H.E. Sultan Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, UAE
Latin America in general and the nations there are economically growing at a positive percentage. We see them as an important partner in a number of areas.
Currently the trade with Latin American countries is worth around $6 billion US Dollars, I am talking about Latin and Central America, which is quite sizable but I think we could really probably increase it to the double. But we need to establish a base for that and this business forum is an important forum that hopefully would be able to achieve part of that as we move on in the next few years.
Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber
If we talk about numbers, it's still small because the focus in trade only. But what's the good thing about the numbers is the growth. If you take only Dubai, it's somewhere in the range between 15 to 20 billion AED. But we always, when we look at Latin America we look at the whole region. And the opportunities that can offer.
When you look at the Gulf region, we import from Latin America and we trade altogether close to 70 billion Dirhams and this is where it starts to become sizable and we see more opportunities if we can expand that even further to the whole region whether Africa, South Asia or Central Asia. And this is where companies from Latin America considering Dubai as a gateway can definitely have a bigger growth and Dubai’s relationship with Latin America can also grow with that potential.
Sultan Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World
DP World is also a major investor in Latin America. We are probably the largest investor from UAE in major countries in Latin America, mainly started in Dominican Republic. We are in Argentina, we are in Brazil, we are in Lima in Peru, and we are in a new project in Ecuador.
We as DP World are good ambassadors for UAE and our success in investment in the last 10 years in Latin America gives a good example for many UAE companies to follow what we did because we already tried and we have been welcomed and our investment was very successful. And I believe there are so many opportunities in Latin America
Abdulla Al Awar, CEO, Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC)
When it comes to the Islamic economy, there is a huge potential of collaboration as well across several sectors. The Islamic Finance sector has proven globally its worth in helping countries and nations finance several projects, specifically infrastructure projects.
That is one I believe opportunity that also exists with Latin America. On the other side, the halal industry is quite a big industry as well. Globally speaking, consumers spend around $1.25 trillion US Dollars on halal products at the end of 2016.
Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM)
If you look at the examples that we have had with many other market, there's a few things that we always work on. The first priority for us within our targets is to increase the number of visitors overall within Dubai. We want to get to 20 million visitors by 2020.
And yes, it is an ambitious target but we have a very diversified approach to our markets that we go after because of the dynamic nature of the industry that we are in. We know that we have seen growth in Latin America. We have seen over 50% from Brazil, close to 90% from Argentina.
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
It's very encouraging to see the foreign ministry signing bilateral agreements with these countries. The ones I have picked up recently has been Costa Rica, Argentina and Brazil. These are also important markets to the DMCC.
And the thing that attracts me to the Latin American community is that I don't believe we have promoted DMCC and Dubai enough to them. So, if they are not aware they are going to make decisions that they are going to miss out on the opportunities here.
Fahad Al Gergawi, CEO, Dubai FDI
The Middle East, Indian subcontinent, and the African markets, if we combine all of this together it's a 2.4 billion consumer markets. That's almost one-third of world population, untapped, with huge potential, and a majority below 25 years old.
For Latin American markets I think what Dubai can do for them has a lot of multi-fold of possible success stories. This is I think what Dubai is giving and the Global Forum here is doing. The more you are active, the more you'll get results.