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TALLINN – According to the director general of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hamad Buamim, the chamber wants to double the number of Estonian companies operating on the market of the United Arab Emirates in two years, the daily Eesti Paevaleht reports.
"We want Estonian startups to come to Dubai because Estonia and the Baltic countries along with Northern Europe are very highly developed, our region lags far behind you technologically. We have the infrastructure in Dubai and we are open to foreign companies," Buamim told the newspaper. "Companies would benefit from being connected to a region that is growing fast, where competition is weaker and where new technologies are welcomed," he added.
"Dubai is very open, we have tax-free free trade zones. We have centers and funding platforms which support companies that are starting out. UAE is an importing country. We are like a large warehouse which has to meet a very high demand, therefore we wish to expand trade. Presence in Dubai would definitely help companies open doors to markets that are at present nearly impossible to enter," Buamim said.
At the same time Buamim said he finds that not participating in Dubai Expo might make it harder for Estonian enterprises to enter or hold their position on the UAE market as companies that do not take part in the Expo would not be able to defend their position.
"Expo 2020 focuses on three fields -- sustainability, mobility and opportunity. Since Estonia is very strong in all three fields, we could definitely use the knowledge and experience of your companies," Buamim said, adding that Latvia and Lithuania have already said they would participate in the Expo.
In February the Estonian government said that Estonia participating in the Dubai Expo depends on the willingness of companies to cover half of the cost of Estonia's display. According to initial estimates, Estonia taking part in Expo 2020 would cost at least 4 million euros.
In March the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said that in their estimation Estonian entrepreneurs are not interested in participating in Dubai Expo because they do not want to invest in the event and find that a one-time event is not enough to develop economic ties in the Persian Gulf region.