UAE ideal trade hub for Italian firms

Updated 21 November 2012
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UAE ideal trade hub for Italian firms

Italian companies need to further explore the opportunities offered by the dynamic economy in the UAE which is a natural hub for serving the Middle East, Africa and Asia, said Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti.
He was speaking at the UAE-Italy Business Forum at the Dubai Chamber’s headquarters.
“The development of a more structured presence in Dubai would allow companies and their Emirati partners to establish a more effective base to serve the vast markets of those macro-regions,” added Mario Monti.
Mario Monti stressed in his speech that the UAE and Italian companies should build a strategic partnership by exploring investment opportunities offered by each other’s countries.
He asked Italian businesses to establish a strong base here for expansion into the region while urging UAE traders to enhance their cooperation ties with his country’s SMEs who are their natural partners.
Also present were Sultan bin Saeed Al-Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, chairman, and Hamad Buamim, director-general, Dubai Chamber, and representatives of private sector companies in Dubai.
“We have to exploit the complementarity of our two economic systems. Synergy and co-investments between Italy and UAE should become a by-word for the development of initiatives in the GCC market but also in third countries, especially in North Africa. The UAE is our most important trading partner among all the Arab countries. Italian exports to the UAE increased 28 percent in 2011 to a total of 4.7 billion euro and we are likely to do even better in 2012 given the results from the first six months (3.2 billion euro),” added Mario Monti.
Sultan bin Saeed Al-Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, said the forum is the latest step in efforts by the UAE and Italy to enhance bilateral relations.
“It is a journey we are all enthusiastic to be making and it comes from a foundation of strong trade and business ties,” he said.
Over the past decade, Al-Mansouri said non-oil trade between the UAE and Italy had increased by 295 percent.
It has risen from AED 5.5 billion in 2001 to just under AED 21.9 billion in 2011, he added.
Al-Mansouri stressed on opportunities for further UAE-Italian partnerships in agriculture, construction, the green economy, fashion, mechanics, and logistics and emphasized on stronger cooperation for economic development of both the countries.
“As a pillar of Dubai’s economy, trade is a good indicator of economic ties and Dubai’s trade with Italy has increased significantly over the past nine years. In 2002, it valued at AED 4.7 billion, but increased to AED 17.8 billion in 2011 which is an increase of 278 percent while presently there are 234 Italian partnership companies operating as members of Dubai Chamber,” said Abdul Rahman Saif Al-Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, in his speech.


Oil theft ‘costing Libya over $750m annually’

Updated 25 min 24 sec ago
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Oil theft ‘costing Libya over $750m annually’

  • Libya’s oil sector collapsed in the wake of the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
  • The recovery of oil production and exports is key to restoring Libya’s economy.

Tripoli: Fuel smuggling is costing Libya more than $750 million each year and harming its economy and society, the head of the National Oil Company in the conflict-riddled country said.
“The impact of fuel smuggling is destroying the fabric of the country,” NOC president Mustafa Sanalla said according to the text of a speech delivered on Wednesday at a conference on oil and fuel theft in Geneva.
“The fuel smugglers and thieves have permeated not only the militias which control much of Libya, but also the fuel distribution companies which are supposed to bring cheap fuel to Libyan citizens,” he said.
“The huge sums of money available from smuggling have corrupted large parts of Libyan society,” he added.
The backbone of the North African country’s economy, Libya’s oil sector collapsed in the wake of the 2011 NATO-backed uprising that toppled longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Before the revolt Libya, with estimated oil reserves of 48 billion barrels, used to produce 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd).
But output fell to less than 500,000 bpd between 2014 and 2016 due to violence around production facilities and export terminals as rival militias fought for control of Africa’s largest crude reserves.
No oil was exported from Libya’s main ports until September 2016 with the reopening of the Ras Lanuf terminal in the country’s so-called oil crescent.
The recovery of oil production and exports is key to restoring Libya’s moribund economy.
Sanalla urged Libya’s “friends, neighbors but above all the Libyan people themselves... to do everything they can... to eradicate the scourge of fuel theft and fuel smuggling.”