A Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry delegation, led by H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO, was in Malta recently to highlight Dubai’s growing economy, its investment opportunities and the synergies between Dubai’s and Malta’s business communities.
During the two-day visit, Dubai Chamber participated in the event ‘Dubai – Racing Ahead: A Modern Model for Economic Development in the Region’, organised by the Middle East Business Council – Malta, which operates under the umbrella of Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry. Dubai Chamber’s visit follows that of a Maltese business delegation to Dubai earlier this year.
H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO, Dubai Chamber, said: “Dubai offers the ideal investment and business destination for companies in Malta given its thriving economy, modern infrastructure and strong regulatory framework.”
His Excellency said: “We see opportunities for Dubai businesses to form joint ventures with Maltese businesses in trade, shipping, Islamic finance, aviation, logistics and ICT sectors for the benefit of both our economies.”
Mr. TonioCasapinta, Chairman of the Middle East Business Council – Malta, said: “Malta and Dubai are forging strong business links. This is appropriate, since we are both serving as gateways for international trade in our respective regions. These are similarities on which we can build up on in the future.
“Malta has registered significant successes in attracting foreign companies to set up shop here and base their business in the region from here – especially in financial services. We are making solid progress in the establishment of guidelines for Sharia compliant financial services,” he said.
MrCasapinta added that Dubai businesses should “look at Malta” for investment in regard to ICT and the SmartCityMalta project, trade, aviation and shipping.
Prior to the event, H.E. Buamim held separate meetings with Dr Christian Cardona, Minister of Economy, Investment and Small Business, in the presence of Mr. TonioCasapinta, Chairman of the Middle East Business Council – Malta in addition to other meetings with Mr. Anton Borg, Deputy President and Mr. Kevin Borg, Director General of Malta Chamber, to discuss bilateral business relations.
Malta is a member of the European Union and its efforts to enhance its business climate by attracting foreign businesses has helped it leverage its strategic position and evolve as a financial, logistics and ICT hub.
According to research by Dubai Chamber, trade between the UAE and Malta saw gradual growth between 2001 and 2012. During this time, UAE imports from Malta grew at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of about -1.6%, while exports from the UAE to Malta grew at a CAGR of 19.25% and re-exports from the UAE to Malta grew at a CAGR of about 8.9%.
Malta and Dubai are both important logistics and trade hubs and their main advantage is therefore location. Because of many of the world’s consumer and industrial products are manufactured in Asia, Dubai exporters can use Dubai’s geographic advantage to re-export these products sourced from Asia to meet demand in Malta.
Malta’s position as the largest ship registry in Europe and the fourth largest in the world mean strong demand for ships, yachts and other vessels in Malta. This sub-product category demonstrated strong annual growth of about 39% from 2008 to 2012.
According to Dubai Chamber research, Dubai and Maltese businesses could benefit from strong mutual synergy across a range of financial services, including the growing Islamic finance sector. A combination of UAE business experience in Islamic finance with Maltese business experience in international finance would allow both to tap the strong expected growth in Islamic finance in North Africa.
Strong synergies also exist in aircraft maintenance,repair and overhaul and in multi-modal logistics. Dubai businesses can provide multi-modal connectivity to East Africa and the growing markets of Asia, while Malta can provide proximity to Europe.
Shipping is another area of opportunity with Maltese businesses able to develop a ship-building cluster in Dubai. There are also synergies in cooperation in further development of maritime legal services, maritime research and maritime insurance. Carbon neutral port and ship operations and eco-friendly inland transport, such as energy efficient trains and trams, are another area of strong synergy for Dubai and Malta.
Finally, strong synergies exist in attracting companies from the UAE and GCC to establish businesses in Smart City Malta. These businesses can provide outsourced ICT services for European countries. UAE and Maltese businesses can also collaborate, enabling Maltese ICT businesses to use the strategic location to Dubai to provide ICT services to the GCC region and countries in East Asia and East Africa.