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Mexico-UAE bilateral trade grows 38% in 5 years

By Binsal Abdulkader

ABU DHABI, 13th December, 2021 (WAM) — Mexico-UAE bilateral trade has witnessed an approximate 38 percent upsurge in the past five years (2016-2020), a senior Mexican official told the Emirates News Agency (WAM), adding that Mexico wants to be a strategic partner for the UAE in agri-food sector.

"The bilateral trade between 2016 and 2020 registered an average annual growth rate of 6.7 percent, from US$511 million in 2016 to US$705.1 million [37.9 percent increase] in 2020," said Martha Delgado, Mexican Vice Minister for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, who was on an official visit to the UAE recently.

UAE, 2nd largest trade partner in ME

"For Mexico, the UAE is a strategic partner in the Middle East. It was our second largest trading partner in the region in 2020 and 47th partner worldwide," she said.

The bilateral relations between Mexico and the UAE have experienced significant development in the political, economic, commercial and cultural sectors, the vice minister noted.

"Within Mexico's foreign economic policy, strengthening the relations with all Arab countries is a priority. In the case of the UAE, Mexico recognises its international importance and economic potential," she emphasised.

"Bilateral economic relations are stronger and closer than ever. Our participation at Expo 2020 Dubai gave us the opportunity to share thoughts and strengthen our ties. Expo is becoming the epicentre of the global economic recovery since the beginning of the pandemic."

Potential partnership in agri-food sector

"The UAE is recognised as a very important international market and Mexico has the capacity to be a strategic partner for this country in the agri-food sector," Delgado affirmed.

Mexican agricultural goods have been entering the UAE market smoothly, such as berries, chickpeas, beef, tomatoes, avocados, fresh asparagus, among others, and negotiations are underway to export other agricultural products to the UAE.

"For the UAE, Mexico represents an access to the Latin American and Caribbean region, and for Mexico, the UAE has been a gateway to the Middle East," she pointed out.

Long history of ties, legal frameworks

Mexico and the UAE have a long history of collaboration, and along the years, bilateral legal framework has been enriched by several agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoUs), Delgado noted.

The agreements for promotion and protection of investments, the cooperation between the Mexican National Bank and the Emirates Development Bank, the cooperation between the Mexican Bank of Foreign Trade and the Dubai Economic Council, Air Services Agreement, an agreement to Avoid Double Taxation and Prevent Tax Evasion, as well as an MoU in energy and financial matters, are important ones, she explained.

"Recently, we signed an MoU to implement the Global Logistic Passport between the Mexican Government and DP World. This instrument has the potential to boost the exchange of goods and services worldwide."

The proposed opening of a trade office in Mexico City of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry would also strengthen bilateral economic and commercial ties, the official affirmed.

Human rights, climate change

"The UAE and Mexico have several mutual interests in international arena, and as members of the UN Human Rights Council, we will be able to push a common agenda on human rights," the Vice Minister said.

"We expect to have an open and enriching dialogue with the representatives from the UAE, when the 50th session of the Human Rights Council begins."

The UAE has been elected for the third time as a member of the UN Human Rights Council for 2022-2024. The UAE has recently established the National Human Rights Institution for better protection of human rights.

Climate Change is also an issue that both countries deem important, as both countries hold two MoUs on cooperation in the energy sector, clean energies and related matters.

"Mexico welcomes the UAE initiative to achieve Net Zero by 2050," she said.

Visa Exemption to promote tourism

In late 2018, the Mexican and UAE governments first signed a diplomatic MoU on mutual visa exemption that envisaged citizens of both countries to be allowed visa-free entry to each other’s country.

In January 2020, the UAE government announced visa-free entry for Mexican nationals, a month after Dubai’s Emirates Airlines made its inaugural flight to Mexico City via Barcelona.

"Tourism can be a catalyst for wellbeing. As you know, Mexico consistently ranks among the top destinations in different types of tourism. A visitor can become an investor, a cultural ambassador, a client for high-level medical services and a resident that wishes to spend their later years in our country," she said.

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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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