Dubai can help boost UK trade in the post-Brexit era, experts say

Representatives of Emirati multinational logistics company DP World and the UAE-UK Business Council highlighted the unique opportunities offered by Jebel Ali Port in Dubai and its associated free zone. (ABCC)
Representatives of Emirati multinational logistics company DP World and the UAE-UK Business Council highlighted the unique opportunities offered by Jebel Ali Port in Dubai and its associated free zone. (ABCC)
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Updated 07 June 2022

Dubai can help boost UK trade in the post-Brexit era, experts say

Dubai can help boost UK trade in the post-Brexit era, experts say
  • The CEO of Emirati logistics company DP World said Jebel Ali Port’s unique facilities offer British businesses a chance to tap into new markets in Middle East, India, far-east and Africa
  • At a seminar hosted by the Arab British Chamber of Commerce, the head of the UAE-UK Business Council said he hopes talks between the UK and GCC on a free-trade agreement will begin soon

LONDON: Dubai and the wider UAE can help UK businesses reach a new potential export market of four billion people in India, the Middle East and Africa, according to a panel of experts.

Speaking during a trade seminar on Monday organized by the Arab British Chamber of Commerce, representatives of Emirati multinational logistics company DP World and the UAE-UK Business Council highlighted the unique opportunities offered by Jebel Ali Port in Dubai and its associated free zone.

DP World CEO Abdulla bin Damithan said the port and its facilities give British businesses the chance to tap into markets in the Middle East, India, the far-east and southern Africa.

“The unique thing about Jebel Ali Port is you will not find another place where there is a port, airport and free zone in the same area,” he said.

This set-up meant it was able to operate relatively unscathed during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to play a vital role in global trade, he added.

In the aftermath of Brexit, the port can play a vital role as an enabler for deals between the UK and new markets, according to Damithan.

“We believe we’ll be able to open new windows of growth for UK businesses and industry; we are here to open new markets for UK,” he said.

“We are present in different parts of the world, we have more than 180 business units, we have logistics capability — we like to think of ourselves as trade enablers, not just a port or a free zone. We want to move cargo, with our logistics and shipping capabilities, from the factory floor to the customer’s door.”

Bradley Jones, executive director of the UAE-UK Business Council, said that Dubai and the wider UAE offer access to a market with huge potential for British businesses.

“We work very closely with both governments, as well as here in London with the UAE embassy and the Ministry of Economy in the UAE, and we work closely with the Department of International Trade in the UK,” he said.

“What we do is all about adding value to what’s happening at a government-to-government level. We don’t give export advice as such, the DIT are good at that already, but we talk about what’s happening in Dubai, what are the trends and opportunities.

“It’s an economy that’s diversifying at a very rapid pace; it’s investing heavily in skills and technology. It’s important to understand that story if you’re a British startup in (Artificial intelligence, Internet of Things) or edu-tech or medi-tech — there are opportunities for you in Dubai. It’s a matter of identifying the right economic zone and partners to try to help grow the company in the region.”

Referencing the possibility of a free-trade agreement between the UK and the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jones predicted that collaboration between Britain and the UAE on energy transition would play a big role in expanding links.

“The UAE has a really good story to tell on energy transition,” he said. “Only two weeks ago (the country) announced a pioneering partnership with BP to develop hydrogen capabilities in Teeside (in the north of England). Next year it will be hosting COP28 (the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference), and if you look at almost every industry in the UAE, decarbonization is a common thread that runs through them all, whether it’s the environment, manufacturing or logistics.

“The thing that underpins these opportunities is getting the trade framework right. Hopefully very soon we’ll be starting negotiations for a UK-GCC free-trade agreement. It’s never easy negotiating a free-trade agreement with six different countries, all of whom are developing at a different pace, but I think in parallel, the UK and UAE will negotiate their own side agreement.”

Bilateral trade between the UK and the UAE is worth billions of dollars and includes a wide range of products, including food and cars. Damithan believes this trade partnership has helped to cement the strong relationship between the two countries. He also thinks that the ambitions of Dubai, and the wider UAE, in terms of trade targets coincide with those of the UK.

“In Dubai we have an ambition to increase our foreign trade by 80 percent over the coming years,” Damithan said. “We call it the ‘Two Trillion Initiative,’ which is basically to create (trade) bridges between regions. We started with India and Africa and now we’re looking at UK.

“The vision behind the bridges is to offer an integrated network solution across geographies. The UAE is the largest domestic market in the region and the third-largest re-export market, so (within that) Dubai is perfectly positioned to provide the most efficient market access for manufacturers and exporters from the UK.

“We complement the UK’s £1 trillion ($1.26 trillion) export target by 2030, so I think it’s time we all collaborate to achieve that vision.”


Saudi Arabia’s agricultural sector grew at a rate of 7.8% in 2021

Saudi Arabia’s agricultural sector grew at a rate of 7.8% in 2021
Updated 14 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s agricultural sector grew at a rate of 7.8% in 2021

Saudi Arabia’s agricultural sector grew at a rate of 7.8% in 2021

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s agricultural sector grew at a rate of 7.8 percent in 2021 as compared to the previous year, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

The agricultural output during the period was valued at SR72.25 billion ($19.23 billion) — the highest in more than five years — as compared to SR67.05 billion in the previous year.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture attributed this growth to its strategies implemented in line with Vision 2030. In addition to that recovery from the coronavirus disease pandemic also helped the sector’s growth, the ministry added.

The Kingdom’s agriculture output in 2017 was estimated at SR65.29 billion, around SR65.49 billion in 2018, and SR66.20 billion in 2019.

It recorded around SR67.05 billion in 2020, noting that the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product in general amounted to 2.3 percent last year, while the contribution of agricultural output to non-oil GDP was 3.6 percent, an increase of 0.2 percent compared to 2020.

The ministry highlighted that the Kingdom’s balance of trade achieved a surplus of SR462.5 billion, an increase from the year 2020, which recorded SR134.5 billion, due to increased exports during 2021. The agricultural exports amounted to SR13.16 billion.


PIF, Cain International invest $900m in Aman Group to boost its global expansion

PIF, Cain International invest $900m in Aman Group to boost its global expansion
Updated 34 min 26 sec ago

PIF, Cain International invest $900m in Aman Group to boost its global expansion

PIF, Cain International invest $900m in Aman Group to boost its global expansion

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Cain International have invested $900 million in Aman Group to help accelerate the global expansion of the hospitality and lifestyle brand management company.

The investment will be used to enhance the existing portfolio, drive the construction of the pipeline of Aman and Janu destinations, as well as support the acquisition and development of additional sites, according to a statement issued on Monday. 

Following the new funding, the company is now valued at over $3billion.

Aman is a renowned collection of 34 hotels across 20 countries, 12 of which include Aman Branded Residences, with nine further hotels and residences projects under construction and a committed pipeline of additional destinations in countries including USA, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and European destinations, among others. 

Vlad Doronin, owner, chairman and CEO of Aman Group, said: “The investment from PIF and Cain International is a vote of confidence in my vision and the work the team has done over the last eight years, cementing the brand’s evolution and ability to deliver this vision at pace.”

Commenting on the investment, Turqi Al-Nowaiser, deputy governor and head of International Investments Division at PIF, said: “The investment is in line with PIF’s strategy to invest in promising sectors to achieve sustainable, attractive returns in Saudi Arabia and globally.”

“We are excited to be investing in this phenomenal brand and look forward to building upon our longstanding partnership with Vlad and his team,” said Jonathan Goldstein, CEO and co- founder of Cain International. 


PIF-owned Helicopter Co. to add Airbus ACH160 to its fleet 


PIF-owned Helicopter Co. to add Airbus ACH160 to its fleet 

Updated 15 August 2022

PIF-owned Helicopter Co. to add Airbus ACH160 to its fleet 


PIF-owned Helicopter Co. to add Airbus ACH160 to its fleet 


RIYADH: The Helicopter Co., fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, has announced that Airbus ACH160 multi-purpose Helicopter will become part of its fleet in early 2023.

The new ACH160 is one of the world’s most technologically advanced helicopters with a new rotor blade design that results in significantly reduced noise, according to a statement posted on LinkedIn.

The company will obtain six new ACH160 helicopters, with the first being set to join the fleet early in 2023.

The new helicopter comes in line with the firm’s aims to deliver an improved environmental footprint and lower fuel consumption.


Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands

Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands
Updated 15 August 2022

Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands

Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands

CAIRO: China’s central bank cut key lending rates in a surprise move on Monday to revive demand as data showed the economy slowing in July, with factory and retail activity squeezed by Beijing’s zero-COVID policy and a property crisis.

The grim set of figures indicate the world’s second largest economy is struggling to shake off the June quarter’s hit to growth from strict COVID-19 restrictions, prompting some economists to downgrade their projections.

Egypt’s unemployment rate  

Egypt’s unemployment rate in April to June remained unchanged from the previous quarter at 7.2 percent, the country’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization And Statistics announced on Monday.

Thai GDP grows 

Thailand’s economy expanded at the fastest pace in a year in the second quarter as eased COVID-19 restrictions boosted activity and tourism, reinforcing views that more rate hikes will be needed to curb inflationary pressures.

The Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy is making a steady recovery after the lifting of pandemic curbs but still faces headwinds ranging from inflation at 14-year highs to China’s slowdown and weaker global demand. Read full story

The government slightly revised its 2022 economic growth forecast to 2.7 percent to 3.2 percent from an earlier 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent range. Last year’s 1.5 percent growth was among the slowest in Southeast Asia.

Japan’s economy expands

Japan’s economy expanded an annualized 2.2 percent in the April-June period to mark the third straight quarter of expansion on solid private consumption, government data showed on Monday.

The increase in gross domestic product was slower than a median market forecast for a 2.5 percent expansion. It translated into quarterly growth of 0.5 percent against market forecasts for a 0.6 percent rise.

Private consumption rose 1.1 percent in the April-June period from the previous quarter, compared with a median market forecast for a 1.3 percent increase, the data showed.

 

 


Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB

Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB
Updated 15 August 2022

Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB

Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB

DUBAI: Global rating agency Fitch Ratings upgraded the long-term foreign currency issuer default rating on Oman to BB from BB-.

The outlook on Oman is stable, Fitch said on Monday.

The agency said the upgrade “reflects significant improvements in Oman’s fiscal metrics, a lessening of external financing pressures and ongoing efforts to reform public finances.”

A relatively small crude producer when compared to its wealthier Gulf neighbors, Oman is more sensitive to oil price swings, meaning it was hit especially hard by the pandemic-driven price crash in 2020.

But higher oil prices this year along with fiscal reforms, Fitch said, will support the sultanate to register its first budget surplus since 2013 and contain debt levels over the next few years.

“Higher oil revenue will underpin budget surpluses in 2022 and 2023,” Fitch said.