DUBAI, UAE, November 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
In the run-up to the key conference on economic cooperation in China, The Boao Forum, DIFC's chief strategy and business development officer Chirag Shah discusses the significant impact that Asia's success has had on Dubai. http://vision.ae
Vision: What impact has Asia's economic success had on Dubai's financial sector?
Chirag Shah: When DIFC was launched a decade ago, more than 75 per cent of our firms came from Western Europe and North America. Today, it is 50 per cent. 12 per cent of firms are from Asia, and Middle Eastern firms - including startups from the UAE - account for 30 per cent. Far more firms from Asia, Africa and the Middle East are using DIFC as a platform, and that is reflective of what's happening globally in terms of changes in trade flows and economies. We are a gateway to the Asian continent, and a platform for firms looking to do business in the Middle East and Africa.
There has also been a change in not just the number of firms we've seen come to Dubai, but also the significance of the operations they launch. We host China's top four banks, Japan's top four banks and Indian's top 10 banks. Most have fully-fledged banking licences; it's not just a man with a briefcase. These financial institutes are coming here to do real business with a lot of depth.
Vision: It has been suggested that GCC economies have yet to see significant FDI flows from Asian economies. Do you see that increasing in the near future?
Chirag Shah: A key driver for foreign direct investment (FDI) is a deficit of capital. That's not really an issue here. China and the Asian economies are also looking specifically for high-growth, high-return markets and, for them, that's well represented in the African continent, among others.
It's also true to say that both Asia and the GCC have grown so rapidly, that they've not really needed to look at investment opportunities elsewhere. As they globalise and their financial institutes expand abroad, the opportunities for overseas investment will increase. Financial institutions are key to increasing trade flow.
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SOURCE Vision Magazine