Dubai, UAE: Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Dubai Chamber) has announced the opening of a representative office in the Republic of Panama. The new office has been established to strengthen Dubai Chamber’s presence in Latin America, which forms part of its strategic plan to expand into promising markets, stimulate the emirate’s business environment and attract foreign investment to Dubai.
Dubai Chamber’s Panama office is its second in Latin America and its ninth in the world. Its inauguration follows the opening of offices in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Baku, Azerbaijan; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Erbil, Iraq; Accra, Ghana; Maputo, Mozambique; Nairobi, Kenya and Shanghai, China.
The organisation, which represents Dubai’s business community, is keen to highlight how its international offices form an essential component of its strategy to support Dubai’s economic diversification plans and strengthen the global competitiveness of Emirati companies in overseas markets.
“We are committed to bolstering our presence in countries that provide opportunities for growth and expansion for our partners from Dubai’s business community. Panama is a gateway to the Central American and Latin American regions and offers a host of opportunities, especially in the logistics, finance and agricultural sectors. Its international waterway, the Panama Canal, offers ready access to numerous other strategic markets,” said H.E Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber.
“The wise leadership’s plans for economic diversification drives us to find new markets, enhance the competitiveness of our members overseas and seek opportunities that attract investment into Dubai. The consolidation of trade relations with Panama and other international financial and trade centres is part of our strategic vision to promote Dubai as a global trading hub and is in line with our goals to stimulate economic cooperation with Latin American countries,” H.E added.
Dubai’s non-oil trade between with Panama grew from AED 40.4 million in 2012 to AED 75.7 million in 2017, an increase of 87.4%. Overall, Panama’s economy grew by 5.2% in 2017 compared to 2016, with the trade sector accounting for 18% of its GDP, followed by construction at 15.27%, real estate at 13.6%, transportation at 13.3%, financial services at 7.3% and industry at 5.2%.
Dubai’s key imports from Panama include vegetable products and textiles, while its main re-export products to Panama include transport equipment, machinery, electrical/electronic equipment and their parts, and chemicals and their allied products.
Dubai Chamber’s new Panama office aims to contribute to strengthening economic relations between Dubai and Panama’s business communities and to facilitate an improvement of trade between the two regions, which has grown significantly over the past five years.
The opening of Dubai Chamber’s Panama office followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Dubai Chamber and the Republic of Panama during the attendance of a high-level delegation headed by Panama’s President H.E Juan Carlos Varela at the Global Business Forum on Latin America, which was organised by Dubai Chamber and took place in February this year.
Dubai Chamber participated in a trade mission to Panama in October 2017, which involved a high-level meeting with HE Isabel de Santo Malo de Alvarado, Vice-President and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Panama and resulted in the signing of an MoU with the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama and the organisation of the Panama-UAE Business Forum.