Dubai: Somaliland opened on Monday a trade office in Dubai as the country works to boost its trade ties with the UAE.
The trade office will offer import and export advice to help Somaliland companies in the UAE, and will support investment between the African country and the UAE.
“The UAE is our main trading partner in the region, and this is an important landmark in our relationship — one that has been in the making for some time now,” said Somaliland’s President Muse Behi Abdi, who was speaking at a press conference to announce the new office.
“Dubai is the main transit hub for goods destined to Somaliland, and with many of our traders based out of the city, it serves as our principle financial centre for trading with the rest of the world.”
The President added that the trade office will promote already-growing trade ties between the two countries. He said bilateral trade stands at around $300 million to $400 million (Dh1.1 billion to Dh1.47 billion).
Abdi is currently in Dubai on an official visit, on which he has been accompanied by various ministers from Somaliland, to discuss strengthening cooperation with the UAE. His delegation has also met with representatives from DP World over a dispute started by Somalia, whose government is attempting to ban the ports operator from operating in Somaliland.
Speaking on the matter on Friday, Abdi stressed that the deal with DP World will be implemented and that Somaliland is an independent nation.
On Monday, the president also said that the UAE will invest in development projects in Somaliland, without disclosing details.