DUBAI, 21st March, 2023 (WAM) -- Dubai international Chamber, one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers, has today concluded its New Horizons Trade Mission to Central Asia, with a business forum in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic. The event had over 150 attendees, with more than 100 B2B meetings held on the sidelines as well as several networking activities and high-level meetings with senior government figures, business leaders and eminent investors.
New Horizons is an initiative spearheaded by Dubai International Chamber to drive international expansion of Dubai businesses into new select markets while promoting Dubai as a thriving global investment hub for companies from those markets. It builds on the chamber's 'In Focus' scheme, which brings public and private sector leaders of select countries to Dubai to connect with Dubai businesses and drive their interest in those markets as potential destinations for global business expansion. Both initiatives aim to drive international expansion for members, supporting Dubai's plan to increase the emirate's foreign trade to AED 2 trillion by 2026. One of the Chamber's key objectives is to help100 businesses to expand globally within the next two years.
The business forum was opened by Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President and CEO, Dubai Chambers. Lootah said, "Economic partnerships are vital in achieving sustainable development, and the Kyrgyz market is one of the markets that have the potential to provide enormous untapped opportunities for Dubai companies in various fields. The Kyrgyz Republic already enjoys growing bilateral trade with Dubai, but there is always room for growth. Our member exports and re-exports to Kyrgyzstan reached AED 78 million in 2022, and so, this trade mission is a good opportunity to explore ways to increase bilateral trade for both sides.
"Further evidence to this exciting potential is a significant 115 percent growth in the number of Kyrgyz companies that joined Dubai Chamber of Commerce, from 93 in 2016 to 200 in 2022. We mostly export electronics, tobacco and vehicles, but there are great opportunities to grow Chamber's members' exports and re-exports to Kyrgyzstan."
Commenting on the event, Mohammed Saeed Mohammed Al Ariqi, UAE's non-resident Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan underlined that the UAE is the main trading partner of Kyrgyzstan in the Middle East with economic and investment bilateral relations expanding since the visit of Sadyr Japarov, President of the Kyrgyz Republic to the UAE last year. The business forum is an extension of all efforts made to strengthen economic relations between the UAE and the Republic of Kyrgyzstan.
Al Alriqi also pointed out that the UAE's COP28 presidency represents a milestone in the history of climate action and a new impetus for global efforts to address climate change issues as the UAE will become the second Arab country to host the climate conference.
Sharing similar sentiments, Temir Sariev, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Kyrgyz Republic said that the meeting is a great impetus to the future cooperation between the UAE and Kyrgyzstan. At a growth rate of 80 percent in 2022, trade between the two countries reached US$125 million. Kyrgyzstan's exports to the UAE amounted to US$101 million in the same year, a growth rate of 84 percent compared to 2021. Kyrgyzstan's imports from the UAE amounted to US$25 million last year, growing 66 percent compared to 2021.
Sariev also highlighted that the business forum is instrumental in enhancing bilateral relations between Kyrgyzstan and the UAE a with promising opportunities to grow Kyrgyzstan's exports of honey and meat to the UAE.
The mission's final event in Bishkek included a panel discussion with local experts from the logistics, customs and banking sectors who outlined the benefits and advantages of doing business in the Kyrgyz Republic. The forum also facilitated B2B meetings between Dubai and Kyrgyz companies as well as site visits to headquarters of local companies.
Key partners for event include the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Kyrgyz Republic, the National Investments Agency, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic. The companies participating in the trade mission represent several economic sectors and activities including building materials, e-commerce, environmental and electrical fields, fashion and clothing, free zones, home and hotel furniture, hospitality, medical equipment and supplies, perfumes, soaps, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, renewable energy, and financial assets. retail, security printing, ocean freight and logistics as well as FMCG.
The Kyrgyz Republic has favorable climatic conditions and many large and medium sized rivers which help to grow naturally cultivated agro products. There are large opportunities for Dubai companies to invest in production and manufacturing of apricot, bean, peach and apple where Kyrgyz Republic is one of the largest exporters in the world, as well as organic food products which are exported to many countries.
Other sectors with great investment potential for Dubai businesses include tourism and finance. Investors can develop premium tourism facilities in the popular resort destination of Lake Issyk-Kul. In addition, Kyrgyz Republic, though a small market, shows high demand for developed banking services. The data shows that non-cash payments has grown very fast over the past five years and there is a need to develop new financial instruments to increase incomes of commercial banks in Kyrgyz Republic. There is also a high demand for fintech, insurance and remittance services.
Dubai International Chamber enables Dubai businesses to expand successfully to global markets and ensures the emirate is a magnet for foreign direct investment, supported by a powerful network of Dubai International Offices worldwide. Dubai International Chamber has a mandate to support Dubai's target of boosting foreign trade from AED 1.4 trillion to AED 2 trillion by 2026.