DUBAI, 30th June, 2018 – Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) augmented its partnership with trade and business groups in Dubai through an open dialogue with them in the quarterly Consultative Council organized recently.
The Dubai Customs Consultative Council meeting was headed by Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation. The meeting was attended by heads of business groups, investors and businessmen in different economic sectors in Dubai, and Dubai Customs’ senior management including Juma Al Ghaith, Executive Director of Customs Development Division at Dubai Customs, Abdullah Mohammed Al Khaja, Executive Director of Clients Management Division, and Farid Hassan Al Marzouqi, Executive Director, Human Resources, Finance and Administration Division.
The meeting focuses on the facilities provided by Dubai to the private sector in order to entice economic growth and sustain Dubai’s world distinctive standing.
Bin Sulayem reaffirmed that Dubai Government works hard to provide the best incentives to the private sector following the directives of the wise leadership and the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
“We expect your involvement in this exciting journey of development and progress, and we are open to discuss any issues or matters that can be of concern to you. It’s a win-win relationship for all of us and we are here to help you grow your business” he remarked.
Continuous improvement of business climate and reduction the cost of business practices and activities in Dubai is a priority to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, bin Sulayem explained.
“We realize some government fees can be reduced, and for this the Executive Council is reviewing them and works to prevent duplication of fees imposed by some government departments, plus studying other challenges that face investors and businesses. We, at PCFC, are happy to listen to you and take your suggestions seriously because this helps improve and support different economic sectors. We share your insight and suggestions with the Dubai Executive Council and the Federal Government to be further studied, and based on that decisions are made. In general, we always seek to offer our clients and partners the best and most innovative services to push the growth wheel” he added.
Chairman of DP World Group invited the business sectors to benefit from DP World’s strong world presence in 80 terminals and ports across the six continents. The Group is now raising the bar of investment in ports, services and logistics in India, Kenya, Uganda and East African countries like Somali Land and Ethiopia to help support the economic growth opportunities of these countries.
“We noticed the cost of transportation is still very high in these countries, and this urged us to provide solutions to reduce the cost and make land and sea transportation more efficient. This will help businesses in Dubai, for example, to ship their goods from India at a reduced cost. We are also reviewing handling charges to make sure they are always acceptable” he explained.
Bin Sulayem pointed out that landlocked African countries can use Port of Berbera on the African East Coast.
“We are planning to set up a logistics complex in Ethiopia where goods can be transported from the port to it, and from there it can be transported to different African landlocked countries. We have signed a number of agreements with Ethiopia that will promote our friendly relationships with them. Business groups in Dubai can always benefit from DP World’s presence in different countries including Rwanda and Egypt where re-exporting opportunities are abundant” bin Sulayem remarked.
“The world is witnessing rapid changes and developments in trade. There is now more focus on fair trade on the agenda and external policy of countries like the USA, which means protective measures will be taken to curb the flow of goods from the European Union and China into the American market. There are international efforts to reach for a fair and balanced trade, and these developments and changes have put us face to face with new challenges, but we have learnt from our wise leadership that challenges can be turned into opportunities. We carefully study developments in international trade to always find alternative markets, and this can be sustained through enhancing our strategic partnerships” he added.
Bin Sulayem explained that Dubai Customs is developing an early smart declaration system for goods and luggage arriving at Dubai Airports.
He said: “This reduces time and eases traffic of goods and passengers in the emirate’s airports. We are also developing our pre-arrival clearance system which Dubai Customs uses to streamline customs clearance and enable investors and traders finish their transactions smoothly and quickly”.
Chairman of DP World highlighted the distinctive relationships between the UAE and India, especially after the visit made to India last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
“Businesses in Dubai can benefit from our presence in India. DP World is expanding its investments in the transportation sector there, and this will help in developing the infrastructure and logistic facilities. We also appreciate the big role the Indian Business Council is playing in developing trade and supporting Indian investments in Dubai” he explained.
Bin Sulayem also talked about NAU project, the disruptive dhow trade initiative, which has been recently approved by Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) to be one of the 10X Initiative projects which sets the Government of Dubai on a mission to be 10 years ahead of all other cities.
He said the new project will boost Dubai’s dhow trade competitiveness by applying new tools to organize this sector and facilitate the business.
NAU is a smart platform that will help in cargo activity reservation for traditional dhows on Dubai creek which will help in more organization and facilitate the bustling movement of dhows across the creek.
NAU is expected to open up a world of possibilities, and the potential for this model to be replicated across the globe, especially in countries that have larger inland waterways, rivers, and harbors to transport cargo from one port to another.
PCFC is now thinking of setting up fenced areas outside JAFZA that will feature warehouses and provide the same benefits of a free zone, he explained.
The business groups came to the meeting with a number of suggestions that were praised by the DP World Group Chairman who promised to follow up on them.
During the meeting, a presentation on the Ideclare Sysem was delivered. Dubai Shipping Agents Association delivered a presentation on the development of shipping sector and its role in serving this sector, and the Indian Business Council showcased their major activities and achievements in the field.