TBY talks to Malcolm Wall Morris, CEO of Dubai Multi Commoditites Centre (DMCC), on how the Centre is contributing to the sector and the introduction of regulations and guidelines.

Malcolm Wall Morris
Malcolm Wall Morris is a commodity and derivatives expert with over 16 years of experience in the physical commodity and exchange sectors. Before joining DMCC in November 2009, he spent two years as CEO of the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX). Previously, he was involved in the physical coffee trade, based in Paris and London, as well as helping pioneer the world’s first online B2B marketplace for the global coffee market.

How does the regulatory environment affect the companies installed here?

The guidelines for trade are established and enforced by each Emirate and the federal government. Dubai Multi Commoditites Centre (DMCC) acts as a trade facilitator and supports the Government of Dubai through a variety of initiatives, regulations, and products that we introduced, principally within the gold and diamond sector. These have allowed the trade to excel over the last 10 years. Gold saw $70 billion worth of trade in 2012 compared with $56 billion in 2011. As far as regulatory initiatives are concerned, in 2005, we developed the Dubai Good Delivery (DGD) standard, which is an international benchmark for quality and technical specification for the production of gold and silver. The objectives of the standard are to increase confidence in the gold and silver industry, create more opportunities for trade finance activities, provide the technical robustness, and incorporate relevant globally accepted best practices. In addition, it provides a delivery standard for the Dubai Gold and Commodity Exchange (DGCX) for a 1 kilogram gold bar of 995.0 fineness and a standard large silver bar ranging from 900-110 ounces of a minimum of 999.0 fineness. In addition, in April 2012 we introduced the DMCC Practical Guidance—a five-step risk management framework reference manual that has been developed in consultation with the OECD and global market participants. It is based on the OECD's guidance for conducting due diligence for the responsible sourcing of gold to ensure conflict-free supply chains. As of June 2012, DMCC made it a mandatory requirement for all DGD member refineries to comply with, and implement all the provisions of the DMCC's Practical Guidance for Responsible Sourcing of precious metals. In regard to the trading of diamonds, we helped establish the first UAE Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) office in the Arab World, based in Almas Tower in 2003. The KPCS is a joint government, industry and civil society initiative that aims to stem the flow of conflict diamonds into the legitimate diamond trade. Set up to assure consumers that the diamonds they are purchasing are conflict free, the KPCS was implemented in the UAE in 2003 making the UAE the first Arab country to introduce this process, and DMCC the only entry and exit point for rough diamonds in the country.

What measures is the DMCC taking to assist the sector?

The DMCC Free Zone is not only the fastest growing free zone in the UAE, it is soon to be the largest as well. Our success is largely due to the fact that we continuously look at ways to enhance the business and residential environment for the 70,000 people currently working and living in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT). In terms of our 7,000+ member companies, the DMCC Service Centre has also been significantly enhanced in 2013 allowing faster and more efficient registration, licensing, and service provisions to the growing number of new and existing members. The Service Centre includes a full suite of meeting rooms for registration and license processing, and direct access to all major government services, including visa renewal, utilities, and business support services. In early 2013, and in response to community requests, we announced the transformation of one of our lakes into a 55,000 sqm community park. Also in the pipeline is a state-of-the art business park in the DMCC Free Zone that will primarily cater to large multi national companies that require commercial space to buy or rent in Dubai. This addition to the DMCC infrastructure will also include the world's tallest commercial tower. We have already received interest from prospective clients looking to buy and lease space in the tower, which further demonstrates our appeal. There are currently 65 mixed-use commercial and residential towers and over 200 retail outlets in operation within JLT. We register approximately 200 companies every month of which over 95% are new to Dubai. We are well on the way to meeting the commitment we made in early 2011 to be home to over 7,200 companies by the end of 2013.