Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has opened its office in Accra, Ghana — providing a UAE gateway to West Africa’s 250 million consumers, and announced an ambitious target for the doubling of trade with the country to $5bn in the next five years.

Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of the Dubai Chamber, was present to inaugurate the premises, Dubai Chamber’s second in Africa after the opening of an Ethiopian office in 2013.

“We are here for a long term, and our vision is to double the volume of trade between Ghana and Dubai in the next five years,” he said.

“The launch of this office sends a signal of our commitment to enhance ties both in Ghana and in the West Africa region, and I thank our Ghanaian business partners, whose support and cooperation has enabled us to begin a new era in Dubai and Ghana’s relationship.”

The current volume of trade between Ghana and Dubai stand at $2.5bn, and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has ambitious plans to grow this to $5bn within the next five years.

Last year, Ghana’s exports to Dubai alone stood at $2bn, mostly in gold and cocoa, while Dubai’s exports to Ghana the same period stood at $500m

Buamim added:  “Dubai is not worried about the trade imbalance which is skewed in favour of Ghana, because we are hopeful the gap will be bridged in the foreseeable future.”

The Dubai Chamber also led a trade mission and held two days of trade talks with Ghanaian parties, including Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, the Vice President of Ghana, who encouraged investment in sectors including energy, real estate and agriculture.

The delegation also participated in an economic outlook and business strategy conference for the country that was attended by 200 business leaders, as well as a roundtable involving 25 CXOs and a Dubai briefing session for Ghanaian businessmen and women.

The trade mission also included representatives from the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), Nasser Bin Abdullatif Al Serkal Est., Bahri & Mazroei Trading Co., Al Mazroei Group, Gerab National Enterprises, and the Russian, Indian and French business councils in Dubai.