Al Ghurair revealed that Dubai’s non-oil imports from Latin America exceeded $6 billion between 2018 and 2020, while data for the first nine months of 2021 showed imports reaching $4.8 billion. He noted that food imports from the Latin American market are still dominate the trade volume and said this trend would continue as the UAE and Latin American countries expand their cooperation on food security.

Exports from Dubai to Latin America and the Caribbean reached $687 million between January and September 2021, he revealed, with the emirate’s status as a trading partner for the region one that is strong and growing, adding that this is a sign that more companies in the UAE are tapping into trade opportunities across Latin America, with a vast majority targeting Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile.

Highlighting the strengths of Dubai, Al Ghurair said that the emirate holds the key to unlocking Latin American economic potential as one of the world’s fastest growing city economies that can offer valuable expertise in key sectors such as logistics, infrastructure, retail, tourism and finance.

“In addition to the right level of investment needed to support the sustainable growth development of Latin American companies and economies, the emirate provides a vast competitive advantage, such as one hundred percent ownership, long term residency, world-class infrastructure, attractive free zones, and a wealth of new incentives which have boosted its value proposition amongst foreign investors and companies around the world,” said Al Ghurair.

“One third of the population is no more than four hours flight from Dubai, and the emirate’s centralised location provides easy access to over two billion people living in the Middle East, North Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia. As Dubai works towards its target of boosting foreign trade to $544 billion within the next five years, Latin America will be a key focus for our ambitious strategy,” he added.

The fourth edition of the forum, organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai, kicked off on 23 March and brought together heads of state, ministers, government officials and prominent business leaders from the UAE and Latin America at the Dubai Exhibition Centre.