As part of its commitment to create new business networking opportunities for its vast network of stakeholders, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently hosted a business networking suhour at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The business networking suhour, which accredited Dubai’s growth to the private-public sector partnership, was attended by Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, chairman, and Hamad Bu Amim, director general, Dubai Chamber, as well as heads of business councils and groups, a host of VIP guests representing the business community in Dubai and members of the local media. In his welcome address, Al Ghurair informed the gathering about Dubai Chamber’s commitment to enhance the economic growth of Dubai by supporting business communities through new initiatives such as reaching out to key emerging markets, and opening of the first overseas representative offices in Azerbaijan and Ethiopia by the year end, which will soon be followed by 20 similar offices world over. Referring to Dubai Chamber’s data for the first half of 2012, Al Ghurair said that these promising figures indicate that Dubai is continuing to make good economic progress as 6,780 new members in comparison to the 5,233 of the first half of 2011 took the Chamber’s total membership to 1,35,000, thus registering a 30 per cent growth. “In July, our members’ exports and re-exports valued at Dh24.4 billion recorded a 16.4 per cent year-on-year growth and 7.6 per cent month-on-month growth in comparison to 2011 as 5,254 exporters despatched goods to 170 markets of the world,” he said. He further said that the Dubai Chamber issued 68,000 certificates of origin during July, which is an 8.7 per cent increase from July 2011. “All these increased figures point towards an excellent start to the second half of 2012,” he said. Participation in global events Al Ghurair also highlighted Dubai Chamber’s participation in 32 events around the world, in 24 cities and in 19 countries, including outbound delegations to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Surat in India, and Ethiopia in Africa. “There is more on the horizon as we are preparing to take further trade missions to key markets like Azerbaijan to discuss the opening of our satellite office and efforts to increase trade and investment ties with Central Asia and the Caucasus. “We will also be attending SMM Hamburg, which is one of the most important trade fairs for the world’s maritime industry with the hope that this will bring new developments to Dubai’s maritime industry and increase the number of joint partnerships in this important economic sector,” Al Ghurair added. The chairman of Dubai Chamber called upon Dubai’s business community to benefit from the investment opportunities offered by the emirate’s leading economic sectors, especially the trade sector, as the emirate’s forecasted economic growth shows a positive trend and clearly indicates investors’ confidence in the sound business environment of Dubai. Al Ghurair also highlighted Dubai Chamber’s role in supporting the business community by strengthening the partnership between the private and public sectors which he said is the real driving force behind the success of Dubai’s economic growth as is the case with many progressive economies of the world, he said.