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Dubai firms head to Central Asia to build trade relationships

Uzbekistan Unsplash/Snowscat
Dubai's New Horizons trade mission will focus on Central Asian countries including Uzbekistan
  • Non-oil trade opportunities in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan
  • New Horizons trade mission represents 16 sectors
  • Opportunities exist for agriculture, tourism and construction

A delegation of business leaders from Dubai will be heading to Central Asia next week to build on a non-oil trade relationship worth more than $2.4 billion.

Dubai International Chamber said the first New Horizons trade mission – a new initiative to drive international expansion of its members to new markets – will focus on Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The delegation, headed by Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, president and CEO of Dubai Chambers, will feature 26 Dubai-based companies representing 16 sectors. 

New Horizons builds on the In Focus scheme which aims to support Dubai’s plan to increase the emirate’s foreign trade to AED2 trillion by 2026. 

One of the chamber’s key objectives is also to support 100 businesses to expand globally within the next two years.

Lootah said: “The In Focus and New Horizon initiatives reflect our ongoing efforts to connect our members to new opportunities for business growth in priority markets worldwide.

“We aim to encourage domestic businesses to build an international presence, while promoting Dubai as a thriving global investment hub.”

In the Central Asian nations, the largest contributors to GDP include manufacturing, trade, transport, agriculture and construction. 

UAE exports to these Central Asian nations include electronics, vehicles, machinery and tobacco. 

Central Asia is already an important market for Dubai, with latest figures showing combined non-oil trade reached $2.4 billion in 2021.

According to the chamber, several opportunities exist for Dubai-based businesses in areas including agriculture, metallurgy, tourism and construction.

“The trade mission is a golden opportunity to engage with both public and private sector leaders to promote cross-border partnerships and drive mutual business growth,” it added in a statement. 

The eight-day roadshow takes in four cities – Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Astana and Almaty in Kazakhstan and Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan.

The region is also attracting major Abu Dhabi-based companies.

Abu Dhabi’s Masdar is looking to develop a pipeline of renewable energy projects in Kyrgyzstan as part of the former Soviet republic’s plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 44 percent by 2030.

AD Ports Group recently signed two agreements with the government of Kyrgyzstan to promote trade and strengthen economic ties and inked a deal with Kazakhstan’s KMTF (Kazmortransflot) to provide offshore and shipping services for energy companies in the Caspian Sea.

Earlier on Monday, the Abu Dhabi-listed company also announced a joint venture with SEG Enera Group to provide end-to-end global logistics services across Uzbekistan.