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Maktoum bin Mohammed attends first-ever Global Business Forum ASEAN in Dubai

DUBAI, 8th December, 2021 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance, today attended the first-ever Global Business Forum (GBF) ASEAN at Expo 2020 Dubai.

GBF ASEAN seeks to enhance economic ties and bilateral trading relations between Dubai and the 10 member states that make up the ASEAN region. Addressing Sheikh Maktoum and other delegates, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, highlighted the significance of the Forum and the platform provided by Expo 2020 Dubai to explore greater trade and investment between the two regions.

"Hosting Expo 2020 Dubai at this critical juncture in the world’s history helps the global economy make a new start and accelerate its recovery and growth. ASEAN countries can play a key part in the world’s economic growth by supporting international trade and building partnerships. The large populations of ASEAN countries provide huge investment opportunities and support the global supply chain. The UAE is looking positively at the ASEAN region, as it holds a solid economic position with a total GDP of US$3 trillion. Both the ASEAN and GCC regions complement each other and play a vital role in the world’s economy," he said.

Also speaking on the first day of the Forum was Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai. She said resilience and the ability to overcome obstacles are critical to the continued growth of GCC and ASEAN countries.

"If the pandemic laid bare the fragility of traditional economic systems, it also underscored the potential of those accelerating their adoption of digitisation, building innovative and agile startups and SME ecosystems and establishing a global reputation as hubs and platforms for long term and sustainable partnerships. The nations of the Gulf and Southeast Asia are introducing several forward-thinking initiatives – we are entrepreneurs and problem-solvers, always seeking new perspectives to spark creativity and innovation. We have demonstrated these qualities since the UAE’s foundation in 1971 and throughout our journey into the 21st century," Al Hashemy said.

In a discussion that followed, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy, and Teleworking Applications, highlighted Dubai’s strategic location which has enabled it to become a commercial centre and a gateway to other regions. Companies across the world have successfully used the UAE’s location as a springboard to access lucrative new markets.

"If you want to expand your business beyond a specific geography to diversify risks, the best way to enter a region is by creating a hub in the UAE. This gives investors the opportunity to reach a population of over two billion people covering diverse markets including east Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. What this gives prospective investors is access to a pool of high-quality talent. It also gives them the best time zones to work with both in the east and the west. You are able to start with Asia, then the afternoon with Europe, and in the evening with the US," Al Olama said.

"Also, businesses can expand beyond one country. With a presence in the UAE, countries in the region will be a lot more likely to help businesses expand into their geographies. There are several exemplary models that investors can use to unlock their growth potential in the markets of Asia and beyond. An example of this is the expansion of DP World’s operations beyond the GCC, to Asia, Africa and Latin America," Al Olama added.

He also drew attention to the facilities that Dubai offers businesses operating in the rapidly expanding technology sphere, with Dubai Internet City home to more than 60 percent of artificial intelligence startups in the region and Dubai attracting over 62 percent of all foreign direct investment into the region’s digital economy.

Representing Dubai Chambers, Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chambers, spoke about how Dubai offers a fertile business environment for ASEAN companies. He called for greater cooperation between stakeholders of both regions to maximise their mutual potential.

‘The ASEAN region is a market of strategic importance to Dubai at a time when bilateral relations have expanded in recent years. The number of ASEAN companies registered with Dubai Chamber and operating in Dubai has grown by 35.5 percent since 2018 to reach 3,300 today. Dubai-ASEAN non-oil trade in the last five years reached around US$110 billion (AED404 billion). Yet, there is huge potential to further expand bilateral trade and tap into existing synergies. For this to happen, we must work together to remove trade barriers, facilitate ease of doing business and identify new areas where we can align our ambitions," Al Ghurair said.

Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General, ASEAN Secretariat, said, "The bilateral trade between Dubai and the ASEAN countries in the last two decades was US$37 billion and we believe that the UAE and Dubai, in particular, can open new avenues for strategic partnership between ASEAN and GCC countries. The ASEAN countries have a lot to offer. Investments in the digital economy and e-commerce came at the top of the list as the region has over 660 million people. We are confident that the UAE can help to build strategic partnerships with ASEAN countries in areas such as technological advancements, supply chain and green technology as the UAE is already a pioneer and leader in sustainable finance and green investments."

Organised by Dubai Chamber in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, GBF ASEAN is hosting a comprehensive programme of keynote addresses, presentations, discussion panels and workshops designed to explore ways of ramping up bilateral trade and advancing the economies of Dubai and the 10 countries of the ASEAN region. Held under the theme The New Frontiers, the conference is the latest addition to Dubai Chamber’s Global Business Forum series, which was launched in 2013 to identify synergies between Dubai and promising markets around the world.

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Hamriyah and Deira ports record AED 12.133b in customs declaration value for first nine months of 2023

Dubai Customs plays a crucial role as the frontline defense for community security, consistently advancing its customs centers to safeguard and facilitate maritime trade. H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, CEO of
Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, recently visited Creek Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center to evaluate progress and oversee ongoing efforts for continuous customs service development. During this visit, several executive directors, department heads, and customs center managers were present.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, accompanied by Rashid Al Dhabah Al Suwaidi, Acting Director of Seae Customs Centers Management, conducted inspections at Khor Customs Center, Deira Port, and Hamriyah Port Customs Center. Managers Abdulaziz Ibrahim Al Salman and Majid Salem Al Tawilah provided insights into workflow progress and accomplishments. Over the first nine months of this year, 62,454 customs declarations were processed, totaling AED 12.133 billion, with 19 seizures recorded during the same period. A visit to Hamriyah Port Customs Center showcased an advanced container X-ray inspection device, supporting increased inspection operations.

Subsequently, visits to Khor Customs Center and Deira Port highlighted achievements, including a notable seizure called the “Wheelhouse,” which successfully prevented an attempt to smuggle 243 kilograms of narcotics into the country. Commending customs employees, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih emphasized the pivotal role of maritime customs centers in ensuring community security and facilitating trade. The department collaborates for efficient goods clearance and acknowledges employee efforts
during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to the department’s support for global efforts to revive maritime navigation and international trade.

Musabih clarified that the department’s advanced capabilities in monitoring and inspection enable it to keep pace with the UAE’s rapid foreign trade growth. Supporting Dubai’s economic agenda D33, the department aims to double foreign trade and enhance economic partnerships with key global markets. Efforts to boost customs inspector efficiency continue through training courses, ensuring their ability to thwart smuggling attempts. Continuous development of X-ray scanning
devices and the K9 customs dog unit further enhances contraband control achievements. Rasheed Al-Dabah explained that the forthcoming period will witness the advancement of new initiatives and mechanisms in the realm of inspection and examination. These initiatives are grounded in a forward-looking perspective to introduce cutting-edge technologies utilized in examining maritime transport vessels, wooden ships, and ships engaged in fish trade.

He remarked, “Our endeavors are harmonized to enhance performance in sea customs centers, concurrently focusing on bolstering monitoring, tracking, and technical support activities to yield optimal outcomes through continuous and productive collaboration among all specialized teams within the department. The Customs centers in Deira, Al Khor, and
Hamriyah Port Customs Center shoulder their vital responsibilities in safeguarding society and facilitating maritime trade through Dubai Creek and Hamriyah Port, supporting the ongoing growth of the national economy.”

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Dubai Customs Hosts Sharjah Housing Delegation to Strengthen Government Communication Ties

Dubai Customs, represented by the Corporate Communication Department, warmly welcomed a delegation from the Sharjah Housing Department. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize the delegation with the duties and responsibilities of the
Corporate Communication Department and its affiliated divisions. The delegation also aimed to explore the awards received by the department, notably the recognition as the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award for 2023.

Khalil Saqer bin Gharib, Director of Corporate Communication Department, along with department managers, extended a cordial reception to the Sharjah Housing delegation, which included Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication, Nada Sivan, Head of the Public Relations and Events Department, and Hamad Saleh Al Hamadi, Head of
the New Media Department. Bin Gharib highlighted the department’s commitment to strengthening communication with government entities to exchange practical experiences and knowledge. The delegation was briefed on Dubai Customs exceptional performance in customs operations and other facets.

The meeting delved into discussions on potential avenues for collaboration, with the Sharjah Housing delegation. Emphasis was placed on the crucial role played by Dubai Customs’ Corporate Communication Department, customs administrations, and centers in ensuring security and safeguarding society. The delegation was presented with an overview of the department’s working mechanisms, awareness campaigns, events, and activities conducted internally and externally, aligning with Dubai Customs esteemed reputation.

Furthermore, the Sharjah Housing delegation acquired an understanding of the best media practices adopted by the Corporate Communication Department, showcasing its outstanding performance in enhancing knowledge and media dissemination to all partners. This has resulted in the department establishing and fortifying relationships with local and international media
entities. The presentation also encompassed the factors contributing to the department’s receipt of the award for the Best Government Communication Team in the Sharjah Government Communication Award.

Dr. Ahmed Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director of Government Communication at Sharjah Housing, expressed appreciation for the efforts of Dubai Customs Corporate Communication Department, acknowledging its excellence and significant contribution to enhancing the department’s standing. Dr. Al Nuaimi affirmed Sharjah Housing’s commitment to fostering ongoing visits and meetings with Dubai Customs, aiming to achieve the highest level of coordination and benefit from the Corporate Communication Departmen’s experience in securing numerous local and international awards.

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Zayed Sustainability Prize opens submissions for 2025 cycle

The Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering global sustainability and humanitarian award, has officially announced that the 2025 cycle is now open for submissions.  Submissions will be accepted until 23 June 2024 through the Prize’s online portal. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs), nonprofit organisations (NPOs) and high schools with sustainable solutions are invited to submit an entry for consideration in one of the six categories of Heath, Food, Energy, Water, Climate Action and Global High Schools. Commenting on the launch of the 2025 submissions cycle, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Director General of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, and COP28 President, said: “Since 2008, the
Zayed Sustainability Prize has honoured the legacy of Sheikh Zayed by fostering inclusive sustainable and humanitarian development around the world. In this decisive decade for climate change, these values are more important than ever. I am optimistic that the Prize will contribute to global climate action in line with the UAE Consensus, which will pave the
way toward an effective response to the Global Stocktake decision.” In response to the pressing climate crisis, and to further support the UAE’s efforts to accelerate practical solutions needed to drive climate action and uplift vulnerable communities around the world, the Prize has increased its funds from US $3.6 million to US $5.9 million. The Prize will reward US $1 million to each winner in the organisational categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action. Within the Global High Schools category, which is split into six world regions, each school can claim up to US $150,000 to start or further expand their project. The six world regions of the Global High Schools category are The Americas, Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Sub- Saharan Africa, South Asia, and East Asia and Pacific. The most recent Zayed Sustainability Prize winners were recognised at an Awards Ceremony held during COP28 UAE. To encourage a broader range of organisations and high schools to participate, the Prize will be accepting submissions in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese. This will ensure that innovative solutions from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds can be recognised. For the Health, Food, Energy, Water and Climate Action categories, organisations should prove that they are improving access to essential products or services in their targeted communities and are able to implement a long-term vision for better living and working conditions. For the Global High Schools category, projects should be led by students, and must demonstrate innovative approaches to address sustainability challenges. The evaluation of each submission to the Prize consists of a rigorous, three-stage process. First, due diligence is conducted on all submissions to ensure that they meet the Prize’s evaluation criteria of Impact, Innovation, and Inspiration. This identifies the qualified entries and results in the selection of eligible candidates. Following this, evaluations are undertaken by a Selection Committee consisting of category-specific panels of independent international experts. From this shortlist of candidates, the finalists are chosen and then sent to the Prize Jury who unanimously elect the winners across all six categories.   Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at an Awards Ceremony during the 2025 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW).

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