With the aim of ensuring business continuity and discussing the way forward to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, His Excellency Hamad Buamim, President & CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry affirmed that the Chamber continues to follow and study indicators related to commercial activity in the emirate, and communicate with the local business community in order to be informed of the latest developments in this field.
This came during HE’s opening speech at the second roundtable of Dubai Chamber’s Business Groups & Business Councils, which was held online. The e-meeting was attended by 70 representatives from various business groups and councils, in addition to speakers from the Dubai Chamber in order to discuss the latest economic developments.
During the roundtable, the latest local and international developments were discussed, along with recommendations and proposals that the Chamber has presented to relevant government authorities for mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on Dubai’s business community.
His Excellency, Hamad Buamim said, “The Government is working tirelessly to ensure that we are able to overcome the fight against COVID-19 as soon as possible. In fact, It is a matter of pride that the UAE is among the world’s top five countries for conducting tests, which is a reflection of the Government’s efforts to protect us. It also reassures us that our safety and health is a top priority for our leadership and they will do everything within their power to ensure our well-being.”
He further added that, as part of their efforts to give back to the community and support the private sector, Dubai Chamber is providing humanitarian support to construction and real estate workers and facilitating their return to their home country, under the umbrella of the Community Solidarity Fund against COVID-19.
The Chamber’s Centre for responsible business is also launching five new initiatives to guide businesses on how to manage the impact of COVID-19 on their organisation and look for long-term, sustainable solutions.
“We launched several initiatives that reinforce our position as a representative of business interests in the emirate, and we will continue to work with our partners to develop practical solutions that positively reflect on giving companies greater and more effective options in dealing with crisis. Our focus continue to be on strengthening the strategic partnership between the government and private sectors to enhance the competitiveness of the business environment in the emirate.”
The meeting witnessed fruitful interaction and discussion between the participants. The Chamber also highlighted some policy recommendations that it has made to the Government which focus on liquidity support measures, such as provision of government guarantees to facilitate firms’ access to affordable loans, easy access to tax payment relief (including VAT), waiving of government fee and taxes, bank credit extensions, and special bank loans for SMES, to name a few.
Concerns of the participants related to issues such as repatriation of the unemployed, how to access to Central Bank’s Stimulus Package, Update on Expo 2021, Dubai Chamber’s planned Webinars, were also addressed. The participants were briefed on the current initiatives by the Chamber, the opportunities and challenges, with a focus on the importance of adhering to the preventive measures and measures taken in order to ensure the success of national efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.