Dubai has quickly emerged as a major hub for the financial services sector, according to Ankit Goel, Managing Director of DS-Concept Intelligent Trade Finance Limited.


Given its strategic location, friendly business environment, wonderful infrastructure, political stability and various other reasons, Dubai has been able to attract many top international banks and financial institutions. The specialised free trade zones structure provides the flexibility and adequate infrastructure appealing for many industries as they
set up their base in the region.

As of last year, DS-Concept, a Germany-headquartered trade finance firm, opened an office in the UAE to better serve our growing client base in the Middle East region and help the surging number of SME importers and exporters. Recently authorised by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) as a category 2 firm, we have set up our office in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC). With this new location, our firm is well positioned to ensure the support and success of the massive amount of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Dubai and surrounding regions. SMEs are the backbone of each economy but are often underserved by the banks. SMEs now account for 86% of the private-sector workforce in the UAE. According to Ministry of

Economy data, 300,000 companies can be classified as part of this SME segment, contributing 42% of total employment.

Gulf Finance recently polled some SMEs in the UAE to gauge overall business sentiment amid the current economic climate, and reports that several businesses are having difficulty borrowing or securing loans as well as collecting from domestic and international customers. About seven in 10 (74%) said that as of Q4 2015, they were struggling to raise finance, while about a third (29%) reported that their payment collections over the last three months had further deteriorated.

At DS-Concept we aim to provide flexible and innovative trade finance solutions to traders, manufacturers, importers and exporters that are otherwise neglected by banks and other lenders. Many of our clients are pushing the boundaries of international trade and are exporting to markets that are classified as too risky by some of our industry peers.

South-south trade is surely included in this category of “risky” cross-border transactions. South-south co-operation is a term historically used by policymakers and academics to describe the exchange of resources, technology and knowledge between developing countries. South-south trade brings major opportunities for many SME importers and exporters. Four of our 13 global offices are classified as in the ‘Global South’ (China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and UAE).

At DS-Concept, we cover various key markets in ‘Global South’ trade, including China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South America, Africa and the Middle East. In fact, a large chunk of our new and existing business is assisting fast-growth companies involved in south-south trade. Whether we are financing trade between China-GCC countries, India-GCC countries or Latin America-GCC, our target clients are SMEs who are often simply neglected by traditional lenders.

It is the emerging markets like south-south trade and the emergence of new global cities like Dubai that are critical to the future of trade finance, and our team is proud to be helping blaze the trail. As these economies rapidly change (for better and for worse) they will rely on working capital solutions up and down the supply chain, from raw material to finished goods, to sustain growth while remaining competitive in the global marketplace. The DS-Concept Group maintains a network of offices and affiliates all over the world, including the US, Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Spain, the UK, China and the UAE, as well as the headquarters in Germany. With over 15 years of global trade finance experience, combining credit protection, collections, and financing into a single suite of trade finance products, DS-Concept brings streamlined, flexible and best-in-class services to the world’s exporters.