Colombia and the United Arab Emirates wouldn’t seem to have much in common. One is a large nation on the Caribbean full of lush jungles and towering mountain ranges. The other is about as large as South Carolina and sits on the Persian Gulf in a flat, arid desert.
But Dubai sees economic links with Colombia, noting that they share established success in some of the same industries and are both looking for expansion in similar areas. “Colombia’s economy is built on many of the same sectors and industries that we excel in here in Dubai,” said Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Finance, insurance, real estate, and business services make up a fifth of the Colombian economy, while construction makes up 7.5%.”
His organization will be front and center at the upcoming Global Business Forum on Latin America, an event it is hosting on November 9-10 in Dubai at the world-renowned resort Atlantis, The Palm. While the chamber will be looking to explore potential with countries throughout Latin America at the event, Buamin is bullish on the chance to expand trade with Colombia.
“This opens up several avenues for cooperation between our two countries,” said Buamin. “We at Dubai Chamber intend to establish synergetic relationships with our partners in Colombia.”
While the relationship remains small now — with $63.8 million USD in trade volume in 2015, per Dubai Chamber — it has been growing. The trade volume between Colombia and Dubai jumped by an average of 19% each year from 2010 to 2015. And the chamber says that imports and exports, respectively, grew by 48% and 5% overall during the same period to hit $35.0 million USD and $10.8 million USD.
The November forum is expected to feature some 500 attendees, including heads of state. The chamber says that Fortune 500 CEOs, investors, private equity executives, and the heads of sovereign wealth funds will also be present.