DUBAI: Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) received a high-level delegation from Belgium at the Chamber’s head office on Thursday, which was led by Pieter De Crem, Belgium’s Secretary of State for Foreign Trade.
Hisham Al Shirawi, 2nd Vice Chairman, Dubai Chamber, and Atiq Juma Nasib, Senior Vice President of Commercial Services, Dubai Chamber, received the delegation, which also included Qaisar Hijazin, Secretary General of the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (ABLCC), and 30 representatives from the country’s private and public sectors.
During the meeting, Dubai Chamber officials presented an overview on Dubai’s economy, growth opportunities in key sectors such as trade, tourism, logistics and finance, in addition to the wide range of services the Chamber provides its members and the local business community.
Addressing the delegation, Al Shirawi highlighted the importance of strengthening trade and investment relations between Dubai and Belgium, and emphasised the Chamber’s commitment to providing all the necessary resources to promote and facilitate bilateral trade.
Dubai Chamber’s 2nd Vice Chairman stated that Dubai’s non-oil trade with Belgium has increased significantly in recent years and reached $8.4 billion in 2015, adding that bilateral trade covers a wide variety of sectors and products, including machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, metals and chemical products.
“Dubai is an ideal partner for Belgium as a re-export hub with strong links across the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia. The emirate offers plenty of incentives and advantages to Belgian companies, such as its ideal location, world-class infrastructure, investor-friendly business environment, and attractive free zones,” said Al Shirawi.
He stated that there are plenty of attractive investment opportunities in Dubai for Belgian companies, especially within the trade and healthcare sectors, adding that the emirate provides a supportive environment for foreign investors.
For his part, De Crem lauded Dubai Chamber’s efforts to enhance economic cooperation between the Belgium and the UAE, and forge closer ties between business communities on both sides.
Belgium’s secretary of state for foreign trade stressed his keenness to further develop and expand bilateral relations, and stated that Dubai has become a preferred business hub for companies and investors from around the world.
Following the meeting, 70 bilateral meetings were held between the visiting delegation and representatives from Dubai’s business community, where prospects for mutual cooperation and joint ventures were discussed.
The DCCI is a non-profit public entity, whose mission is to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai by creating a favourable business environment, supporting the development of business, and by promoting Dubai as an international business hub.
Earlier, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Label to the UAE’s leading fit-out contractor specialising in green interiors – Summertown Interiors - for its ongoing commitment to sustainable business practices.
Benchmarking companies’ sustainable practices in the workplace, marketplace, community and environment, the CSR Label showed Summertown outperformed the average score of participating companies by 25 per cent.
Commenting on the achievement Marcos Bish, Managing Director of Summertown Interiors said: “We are proud as an SME to receive this award alongside major international companies who are deemed real leaders in the field of sustainability.
“We view our sustainability strategy as essential to the longevity of the business. Our belief in sustainability as a driver of growth and profitability is mirrored in our latest financial results. During our last financial year, approximately half of our projects were accredited as meeting sustainability criteria.