Dubai-Rotterdam Business Forum emphasises on stronger bilateral ties

DUBAI, — Being major re-export hubs in their respective regions, Dubai and the Netherlands can open a gateway for business opportunities with the rest of the GCC, Africa, and Asia, as well as become an ideal trading partner for the European markets, according a senior official of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

With access to over two billion consumers, the emirate serves as a unique hub which Dutch companies can benefit from, Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice-Chairman of Dubai Chamber, said while addressing the Dubai-Rotterdam Business Forum hosted at the chamber’s premises on Thursday.

The forum, held in collaboration with the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, Rotterdam Partners and City of Rotterdam, was attended by Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, Jaap Docter, Director Business Services at Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, and representatives of companies from the Netherlands and the UAE.

In his welcome address, Al Shirawi said, “The Netherlands is an important trading partner for us and we have been working to strengthen this relationship in recent years. Also, we see this repeat visit by the Rotterdam business delegation as yet another golden opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations with Dutch businesses, and to take them to a new level altogether.

“Rotterdam, in particular, has a lot in common with Dubai, as both cities are home to the largest ports in their respective regions and are proactive in diversifying their economies while endeavouring to reach out to emerging markets for trade and investment opportunities.”

“The Dubai Plan 2021 emphasises enhancing the sustainable development of the emirate as trade remains the largest contributor to Dubai’s GDP, which could be built on to improve trade relations with Rotterdam,” Al Shirawi explained while highlighting joint investment opportunities in the areas of trade, logistics, tourism, healthcare, and renewable energy.

The Netherlands is Dubai’s 28th largest trading partner with the value of non-oil trade between the two sides totalling AED11.08 billion in 2015, while currently there are 205 Dutch companies registered with the Dubai Chamber, he informed.

The visit to Dubai this year will go a long way in investing in a bilateral relationship and building trust which is vital for the countries to build closer cultural and economic ties, Mayor Aboutaleb stated.

“What brings us on a common platform is that both our countries are ambitious – right from the leadership, to the people, and the entrepreneurs who like to be in the lead – and believe in being actors rather than mere spectators. Also, both of us are gifted with excellent geographic locations and strong assets which help us play our leading roles more strongly,” Aboutaleb said.

Both Dubai and Rotterdam are innovative, especially in the field of water, new energy, environmental technology and innovation, and by sharing their expertise and experience, can strengthen their bilateral ties in the long run, he said in conclusion.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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