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Payment delays biggest challenge for Dubai and UAE firms, Dubai Chamber president

Dubai - Payment delays and debt collections are the biggest challenges faced by the companies in Dubai and the UAE and the delays are both from the government, semi-government entities and private firms, a senior official of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Monday.

Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of Dubai Chamber, said if both public and private entities start making payment on time it will be easier to speed up economic recovery as

"We conduct survey every quarter and this has consistently been the biggest issue recently. We don't want to be in a situation we were back in 2008-09 so we are trying to address this issue ahead of time and encouraging government and private entities to take steps," Buamim said during Dubai Dialogue 2019 conference held on Monday.

He blamed economic slowdown for the payment delay issue being faced in Dubai, the UAE and even in the GCC region.

Buamim stressed that the timely payment by the government and private sector will speed up the economic recovery.

"If everyone pays fast and on time that will speed up economic recovery. As a business community, we are advocating with the government also to speed up the payment because there is not extra that needs to be done and it will help the economy," Dubai Chamber president told the local businessmen at the forum on Monday.

The UAE economy, even the wider GCC economy as well, is experiencing slowdown mainly due to lower oil prices and fall in property prices. On October 15, the International Monetary Fund slashed UAE's 2019 growth forecast from 2.8 per cent in April 2019 to 1.6 per cent. In addition, next year's growth was also cut by 0.8 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

Dubai's non-oil economy strengthened in September as IHS Markit Dubai Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose for the first time in four months, at 52.6.  However, the latest figure was still among the lowest recorded over the past three years, signaling a relatively modest improvement in business conditions at non-oil companies.

Buamim called on public and private sector entities to stock to their payment terms.

"Some companies are not getting paid this is why they don't pay. Sometimes, they just want to preserve the cash. The unfortunate thing about this practice is that it is harmful and it slows down the economy even further," Buamim added.


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