By Ron Chen, Correspondent ASEAN Region
Over 3,000 government officials, business leaders and industry experts representing 91 countries took part in the 6th Global Business Forum Africa in Dubai, which featured two days of thought-provoking sessions highlighting exciting business opportunities emerging across the continent.
The high-level event, organised by Dubai Chamber in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai on October 13-14, 2021, hosted a record 550 bilateral meetings between African and UAE investors.
Commenting on the event, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber, H.E. Hamad Buamim revealed that 24,800 African companies are now registered with Dubai Chamber, marking a 15.5 per cent increase compared to 2019 and reflecting the forum’s growing reputation as a leading platform for establishing economic partnerships and strengthening trade relations.
“Once again, GBF Africa has demonstrated that it is the ideal platform to launch partnerships, identify investment prospects and opportunities, and enhance economic cooperation between the local business community and their counterparts on the African continent. We are confident that this meeting of influential decision-makers from both sides will give a strong impetus to bilateral ties, especially in the post-pandemic period, laying solid foundations to build on in the stages ahead,” H.E. Buamim said.
During the forum, Dubai Chamber issued a whitepaper titled Untapped opportunity: Deeping trade and investment between sub-Sahara Africa and the GCC, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which shed light on vast untapped business potential in Africa. According to the report, the UAE accounted for 88 per cent of investment from the GCC to Sub-Sahara Africa between January 2016 and July 2021, or US$1.2 billion.
Fintech, healthcare, agriculture, and e-commerce were identified in the report as high-potential sectors where business leaders see revenues expanding in 2022. Around 90 per cent of surveyed executives said they expect fintech to see the most growth in 2022, followed by healthcare (89%) and agriculture and food (87%).