DUBAI, 24th January, 2022 (WAM) -- Dubai Customs kicked off 5th UAE Customs Week 2022 today under the slogan "Customs Digital Transformation Pioneers".
The virtual ceremony was attended by Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Ahmad bin Lahej Al Falasi, Acting Director-General of Customs at the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security, Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director-General of Dubai Customs, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Hamad Al Mansoori, Director-General of Digital Dubai Authority, and Fahad Ghareeb Al Shamsi, Executive Director of Support Services Sector at Abu Dhabi Customs.
The events are running throughout the week from 24th to 28th January. There are 32 initiatives and activities organised by 13 customs departments and centers and the event will see the launch of four major projects.
In his opening speech, Sultan bin Sulayem said, "The UAE is a leading country that plays a noticeable role in promoting global economy and trade. The 5th UAE Customs Week culminates our active participation in developing government plans and policies that will consolidate economic recovery and strengthen the UAE's position as a global hub for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). These plans will advance our global model by adopting ground-breaking innovations and technologies and better support sustainable economic development.
"Dubai has gained substantial experience and set a benchmark in developing global Customs work. This work is guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to provide traders and investors from across the world with business-friendly customs services. These services sustain the emirate's competitive advantage in the global trade landscape, enhancing economic diversification as the non-oil sectors' contribution in our economy increased to 83 percent in 2020. By driving innovation in the customs sector, Dubai has reduced the time, cost and effort of doing business. This has attracted more traders and investors to the emirate thanks to the advanced logistics and regulatory infrastructure and the excellent capabilities of its ports, airports, free zones, transportation, telecommunications, and customs services.
"Our achievements in the advancement of customs work propel us towards the next phase of growth and progress in line with the five-year plan, which seeks to boost Dubai's foreign trade to AED 2 trillion over the coming five years. Dubai's foreign trade increased tenfold in value during the period 2000-2019, and the emirate's foreign trade maintained its strength in 2020, totalling AED 1.182 trillion, despite economic headwinds and challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic."
In his speech, Musabih said, "The last two years posed a new and a different challenge to all customs administrations around the globe due to the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. This required additional efforts from different customs organisations to secure supply chains and ensure the continuous flow of goods and passengers.
"Customs sector in the UAE was up to the challenge and managed to deliver uninterrupted services including 24/7 clearance of goods and medical supplies.
"Customs transactions in the first half of 2021 skyrocketed 53 percent to 11.2 million transactions compared to the first half of 2020, and this, among other factors, has enabled Dubai Customs win the DGE Elite Award 2020-2021."
For his part, Al Falasi said, "We, in the UAE Customs sector, have every reason to be proud of our leading achievements that have contributed to supporting the security and stability of society and facilitating trade. These accomplishments have made the UAE a global model in systems innovation, technology localisation and Customs work development, following which the UAE topped the rankings in several international indicators.
The global Customs administrations announce their directions for the current year, consistent with the WCO's chosen theme for the year 2022, which focuses on "Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem."
Hamad Al Mansouri, Director-General of Digital Dubai Authority said, "Looking back, we clearly see that the story of Dubai Customs is an embodiment of the story of Dubai itself. Dubai Customs applied the latest and best world standards until it became a model to follow in the sector. The leading Government Department became fully digital applying the most sophisticated technologies to serve its partners and clients in the best possible way and to add value to their business."
Fahad Ghareeb Al Shamsi said, "We are developing an 'Undercover Customs' concept in line with the latest international standards. Best exploitation of data is among the major challenges that necessitate cooperation with different partners in the supply chain to ensure safe and effective exchange, analysis and governance of data. We look forward to having security integration between government departments in the UAE towards a common goal: digital transformation, in fulfilment of the vision and directives of our wise leadership.
"We have integrated more than 60 communication points with our strategic partners, and we have generously invested in innovation and HR system automation while developing an integrated inspection platform and adoption of advanced blockchain based systems, and latest customs practices in risk and control."
Mr. Guo Zhenjun, Manager of Huawei's Dubai Supply Centre, said, "According to the World Economic Forum, more than 60 percent of global GDP will be digitised by 2022. Digital technologies are transforming industries as well as how individual enterprises and governments operate, faster than ever. Dubai Customs invests a lot in innovation. It develops and upgrades customs procedures, including the world's best integrated customs system: Mirsal 2; which introduces the best services and trade facilities, and The Virtual Corridor project, which facilitates movement of goods."
The opening ceremony included a video on Dubai Customs and its vital role in securing the borders and facilitating trade. In the event, the second phase of the Cross Border e-Commerce Platform was launched.