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Ghana 2016 | ECONOMY | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to HE Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on establishing an office in Accra, key sectors for investment in Ghana, and trade between the countries.

HE Hamad Buamim
BIOGRAPHY
HE Hamad Buamim has been the President and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry since November 2006. He is Vice-Chairman of the World Chambers Federation-ICC in Paris. Educated in the US, he graduated with honors (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 1996 with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering. In 2002, he obtained an MBA with Honors in finance from the University of Missouri in Kansas City. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the UAE Central Bank, Board Member of Dubai World, Chairman of National General Insurance, and Board Member of Union Properties. Previously, he served as Chairman of Emirates Financial Services, Chairman of Emirates NBD Capital, and Board Member of Emirates NBD Bank and Network International.

How has the Chamber's new office in Accra helped increase business opportunities between the countries?

Our international offices are part of our expansion strategy and our aim to explore new markets for investment and trade opportunities on behalf of our members. The new office in Ghana marks the second office opened in Africa. The first, in Ethiopia, was inaugurated in 2013. These developments underscore the commitment of the Dubai Chamber to strengthening economic ties with Africa. The launch of this office is an important development in the expansion of Dubai Chamber's footprint in Africa and sends a strong signal of our commitment to enhance ties in both Ghana and in the West Africa region. This office has acted as a link between our Western African counterparts and us, and has opened many trade and investment opportunities.

What are the key sectors for investment in Ghana?

Ghana is endowed with abundant natural wealth, including vast agricultural, mining, and human resources. Along with its growing manufacturing sector, agriculture remains a key sector of the economy. The fastest growing export markets for Ghana's cocoa beans and products are found in the Middle East, South Asia, and the Asia-Pacific regions, which are suitable for Dubai intermediation. Cocoa represents 57% of Ghana's export earnings, and the country is the second-largest producer of the crop after Cote d' Ivoire, accounting for 34% of the global cocoa market. The Chamber has been working closely with Ghana to promote the trade of cocoa. Ghana's exports of cocoa to Dubai have grown over the years to AED27 million in 2014. Poor infrastructure has made logistics expensive for companies in every sector, and with most prominent Gulf players in this sector, such as DP World, Aramex, and Kuwait's Agility, a lot of opportunities exist in the port and logistics sectors as well as aviation sub-sectors like refuelling and ground handling. The manufacturing sector also offers immense opportunities, whether it is in oil and gas, agriculture, or automobiles.

How do you assess non-oil trade between Ghana and Dubai?

Dubai's non-oil trade with Ghana registered at AED3 billion in the first nine months of 2015. The West African country is ranked 44th on Dubai's list of trading partners worldwide, and there are currently 27 Ghanaian companies registered with the Chamber.

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