Dubai exports rise 43 per cent despite global credit crisis

Exports from Dubai so far this year have registered a 43 per cent increase compared to the same period last year, according to Hamad Buamim, Director-General, Dubai Chamber. Firms registered under the Chamber exported goods worth Dh193 billion until the end of October 2008 compared to Dh135 billion during the same period last year. Speaking during the release of ‘The Report: Dubai 2008’, published by the Oxford Business Group, Buamim said the effects of global slowdown will be visible during Dubai’s next year’s growth results and urged the businesses community to make use of the available opportunities. “We had a 43 per cent growth this year compared to last year. The number of Certificates of Origin issued until the end of October this year was 533,000 – a 15 per cent increase, compared to 463,000 during the same period last year,” said Buamim. “So I don’t think the financial crisis has had any impact so far. But we think the outlook for 2009 will have an impact. To be very honest the global financial crisis and the slowdown in the United States and Europe will definitely have an impact on us, as we are a global city and part of the global economy. But this impact will be minimal. The double-digit growth that we have been achieving for the last few years will reduce,” he added. A slide in the oil prices will also contribute to a partial slowdown, he said, adding: “Right now we are witnessing oil prices going down. Yet the average has managed to remain over $100 per barrel. Although this will have an impact, some of these prices are higher than what was even budgeted by several countries in the region.” A working group has been created to look into the impact of global economic crisis on the local economy. “The working group has been discussing the challenges ahead. We are still positive about the future. At one stage we looked at the projection for 2015 to find out if it will be affected in any way. But so far we believe that the plan will not be affected as the Dubai’s growth during last two years was even higher than what we planned for,” he added. “For the past ten days I have been attending several events and we are discussing these issues. Although nobody exactly knows the extent of impact on the local economy, people have been discussing about the opportunities that have arisen and made use of,” said Buamim. Firms such as DP World and Dubai holding could make use of the very attractive rates of investment overseas. “The whole of UAE and GCC has a lot of investments overseas. We believe that the fundamentals are still solid and it would not be such a bad idea to take advantage of attractive investment rates.” Joseph George