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  • UAE Singapore Business Council

Decoupled and Reconfigured: DMCC Inaugural Singapore Launch of the Future of Trade Report 30th May 2024

Updated: Jun 7

In partnership with

Image credit: Redhill

Thursday, 30 May: The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) has successfully launched the exclusive Future of Trade 2024 Report in Singapore for the very first time. In partnership with the UAE Singapore Business Council (UAESBC), this fifth edition of DMCC's biennial flagship report explores the evolving power dynamics shaping the global trade landscape amidst significant changes.

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) is the largest Free Zone in the UAE and has been voted by the Financial Times as the Global Free Zone of the Year for nine consecutive years. There are over 24,000 registered companies operating in DMCC, comprising 11% of Dubai's annual FDI

With opening remarks given by DMCC Chairman of the Board, His Excellency Dr Hamad Buamim, the event addressed the influence of geopolitics, a shift toward regionalisation in place of globalisation, climate concerns, AI technology, and supply chain dynamics in trade. The report analyses ten major commodities trading hubs, including the USA, UAE, Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, South Africa, and Nigeria.

Entitled 'Decoupled and Reconfigured', the key findings of this year's report were presented by DMCC Chief Operating Officer Ms Feryal Ahmadi, namely:

Commodity Trade Index -This index encompasses three main pillars: location and trading partner factors, commodity endowment factors and institutional factors.

Top Rankings - The US and the UAE have retained their top two positions from the previous report, demonstrating consistent strength in commodity trading.

US Performance - Despite not leading in any specific pillar, the US maintained robust scores above 50 across all categories.

UAE’s Strength - The UAE scored highly on the commodity endowment factors pillar, largely due to its significant oil reserves.

Consistent Leaders - The US and the UAE have maintained their top two positions, demonstrating consistent strength in commodity trading.

Other Top Performers -Switzerland and Hong Kong were noted for their leading positions in locational and trading partner factors, and institutional factors, respectively.

Ranking Shifts - Notable shifts occurred among middle-ranked countries, with the UK dropping two places, largely due to the full economic impact of Brexit.

Image credit: Redhill

The report highlight was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Chief Executive of Asia House, Mr Michael Lawrence OBE, featuring the following distinguished panelists:

- H.E. Dr Hamad Buamim, Chairman of the Board, DMCC

- Ms Pamela Mar, Managing Director, Digital Standards Initiative (DSI) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

- Mr Daryl Teo, Co-Founder and Chief Investment Officer, CoinClan OU

- Mr Eduardo Pedrosa, Secretary General, Pacific Economic Cooperation Council and

- Mr James Crabtree, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations 

The panelists shared their insight and discussed current global issues, such as conflicts in Europe and the Middle East, emphasising the importance of digitised data in navigating geopolitical shifts and enhancing trade corridors. AI was highlighted as a crucial tool for tracking industry changes, with H.E. Hamad Buamim expressing strong support for AI and technological advancements. Government regulations were noted as key factors in driving digitalisation and AI adoption in business operations. H.E. Hamad Buamim also mentioned the importance of trade associations and chambers of commerce in boosting the voice of SMEs. The UAE remains focused on strengthening bilateral trade agreements with all countries. 

The audience posed two notable questions: one on the weaponisation of trade (e.g. China's stricter trade measures with Europe in response to Taiwan's improved relationship with Lithuania) and the other with regard to fostering better trade relationships between nations. The panelists addressed these questions by highlighting the importance of maintaining neutral, long-term business relationships across different countries and emphasising the critical role of trade hubs in fostering global commerce. 

Trade remains uncertain and complex, requiring businesses to stay informed and plan ahead. For more information on the Future of Trade 2024 report and to access the full findings, please click HERE.

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