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Dubai and Omani customs authorities discuss stronger cooperation

Dubai: Dubai Customs has discussed areas of cooperation with their Omani counterpart as part of their mutual efforts to enhance trade within the framework of the GCC Customs Union.

A delegation of Dubai Customs led by Ahmad Butti Ahmad, Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and Director General of Dubai Customs, recently visited the Sultanate of Oman, where they were received by the Inspector General of Police and Customs, Lieutenant General Hassan Bin Mohsen Al Shraiqi.

The two parties conveyed their commitment towards unceasing cooperation in order to achieve the highest levels of coordination in customs operations. Omani Customs was invited to visit Dubai and learn about the experience of its world-class customs administration.

Ahmad Butti said, “We are overly eager to boost collaboration with the Omani Directorate General of Customs, as our aim is to facilitate trade flow between the two countries by implementing the best mutual customs facilitations.”

He continued, “Our visit to Oman is geared to promote customs coordination and share expertise in the common quest to enhance cooperation among the GCC Customs Union member states.”

The meeting also explored ideas and suggestions for developing mechanisms to facilitate mobility in the border crossings between the two sides. In addition to discussing mechanisms of joint electronic link, Dubai Customs stressed strong wiliness to put all its expertise at the disposal of Oman Customs.

On the other side, Omani officials expressed their eagerness to avail of the experience of DC’s training centre and the specialised courses it offers to customs inspectors.

Lieutenant General Al Shraiqi said, “Dubai has become a model in trade facilitation and customs development.”

He underscored the importance of reinforcing mutual cooperation in such a way as to further stimulate the increasing growth of bilateral trade. “Stronger customs coordination is highly needed to ease and promote the flow of trade between our countries,”

Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade with Oman witnessed escalated growth recently, rising from Dh7.5 billion in 2011 to Dh18.7 billion in 2012. During the first nine months of 2013, it reached about Dh14.4 billion. This growth in bilateral trade reflects the mounting Emirati-Omani economic and commercial relations, driven by their leaderships’ desire to enhance mutual trade within the economic integration efforts of GCC countries.

Hatta Border Customs Centre plays a pivotal role in Oman-Dubai commercial flow. The number of passengers who crossed the border in both directions in 2013 was approximately 3.7 million, along with 1.4 million vehicles and 675,000 trucks, also crossing the point in both ways.

Bilateral trade between Dubai and Oman covers various products and goods. The most prominent are phones, gold, machinery, equipment, and foodstuff, as well as electrical cords and tubes. Commercial diversity among both sides contributes to reinforcing sustainable growth opportunities in commercial exchange, stimulated by a favourable environment of customs facilitations and mutual commitment to support joint economic cooperation.

The high-level meeting was attended on the Omani part by the Director General of Customs, Brigadier Eisa Bin Said Al Kayoumi, alongside a number of fellow officials from the Oman Directorate General of Customs. The deputation of Dubai Customs comprised Yousuf Al Sahlawi, Senior Executive Director of Corporate Affairs; Ahmed Mahboob Musabah, Executive Director of Client Management Division; Ahmad Al Kharousi, Director of the Customs Intelligence Department; Khalil Bin Saqer Bin Gareeb, Director of Corporate Communications Department and Hamad Kajoor, Senior Manager of Hatta Customs Centre.