The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) is hosting a series of Made For Trade Live Roadshows around the UK in March. Gautam Sashittal, its CEO, explains why the UK business community shouldn’t lose sight of opportunities that exist in emerging markets, particularly its longstanding partner, Dubai, in the face of Brexit
Sitting in the UK in the depths of winter, you would be forgiven for struggling to be convinced of the similarities between the nation’s capital and the emirate of Dubai.
And whilst recognising the distinctions is only natural, what is far more interesting is unearthing the elements that connect them.
For instance, there is a story of trade between the UAE and the UK that dates back well over 400 years. Having spent a considerable amount of time in both, it is clear to me that the relationship between Dubai and London is a special one.
They are bound together for a number of reasons but principally by a shared and instinctive belief in the value of free market trade.
They understand that trade is a two-way street, and they have experienced the enormous benefits that result in inward and outward investment over time.
The fact that bilateral trade is expected to reach £25bn annually by 2020 is testament to this.
Looking ahead, attention is increasingly turning to methods of monetising these relationships and what can be done to maximise existing partnerships as a means to drive and secure the future of trade.
Brexit is a case in point. Without question, this seismic political shift will prove to be a defining moment for the modern global economy.
Regardless of which side of the fence you occupy, advocating for a hard or soft UK exit from the European Union, what cannot be denied is the uncertainty currently emanating from the UK business community.
Business owners and investors are acutely aware that significant change is afoot and are rightly concerned about what this means for them.
Yet, amidst the prevailing winds of change, I would urge the UK business community not to lose sight of the opportunity that exists in emerging markets, and particularly through its longstanding partner, Dubai.
Sitting right at the very heart of this opportunity is the DMCC. We are proud to already host a number of leading British industry companies, including BAT, G4S and National Air Traffic, and anticipate this number to grow significantly.
I say with this confidence because as a market maker for global enterprise, we are a proven and trusted partner for ambitious companies wanting to access some of the fastest-growing markets in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and beyond.
The Financial Times’ fDi magazine ranked DMCC as the world’s number one Free Zone for three consecutive years in response to our continued growth and understanding that first-class business gravitates to first-class infrastructure and the right regulation.
We have dedicated teams tasked with making the process for foreign companies setting up in Dubai as seamless as possible, and the 14,000-plus companies currently operating at DMCC can attest to their value.
DMCC’s roadshow in London is only around corner but even within this short space of time, the Brexit debate will rage on and there are likely to be more twists and turns in store for us all.
However, if there is anything to learn from the development story of Dubai, it is that change should not be seen as a threat.
Adaptability is key and the city has become a global destination for business pioneers precisely because it is courageous and motivated by new discovery.
This is a lesson for us all, and I look forward to seeing you all shortly to explore how we at DMCC can be a partner in growing your business.
For details of DMCC’s Making business happen in Dubai Together live shows in London, Leeds and Manchester, follow the links below