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H.E. Juan Manuel Santos, President of the Republic of Colombia, called on the UAE business community to take advantage of attractive investment opportunities that are opening up within Colombias tourism, agri-business, and renewable energy sectors.
His comments came during a meeting today at Dubai Chambers premises. H.E. Santos and a high-level delegation from Colombia were received by H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber, and senior Chamber officials.
During the meeting, H.E. Santos said that distance is not an obstacle to strengthening UAE-Colombian economic relations and establishing new joint partnerships. He explained that Colombia has a lot of advantages to offer UAE businesses, including a stable investment environment, a strategic location, and steady foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into the country.
As a leading logistics hub for the Latin America, H.E. Santos pointed out that Colombia provides access to around 1.5 billion consumers, and provides greater flexibility for Dubai-based companies that want to enter promising markets in the region.
Addressing the Colombian president and delegation, H.E. Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber, noted that the UAE and Colombia share a unique trade relationship which has strengthened in recent years, supported by high-level visits and renewed commitment to boost economic cooperation.
H.E. Al Ghurair said the visit of H.E. Santos to the UAE reflects Colombias strong commitment to improving economic ties with the country. He pointed out that the Chamber made a lot of headway during its trade mission to Bogota last month, where UAE delegates met with government and business leaders.
H.E. Al Ghurair described Colombia as a market of strategic importance to Dubai, and explained that the Chamber is currently identifying opportunities in the Latin American country that offer the most potential for its members.
Dubai Chambers Chairman concluded his remarks by calling on Colombian companies to participate in Expo 2020 Dubai, and the Global Business Forum on Latin America 2018.
For his part, H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, spoke about key factors driving trade and investment between the UAE and Colombia in recent years. He revealed that UAE-Colombia non-oil trade has grown steadily to reach $149 million in 2016, adding that Colombian exports to Dubai accounted for a majority of this volume.
Dubai Chambers President and CEO noted that fruits, nuts, vegetables, plants, flowers, precious stones and coffee, remain high-potential exports from Colombia to the UAE, and said that there is plenty of scope for the UAE to export ethylene polymers, fertilizers, copper and aluminium wires to Colombia.
H.E. Buamim added that Colombia is fast becoming a preferred investment hub within Latin America due to its competitive business environment, status as one of the regions largest economies, and recent reforms in the country that aim to attract foreign direct investment.