DUBAI, 10th November 2015 (WAM) — A forum was held Tuesday by the Ministry of Economy of the UAE, Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Dubai Export Development Corporation, to discuss ways of capitalising on opportunities in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector and expand cooperation between the UAE’s Dubai and Hong Kong.
To exemplify and enhance the “hub-to-hub” synergy between Dubai and Hong Kong, the two-day “Hong Kong-Dubai Business Collaboration Forum for SMEs” was staged concurrently with the Lifestyle Expo.
Participants shared their latest business updates on how to better utilise the emerging business opportunities in the UAE and Hong Kong via such hubs to penetrate the Asia, Middle East and Africa markets.
The forum brought together Assistant Undersecretary for Foreign Trade at the UAE Ministry of Economy, Juma Al Kait, and CEO of Dubai Export Development Corporation, Saed Al Awadhi, and Head of Export Market Intelligence, at the Corporation, Dr. Ashraf Mahate, Deputy Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Raymond Yip, Regional Director for Middle East and Africa at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Perry Fung, and representatives of businesses from the public and privates sectors.
In his opening remarks, Al Kait noted that the partnership between the UAE and Hong Kong has potentially large prospects for growth benefiting from the UAE as the world’s fourth largest hub for re-exports.
He also noted that trade between the UAE and Hong Kong grew 45.7 percent in 2013 to US$6.66 billion. Hong Kong and Dubai are key business and financial players in our respective regions.
The SME sector accounts for around 60 percent of the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the UAE is planning to increase its share to 70 percent by 2021 and benefit from Hong Kong’s success in this sector.
Deputy Executive Director of Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Raymond Yip, introduced the Belt and Road opportunities at the forum saying that Hong Kong can help UAE companies capitalise on opportunities on various fronts, especially infrastructure, construction and finance, logistics, professional services, overseas direct investment and Chinese outbound investment.
He said Hong Kong can play significant roles in the Belt and Road Initiative, as an international financial centre, a platform for overseas direct investment (ODI) and Chinese outbound investment, an integrator for infrastructure and real estate-related development, an arbitration and mediation centre, a logistics and maritime services hub, and a trading hub.
Mr Yip said the UAE is Hong Kong’s largest export market in the Middle East and in 2014, Hong Kong’s exports to the UAE stood at US$6.2 billion, an increase of 25 percent year-on-year.
According to Hong Kong Trade Development Council, China is the UAE’s top trading partner and their bilateral trade is expected to reach US$100 billion for the whole of 2015.