CASCI extends its gratitude to SWISS GROUP, one of our esteemed members, for their collaboration as a partner in the DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre) tours in #Geneva. Special thanks to event chairman and moderator Michael Lane of the Swiss Business Council United Arab Emirates for illuminating the synergies between the economic powerhouses of #UAE and #Switzerland to the Swiss community.
We also acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our esteemed partners: DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre) represented by EC and CEO Ahmed Bin Sulayem, and his regional representative Bassel Bitar; CCIG – Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of Geneva; René Goetz, President and CEO of Areas SA; Michael Lahyani, CEO and Founder of Property Finder; Patrick Sulzer, Managing Director of Geneva Management Group, and Roberto Delorenzi, Swiss Group Advisory DMCC.
“Made for Trade” summary of the day in Geneva :
On 12 September 2023, the ‘Made for Trade Live’ event unfolded at the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Services (CCIG). This collaborative effort between the Swiss Business Council UAE, Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services (CCIG), Swiss Group and the Arab-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CASCI) showcased the deep synergies between these economic powerhouses, offering unique insights into the world of business and trade. Distinguished speakers and engaging discussions highlighted the promising future of cross-border collaboration.
The event commenced with an enlightening speech by Michael Lane, President of the Swiss Business Council UAE, focusing on the visionary 8 Principles of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Governance. These principles, including unity, the rule of law, and talent development, have been instrumental in Dubai’s evolution into a global business hub.
(see the 8 principles of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Governance at the end of this article)
Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and CEO of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), followed with welcoming remarks highlighting the advantages of conducting business in the UAE. Sulayem emphasized DMCC’s pivotal role as a hub for foreign companies, highlighting its streamlined administrative procedures. He underscored DMCC’s commitment to facilitating business growth and its innovative Oracle system designed to simplify administrative tasks. Sulayem also emphasized the symbiotic relationship between Switzerland and the UAE, citing Switzerland’s role as a hub for international organizations like WIPO and WTO. He discussed the significant opportunity presented by Sharia-compliant products within DMCC, opening doors to a broader market.
Jasim Alabdouli, General Consul of the United Arab Emirates, highlighted the robust trade ties between Switzerland and the UAE. Alabdouli emphasized the substantial growth in bilateral relations over the last 15 years, with the UAE emerging as Switzerland’s most vital trading partner in the Middle East. He mentioned key agreements, including mutual protection of investments, reciprocal visa-free access for holders of diplomatic passports, double taxation, and the free trade agreement between EFTA and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Alabdouli shed light on key sectors of cooperation, including innovation, biotechnology, renewable energy, and clean technology.
DMCC, Global Free Zone of the Year:
Bassel Bitar, Regional Representative – Asia and Eastern Europe, DMCC, provided a comprehensive overview of DMCC’s offerings. DMCC, crowned ‘Global Free Zone of the Year’ eight times by the Financial Times FDI Magazine, stands as the world’s premier free zone and a global commodities trading hub. Situated at the heart of Dubai, DMCC offers a vibrant community, world-class services, and prime properties with excellent connectivity. Bitar highlighted DMCC’s pivotal role in facilitating trade for products like coffee and diamonds. DMCC offers a unique advantage with a 50-year tax exemption, making it an attractive destination for businesses. He emphasized the thriving multicultural community within DMCC, comprising 100,000 residents from across the globe.
Doing Business in the UAE from a Swiss Perspective:
Roberto Delorenzi, Managing Partner of Swiss Group Advisory DMCC, explored the Swiss perspective of doing business in the UAE/Dubai. He emphasized the burgeoning Swiss-Emirati relations, noting that Switzerland ranked fourth in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Dubai in 2022. Delorenzi outlined the advantages of establishing a presence in the UAE, including a favorable legal system, advanced infrastructure, geographic proximity, and a robust economy. Delorenzi also delved into the various types of company setups available in the UAE, such as local (mainland) companies, onshore free zone companies, and offshore free zone companies. He highlighted the importance of Emiratisation policies and upcoming corporate tax laws. Delorenzi stressed the existence of a Double Taxation Agreement between Switzerland and the UAE, offering businesses a clear framework for taxation.
The event featured inspiring testimonials from business leaders who have thrived in the UAE. Rene Goetz, CEO of Areas SA, shared his journey from a tennis coach to a corporate insurance expert, showcasing the diverse opportunities available in the UAE’s business landscape. Additionally, a video interview with Michael Lahyani, Founder & CEO of Propertyfinder, provided valuable insights into the success story of a visionary entrepreneur in Dubai’s real estate sector. Lahyani praised Dubai’s infrastructure, diverse talent pool, quality of life, and the overall sense of security that has contributed to his company’s remarkable growth.
Conclusion: The meeting concluded with a panel discussion featuring various speakers from Switzerland’s business community engaged with the UAE, facilitating an open debate on the advantages and challenges facing companies operating in the region. Notably, Peter M. Harradine, Honorary President of the Swiss Business Council UAE, delivered a particularly conciliatory testimony based on his firsthand experiences of living in an Arab and Muslim country. He emphasized the remarkable tolerance of Islam towards other religions, shedding light on an aspect of Islamic society that is often overlooked in media discourse.
‘Made For Trade Live’ was a testament to the enduring partnership between Switzerland and the UAE. It emphasized strategic collaboration, innovative practices, and shared values, reinforcing the commitment of both nations to fostering economic growth and cross-border cooperation.
Presentation of DMCC and Swiss Group, why choose Dubai?
The eight principles of governance which the Sheikh :
The union is the basis of the UAE. As it is known, the UAE is a federal state, consisting of 7 Emirates and Dubai, one of them is an integral part of the country, one of the main strongholds of the federation. Its fate and welfare are closely related to the fate of the whole country. Thus, regional differences that exist between citizens of the seven Emirates should not become bigger than the strength of their unity, and the interests of the union should be above any local interests, local laws will not stand above the laws of the union, and Dubai’s policy will be consistent with the UAE’s general policy. “United we stand” is the central message of the head of Government.
- The rule of law. Order and justice are the basis which any healthy country stands on. They guarantee prosperity and stability. No one can and will stand above the laws in Dubai, not even the ruling monarch. In the laws of the country, there are no differences between citizens and residents of the country, men and women, the poor and the rich, representatives of different religious movements. If we assume that someone can violate the law and not observe the general order, injustice and chaos will quickly reign in the country. This can not be allowed. Sheikh believes that injustice is a threat to justice.
- The UAE is the capital of business. The government of the country is making great efforts to develop the local economy and improve the business environment, while Dubai remains politically neutral, not joining military alliances, which is intended to ensure peace and stability. Making the UAE the best place in the world for doing business with endless opportunities for entrepreneurs is the crucial task of the Government and the Sheikh.
- Growth factors. The growth of the Emirate welfare is based on three key factors: the stable work of the government; active and open private sector; the competitiveness of state-owned business structures that generate revenues for the government, provide jobs for local citizens and create assets for future generations.
- The openness of local society. Residents of the UAE ere the open society which respects other peoples and cultures. Tolerance and openness are the foundation which keeps the United Arab Emirates, the country, 85% of the population of which are expats.
- Work on the diversification of the economy. For the recent years, this country has come a long way from being entirely dependent on oil and gas markets to the world center of business, tourism, and large infrastructure projects, the financial center of the region. Diversification of the economy is the core of this movement. Dubai’s Emir sets a new ambitious goal – to create a new productive economic sector every three years, thus the diversification process is not complete yet!
- The land of talent. The success of the UAE is based on talented and creative people: engineers and scientists, artists, merchants and managers, and dreamers. The sustainability of the Emirate development, its competitiveness in the world market directly depends on the ability to attract qualified and talented people to the local economy.
- Care for future generations. The fate of future generations should not depend on crises and market fluctuations or regional policy. The government is now working to create valuable assets for them today. Sheikh has set a very ambitious goal – under any circumstances the local government should own various economic assets, the total value of which shall exceed the annual budget at least 20 times.
- Source : https://alliance-dubai.net/our-services/dubai-business-news-newsletter/newsletter-july-2019/secrets-of-success-8-principles-of-sheikh-mohammed-bin-rashid-al-maktoum-s-governance/