and held 19th place globally.
He said, “There are several positive indicators that are expected to attract more investments and help grow business performance. Our mutual trade with Israel touched AED1.7 billion for Q1, 2020. We see an influx of Israeli firms to Dubai to buy and import goods thanks to the difference in cost and prices between Dubai and Israel, and thanks to our streamlined import/export procedures. Our goods can be in Tel Aviv in just 2 to 3 days, and this is an important point. We are optimistic that international relationships will go to normal under the new USA administration, and the recent Gulf reconciliation will push this growth even further.”
Bin Slayem confirmed that Dubai has strong links to two billion people markets and DP World is looking forward to more opportunities that will raise its profile in Africa, which included a recent €1 billion (AED4.15 billion) investment in Dakar, Senegal.
The meeting took place in the presence of Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs and representatives of business groups in Dubai.
The Dubai Customs Consultative Council Meeting saw the signing of an MoU between Dubai Customs and Etihad Export Credit Insurance Company (ECI) that facilitates export performance in Dubai.
Commenting on the agreement, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director-General of Dubai Customs said, “Dubai Customs works hard to enhance Dubai’s leading standing worldwide as a global hub, and to boost its export performance and this MoU will help support and enhance our client’s business.”
Rashid Al Sharid, CEO, Administration and Finance Division, Dubai Customs, and Massimo Falcioni, CEO, Etihad Export Credit Insurance Company signed the MoU.
Falcioni said, “We are happy to sign this agreement with Dubai Customs which aims at accelerating the emirate’s export business securely and reliably.”
In its journey into the next 50 years, Dubai Customs follows the wise vision of the emirate’s leadership and with this in mind a strategic plan has been set up (2021-2026) that works towards safer customs globally through efficient inspection services and an outstanding experience for all Dubai Customs stakeholders.
In the meeting, Dubai Customs presented its new initiative “Export Verification Report for VAT Refund purposes”, which will be launched on 26th March on Dubai Trade Portal. Federal Tax Authority and Dubai Customs will be able to generate consolidated “Export Verification Report” of all importers under single tax registration (TRN), which is associated with multiple business codes. With this, traders can claim VAT refund.
Malek Hannouf, Chairman, Brand Owners Protection Group (BPG) delivered a presentation on border measures and intellectual property enforcement. He highlighted Dubai Customs’ noticeable efforts in curbing counterfeiting, and said the close cooperation will help protect the intellectual property rights and enhance brand owners’ presence in the UAE.
He stated that there are 33 international brands registered at the BGP including giants like Apple, Amazon and Louis Vuitton.
On her part, Nadia Abdul Aziz, President, National Association of Freight and Logistics (NAFL), said; “The UAE is the biggest re-distribution center of vaccines thanks to its advanced logistic infrastructure and strategic location.The challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated more international cooperation and spurred more digitalization and automation. Growth prospects are high for this year, and we expect freight and logistics sector to grow 8 percent.”