Dubai remains the favourite place for Singaporean businesses in the Middle East region, says envoy Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai Customs and Singapore officials on Monday held discussions on enhancing economic cooperation and trade.

Meeting virtually, both sides discussed ways to expand collaboration between Dubai and Singapore and opportunities arising from Expo 2020 Dubai.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Director General of Dubai Customs; and Pit Chen Low, the Singaporean Consul General to Dubai, led the two sides, respectively, in the meeting, which was part of Dubai Customs’ Ertibat initiative, which aims to develop ties with foreign companies and businesses.

Dubai’s external trade with Singapore grew 12 per cent in the first half of 2021 to Dh6.8 billion from Dh5.4 billion in the corresponding period in 2020. Direct trade touched Dh4.5 billion, while free zone trade totaled Dh2.1 billion, and customs warehouse trade reached Dh8.37 million. Major commodities traded included gold, jewellery, diamonds, precious metals and perfumes.

“Dubai Customs has developed a range of innovative smart services as part of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to consolidate the UAE and Dubai’s status as a leading hub for international trade,” Musabih said during the meeting. “99.6 per cent of our customs transactions are completed through smart channels which resulted in a client happiness rate of 98 per cent and more streamlined trade and passenger traffic.”

“Singapore’s relations with the UAE and Dubai are strong and historic. Dubai is an important economic and strategic partner and we look forward to more mutual investment and trade activity. We have many things in common as hubs in our respective regions, and Dubai remains the favourite place for Singaporean businesses in the Middle East region,” Singaporean envoy Pit Chen Low said.

The meeting saw a presentation on the Cross Border e-Commerce Platform developed by Dubai Customs based on blockchain technology to integrate and automate operations between Customs, Free Zones, logistics, and courier companies. The platform, the first of its kind in the region, aims to help the emirate reinforce its position as a global hub for e-commerce, and encourage e-commerce companies to set up their businesses in Dubai. Dubai Customs’ IPR Department delivered a presentation on the Department’s role in raising awareness about the importance of protecting intellectual property. The presentation highlighted Dubai Customs’ efforts to resolve intellectual property disputes, register trademarks and protect the rights of brand owners.