Dubai Chamber webinar showcases main advantages of doing business in Africa

DUBAI, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s representative offices in Africa recently organised a webinar in cooperation with Oxford Business Group and the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which covered some of the key benefits of doing business in Africa.

The virtual event, attended by 163 participants from the UAE and Africa, aimed to familiarise UAE companies with the competitive advantages offered by several promising African markets, the evolving business climate on the continent, as well as new investment opportunities and existing challenges to foreign investors.

Addressing participants, Omar Khan, Director of International Offices at Dubai Chamber, highlighted the importance of Africa as a preferred market for Dubai, and pointed out that many UAE-based companies have established their presence on the continent.

Evidence of the expanding economic links between Dubai and Africa can be found in recent trade trends, he noted. In H1 2020, Dubai’s non-oil trade with Africa reached $22.2 billion an overall 1.1 percent y-o-y growth rate, while Dubai accounted on average for 85 percent of UAE total non-oil trade with Africa, he revealed. He added that Dubai’s trade with Africa in the first half of 2020 returned to pre-COVID-19 levels, while Dubai Chamber members saw 6.5 percent growth in exports and re-exports of to the continent in February 2021.

Khan emphasised the commitment of Dubai Chamber, through its African offices, to promote investment opportunities in African markets and provide assistance to UAE business leaders and investors that are keen to do business there. He added that Dubai Chamber’s offices in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Kenya play an active role in identifying business opportunities in those markets that offer the most potential for Chamber members and the business community in Dubai.

A poll conducted during the webinar found that 55 percent of participants saw lack of reliable data on market opportunities in Africa as a key obstacle to doing business on the continent, followed by 50 percent who said there is not enough information about potential business partners. Around 43 percent identified communication with local suppliers and distributors as areas of challenge, while 38 percent cited logistical infrastructure as a barrier.

Oxford Business Group gave an introductory presentation on the economic and investment landscape in sub-Saharan Africa, economic indicators, and investment opportunities in promising sectors including infrastructure, renewable energy, information technology and food industries.

 

Source: Emirates News Agency

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