Dubai – 07 June 2023: In a virtual meeting, His Excellency Ahmed Mahboub Musabih, the Director General of Dubai Customs and CEO of Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation, engaged with a delegation of New Zealand diplomats and economists, led by Dr. Richard Kay, the Ambassador of New Zealand to the United Arab Emirates. The discussions revolved around the potential for robust economic cooperation and the enhancement of trade between Dubai and New Zealand. The meeting also delved into the stimulating factors behind Dubai's economic agenda, particularly highlighting the significance of D33.
Increasing the value of trade
The meeting brought together more than 22 New Zealand companies operating in Dubai, along with executives and heads of departments in Dubai Customs. This event showcased Dubai Customs' commitment to fostering collaboration with trade partners and exploring the future of the commercial sector in the midst of Dubai's economic resurgence. The sector, serving as a pivotal driver of sustainable development, played a central role in discussions centered around Dubai's ambitious economic agenda. The agenda aims to elevate the total value of foreign trade from AED 14.2 trillion in the previous decade to an impressive AED 25.6 trillion for goods and services in the upcoming decade.
Ahmed Mahboub Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs and CEO of the Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation, acknowledged the growing presence of New Zealand companies in Dubai, highlighting the immense opportunities available for investors and traders from New Zealand. He encouraged them to tap into Dubai's thriving economy across various sectors. Musabih underscored the exceptional customs services and facilities provided by Dubai Customs, aligning with the visionary guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.
Dubai Customs stands at the forefront of global customs systems with its smart and innovative solutions, enabling seamless processing of an impressive 26 million transactions in the previous year and 7 million transactions in the first quarter of this year. With a remarkable 98% customer satisfaction rate for its advanced services, Dubai Customs continues to elevate the standards of efficiency and convenience.
Musabih highlighted the government organization’s commitment to enhancing the travel experience for visitors to Dubai, a world-renowned tourism hub. Dubai Customs has introduced the iDeclare system, revolutionizing the pre-declaration process for incoming travelers. This cutting-edge system empowers travelers to proactively declare goods, personal belongings, gifts, currencies, and cash amounts prior to their arrival. Moreover, the system allows travelers to request expedited processing of their customs transactions even before they set foot in the country. This streamlined approach significantly reduces processing time, ensuring a swift and hassle-free procedure in less than 4 minutes.
Underpinning Dubai Customs' comprehensive services is its unwavering support for Dubai International Airport, renowned as one of the world's busiest airports. The airport welcomed a staggering 21.2 million passengers during the first quarter of 2023, a testament to Dubai's continued appeal as a global travel destination. Dubai Customs plays a pivotal role in preserving the airport's unrivaled position by implementing robust customs measures while facilitating seamless travel for passengers.
The exponential growth of New Zealand companies operating in Dubai reflects the city's vibrant business landscape and offers a compelling opportunity for investors and traders to capitalize on Dubai's economic prowess. With Dubai Customs at the forefront of efficient customs processes and remarkable customer service, the department serves as a vital partner in fostering fruitful business partnerships and driving sustainable growth.
Enhancing global trade
Dr. Richard Kay acknowledged the substantial and noteworthy endeavors of Dubai Customs in bolstering international trade and fostering trade relations between Dubai and New Zealand. He expressed sincere appreciation and acknowledged the exceptional role played by Dubai Customs in facilitating seamless trade, promoting collaboration, and assisting New Zealand in swiftly establishing robust commercial connections worldwide in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initiatives and projects
During the meeting, Dubai Customs presented a series of projects and initiatives, including the 'Etibaat' initiative. This innovative program aims to strengthen Dubai's ties with foreign companies and business sectors by providing a transparent platform for discussing trade relations and enhancing customs services and facilities for traders and investors. Regular meetings with diplomatic entities of friendly countries and trade partners play a crucial role in this endeavor.
Another significant highlight was the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program, the latest addition to Dubai Customs' comprehensive range of systems and programs. By adhering to the requirements of the World Trade Organization's trade facilitation agreement, this program facilitates smoother trade operations. New Zealand companies were warmly invited to join the program and reap its numerous benefits.
Additionally, the cross-border e-commerce platform received attention during the meeting. This ambitious project aims to solidify Dubai's position as a global logistics hub, attracting international businesses and fostering seamless trade. With e-commerce sales in the UAE projected to reach substantial figures in the coming years, Dubai is set to become a thriving center for online trade. It is expected that e-commerce sales in the UAE will reach $6.085 billion in 2023, $6.809 billion in 2024, and $7.610 billion in 2025.
The Intellectual Property Department also shared its achievements, highlighting its vital role in protecting the national economy. By actively addressing intellectual property rights infringement through legal measures, Dubai ensures a conducive environment for innovation and supports its vision of a sustainable economic future.