At the invitation of China Customs, Dubai Customs (DC) took part in the “Connectivity and Win-Win Development Forum for Heads of Customs Administrations along the Belt and Road”, held in Xi’an, China.
Attending the forum from the UAE was a customs delegation comprising senior members of the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) and Dubai Customs. H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director of DC, Faisal Issa Lutfi, Executive Director of DC World and Director of External Relations at Dubai Customs, and Yousef Al Hashmi, Director of Jebel Ali Customs Centres Management, represented Dubai Customs at the forum.
The forum gathered high-profile Customs representatives from 64 countries and 8 international and regional organizations. Participants exchanged their experiences and insights through three parallel sub-forums.
The forum aimed to strengthen connectivity among international customs, and to promote trade facilitation and regional economic development of the countries along the “Belt and Road”.
The “Belt and Road” refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative proposed by China in 2013 for improved cooperation with countries and regions in a vast part of Asia, Europe and Africa.
In his speech at the opening ceremony, Minister Yu Guangzhou of China Customs expressed China’s strive to create new partnerships with countries along the “Belt and Road”, particularly Arab countries.
Some of the main highlights at the forum were Customs-to-Customs cooperation, Coordinated Border Management, and Authorized Economic Operator. Participants made recommendations to step up connectivity among international customs to enhance the risk-based approach on the supply chain and secure and facilitate trade along the Belt and Road.
On the side-lines of the forum, H.E. Ahmed Mahboob Musabih held network meetings with the Deputy Chairman of the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Gosman Amrin, as well as with Zhang Baocheng, free zone official in Yun Shan Province of China, to discuss future prospects of cooperation.
“Dubai has assumed its position as a regional and international pivotal hub of trade, besides being a viable gateway for Asia’s commerce with the world. Dubai Customs is very keen on promoting economic ties between the UAE and Asian terrains, especially with countries located at the ancient Silk Road. Dubai trade with Asian countries mounted up to AED 823 billion in 2014, with China making its way to become Dubai’s first partner with a trade value of AED 175 billion during the past year,” said Ahmed Mahboob.
“The Emirate has gone the extra mile in sustaining astonishing breakthroughs by creating adequate and attractive infrastructures and facilitative Customs services in ports, airports and free zones alike; in order to lure Asian capitals and investors to shift their attention into Dubai as their trading base. This is in accordance with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, towards strengthening trade ties with all of the world and with Asia as a main destination of business boom; while anchoring the UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021 along the way of setting the grounds for hosting Expo 2020,” he further added.
On his part, Faisal Lutfi pointed out that DC World seeks to play an active role in supporting the surging development of the UAE’s economic and trade ties with Asian countries in general and terrains of the ancient Silk Road as well. “This effort is achieved by aiding these countries in taking their customs services’ into the next level, cascading our in-house developed customs innovations and accumulated expertise towards automating and streamlining their customs processes to make trade easier and more cost-efficient,” he said.