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Dubai International Chamber successfully concludes trade mission to East Africa

Dubai International Chamber, one of three chambers operating under the Dubai Chambers umbrella, successfully concluded its four-day trade mission to East Africa with a special business forum in Nairobi, Kenya.

The chamber signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and coordinated more than 250 bilateral business meetings between the 19 Dubai-based companies that participated in the mission and their Kenyan counterparts.

The trade mission is the last activity within the framework of the ‘New Horizons‘initiative led by Dubai International Chamber, which aims to drive the international expansion of Dubai-based companies in specific priority markets. The initiative allows companies to join international roadshows and trade fairs to gain first-hand experience in new territories, with the aim of exploring potential investment opportunities and economic partnerships. These trade missions will play a vital role in achieving Dubai’s goal of increasing non-oil foreign trade to $544.5 billion (AED2 trillion) by 2026, in line with the emirate’s five-year trade plan.

The forum was organized by the chamber in cooperation with the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Nairobi and the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The event featured speeches by His Excellency Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, Chairman and CEO of Dubai Chambers; His Excellency Dr. Salem Ibrahim Al Naqbi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Kenya; and Peter Njoroge, Director of Foreign Trade at the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry of the Republic of Kenya. Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations at Dubai Chambers, also gave a briefing on Dubai’s economic landscape and outlined the many competitive advantages that have contributed to the emirate’s position as a leading global economic hub.

The business forum attracted more than 170 participants. Speaking at the event, His Excellency Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootahwho led the trade mission, highlighted the importance of bilateral meetings in establishing economic partnerships between the business communities of Dubai and Kenya, stating that the Kenyan market offers a host of rewarding opportunities for Dubai companies wishing to expand their presence in the African continent.

HE Lootah aggregate:

“Through our meetings in Nairobi, we aim to diversify the exports of Dubai-based companies to the Kenyan market and help companies in the emirate establish branches and offices in Africa. This initiative will contribute to achieving the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33”

His Excellency Dr. Salem Ibrahim Al Naqbi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Republic of Kenyacommented:

“We are proud of the strategic partnership between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Kenya. Our markets share strong trade links, with the UAE being a key destination for Kenyan exports and a major source of Kenyan imports, and we are keen to further enhance this relationship. Kenya and the United Arab Emirates are in talks to remove all barriers to trade, investment and the movement of goods and people. “I would like to take this opportunity to encourage Kenyan entrepreneurs and investors to participate in trade missions and similar visits to explore opportunities in the UAE.”

Peter Njoroge, Director of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry of the Republic of Kenyasaying:

“Dubai is a key gateway for trade between Kenya and the rest of the world. By 2022, the UAE will be Kenya’s seventh largest export destination and second largest import source market. “This meeting is therefore timely as members of the private sector can take advantage of the growing bilateral trade and create a node-to-node nexus between Nairobi and Dubai for trade and investment between Africa and the Middle East.”

Memorandum of understanding

During the forum, Dubai Chambers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry improve cooperation in the organization of events, trade missions, exhibitions, conferences and training sessions. The agreement aims to facilitate knowledge sharing and promote investments between the business communities of Dubai and Kenya. The MoU was signed by His Excellency Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO of Dubai Chambers, and Dr. Erick Rutto, President of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Dubai’s non-oil trade with Kenya reached US$2.1 billion (AED 7.8 billion) in 2022, a growth rate of 6.8% compared to 2021. A total of 447 Kenyan companies were registered as active members of Dubai Chamber of Commerce at the end of Q3 2023, 94 of which joined during the first nine months of this year.

According to data from fDi Intelligence, the cumulative value of investments from Dubai to Kenya between January 2018 and July 2023 amounted to $253 million (AED 931 million). These were mainly concentrated in the food and beverage, financial services, transportation and storage, industrial equipment, consumer products, software, IT and business services sectors. Dubai also accounted for 98.9% of the UAE’s total investment in Kenya. The number of Dubai companies registered in Kenya is estimated to be around 15, and these companies mainly operate in the fintech, renewable energy, real estate development and infrastructure development sectors.

As part of the forum, a roundtable was held that brought together expert speakers in the fields of logistics, customs legislation and the financial and investment sectors in Kenya. Panelists explored the benefits of doing business in Kenya and shared their knowledge of the local business landscape with the visiting delegation from Dubai during an interactive question and answer session. This was followed by a series of bilateral business meetings between representatives of companies from Dubai and Kenya. The trade mission program also included a series of field visits.

Kenya is one of the most vibrant and diversified economies in East Africa and one of the five largest economies on the continent. Recognized for its well-developed financial services sector and strong banking sector, Kenya has successfully leveraged innovations in financial technology, especially in the fields of mobile banking and digital payments.

News source: Dubai Press Office

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