DUBAI, 6th December, 2021 (WAM) — The UAE accounted for 74 percent of GCC investments in ASEAN markets over the last five years, according to a new whitepaper released by Dubai Chamber ahead of the first-ever Global Business Forum (GBF) ASEAN in Dubai.
Conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by Dubai Chamber, the report, titled ‘Uncharted Territory: Deepening trade and investment between ASEAN and the GCC’, examines the business and investment environment in the ASEAN region and assesses prospects for expanding economic co-operation between the two regions in the post-pandemic era.
According to the whitepaper, the total value of investments from the GCC into the ASEAN region was estimated at US$13.4 billion between January 2016 and September 2021.
The report – examining trade synergies between ASEAN and GCC markets, as well as bilateral business opportunities – will be discussed by public and private sector stakeholders when they gather at Expo 2020 Dubai for the inaugural GBF ASEAN, taking place 8th-9th December, 2021.
Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, said the report provides valuable insights on the vast potential that exists between the two regions, which helps businesses on both sides make informed decisions and explore growth opportunities abroad.
He noted that the Expo 2020 Dubai is the ideal platform to host the first GBF ASEAN, as the mega event is being leveraged by ASEAN countries to showcase their economic potential to the world and forge cross-border partnerships that drive sustainable growth.
The whitepaper noted that the digital economy is expected to drive growth in ASEAN’s key sectors, there remains plenty of potential for ASEAN and GCC companies to boost trade of agricultural products, and that knowledge sharing in key sectors can provide a framework for deeper collaboration.
The GCC is a key export market for ASEAN-made product such as electronics and machinery, which accounted for 28 percent and 12 percent of the US$144 billion worth of imports from ASEAN between 2016 and 2020, respectively.
The data showed a trade imbalance between the two regions, with just 2 percent of ASEAN’s total imports between 2016 and 2020 coming from the GCC. On the other hand, the ASEAN region accounted for just 4 percent of the GCC’s total exports over the five-year period, amounting to US$126 billion, with the majority comprising crude oil (43 percent) and plastic polymers (20 percent).