Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) received a high profile delegation of businessmen from Colombia as part of efforts to enhance trade and investment ties between Dubai and Latin America. Fifteen businessmen from the Federación Nacional de Comerciantes — FENALCO (National Federation of Merchants) visited Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry to discuss potential opportunities in Dubai’s retail sector. The delegation was received by Atiq Juma Nassib, Senior Director, Commercial Services Sector, Dubai Chamber, who stressed the importance of enhancing relations between Colombia and Latin America, which Dubai Chamber has singled out as a promising market for its members. Juma Nassib said: “Last year Colombia ranked 135th on Dubai’s trade partner list, with non-oil trade for the first 10 months’ worth Dhs119.6 million. We would like to see these figures improve and think that through increased cooperation we can enhance trade and investment. “One area that FENALCO highlighted was Dubai’s retail sector, which is forecast to see strong sales growth over the next few years due to increasing household consumption, the growing acceptance of modern retailing concepts and expatriate wealth,” he said. “FENALCO’s interest in Dubai retail sector demonstrates the city’s excellent reputation as a major international shopping destination,” Nassib said. He added that Dubai Chamber would support Colombian businesses, who were looking to expand into the emirates. Marlen Corredor, FENALCO Manager, said that Dubai has a global reputation in terms of retail and that Colombian companies could benefit from its experience in this field. The meeting was also attended by Mohideen Binhendi, Chairman of the Retail Business Group, which is one of 26 such groups under umbrella of Dubai Chamber. He gave an introduction to the recently-formed group and an industry overview, saying that the partnership in Dubai between the private and public sectors was the main reason behind its success. Established in 1965, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry is a non-profit public entity, whose mission is to represent, support and protect the interests of the business community in Dubai by creating a favourable business environment, supporting the development of business, and by promoting Dubai as an international business hub. Dubai Chamber started its activities with 450 members and a 12-member Board of Directors. The number of members increased to reach more than 108,000 by the end of 2007, representing all economic sectors. Aiming to activate the relation between the Chamber’s management and its members, and in order to help them develop their trade and overcome their business obstacles, Dubai Chamber established 20 business groups that represent different economic sectors in Dubai, 34 business councils that represent the Dubai-based foreign companies according to nationality, and 72 trade centers for a number of countries.