ECONOMYDubai Chamber eyes Libyan trade opportunities

Will lead trade mission to North African country by year-end

By Zaher Bitar, Staff Reporter
June 28, 2012

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry will lead a trade mission to Libya before year-end to assess investment opportunities, a senior Dubai Chamber official has said.

Speaking to Gulf News on the sidelines of the Libya Development Forum, Atiq Juma Naseeb, senior director of Commercial Services Sector at the Dubai Chamber, said: “Libya has strong potential for our members and the mission would serve as a platform to acquaint Dubai business professionals with the Libyan market.”

The delegate is made up of Dubai prominent businessmen and SME operators from different sectors, he said.

“The dramatic change in Libya marks a new era and the chance for foreign partners to assist in the rebuilding of a nation is required. Thus, Dubai is looking to drive investment in the country and aid our local businesses in penetrating and showcasing their products and expertise to their target markets.”

Officials from the UAE, and Dubai in particular, have made several instructive visits to Libya to examine how they can play an active role in the country’s development vision.

“As banking, construction, tourism and telecommunication are presenting major opportunities for investment, Dubai is well placed to assist since it has significant expertise in these sectors,” he said.

“One major opportunity for trade is going to come from Libya’s reconstruction efforts, with demand for rebar, cement, wood, iron and steel as well as technical expertise set to increase. Dubai has a strong industrial manufacturing base and excellent export and logistics facilities, so is ideal to meeting this increased need.”

Trade volume

“One area of investment that has significant potential and which Dubai has a major advantage is trade. Dubai’s trade with Libya has increased steadily since an end to international sanctions in 2005. Then Dubai’s exports to Libya valued Dh2.8 billion and imports Dh0.3 billion, but moving forward to 2010, Dubai’s exports [stood at] Dh3.5 billion and imports [at] Dh4.1 billion. “

Last year, Dubai’s non-oil trade with Libya reached Dh2.13 billion between January and October — a slight decline due to the impact of political unrest.

However, Naseeb added that the unrest had not proved to be as damaging as first anticipated.

“Dubai’s main imports from Libya are precious stones, which account for almost 96 per cent of the total. Meanwhile, Dubai’s exports are much more diversified, with electrical equipment, machinery and vehicles making up around 70 per cent and the remaining 30 per cent made up with categories that account for less than 2 per cent each,” he said.


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