Abu Dhabi: Top business executives, political leaders and government officials from the UAE as well as from Latin America will take part in the Global Business Forum Latin America to be held in Panama City from April 9 to 10.

Majid Saif Al Ghurair, chairman, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mohammad Al Shehhi, undersecretary for economic affairs in the ministry of economy; Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among others will be attending the event to showcase the competitive advantages Dubai offers as a global business hub.

The UAE delegates will also hold bilateral business meetings and make site visits to familiarise themselves with business opportunities emerging in Panama and other Latin American markets.

The participants from Latin America include Juan Carlos Varela, President of the Republic of Panama, and Isabel Saint Malo, Vice President, as well as several ministers, senior government officials and prominent businessmen from Panama, Honduras, Chile, Paraguay, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Mexico.

“Business cooperation between the UAE and Latin American [and Caribbean] countries has expanded considerably in recent years thanks to several important factors such as strengthening political relations, high-level visits on both sides, expansion of direct flights between the UAE and Latin American countries, and the signing of strategic bilateral agreements,” Hamad Buamim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told Gulf News.

Currently, Dubai’s trade with Latin America is dominated by imports from Latin American countries, which amounted to Dh22.8 billion in 2018, accounting for 92 per cent of bilateral trade during the same year.

Brazil, Mexico and Peru remain the Dubai’s top trading partners within the region, with total exports from these three markets reaching Dh5.6 billion, Dh3.8 billion and 1.7 billion in 2018, respectively.

Dubai’s exports to Latin American countries has also been growing in recent years with over 100 per cent year-on-year growth in volume in nine countries including Paraguay, Argentina, Guatemala and Brazil, among others.

Latin America and the Caribbean regions also offer huge trade and investment potential in agriculture and agri-business, logistics, transport, infrastructure, manufacturing, tourism, renewable energy and finance, Buamim said.

“The renewable energy sphere is one particular emerging area that is showing ever-growing potential. The UAE’s aim to increase clean energy in the total energy mix from 25 per cent to 50 per cent by 2050 is providing a stimulus for companies to create sustainable energy solutions for the UAE and to become experts in the field, with this expertise then able to be exported to Latin American countries.”

“The halal food market is another area where we have seen increased exchange in the UAE and Latin America. Dubai has become a re-export hub for halal food products as it cements its status as a global capital of the Islamic economy. “

The comments come as Dubai Chamber opens its third Latin American representative office in Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 1 following the opening of offices in Sao Paulo and Panama City in 2017 and 2018, respectively as ties between the UAE and Latin American countries strengthen.

Speaking about the forum, he said Panama City is the perfect venue as Panama serves as a global gateway to Latin America connecting 78 cities through its sea ports located on its Pacific and Atlantic coasts, its airports and the Panama Canal.

“The expansion of the Panama Canal in 2016 has opened the door to new trade opportunities, and the economic impact of the project has been substantial, reaching far beyond Panama’s shores. From a UAE perspective, these are the types of incentive sand advantages that companies can leverage to their benefit as they expand into the new regions and markets.”

Currently, more than 400 Latin American companies are registered with Dubai Chamber.