Dubai: Trade between the UAE and Japan reached $29.21 billion (Dh107.2 billion) with the trade balance heavily tilted towards the UAE, according to the latest statistics published by the Japan External Trade Organisation (Jetro).
Japan is a major oil importer from the UAE, which helps the balance of trade in favour of the UAE, despite a heavy influx of Japanese products into the country.
UAE exports to Japan totalled $22.7 billion in Dec-ember 2009, down from $46.41 billion in December 2008.
Imports from Japan totalled $6.5 billion, down from $10.79 billion in December 2008.
However, the latest Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry report stated that Japan's exports to the UAE started showing signs of recovery at the end of 2009.
According to the report, total exports to the UAE were valued at $5.46 billion (493 billion yen) in the first 10 months of 2009, a 48 per cent decline from the $10.46 billion (944 billion yen) in the comparable period of 2008.
However, month on month growth began to turn around starting in June 2009, with an increase of 15 per cent.
The also report states that the impact of the global economic downturn on the UAE had weakened market demand in the region during the last quarter of 2008.
Monthly export data released by Japan showed a significant decline in the country's exports to the UAE starting in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Hamad Bu Amim, director-general of the Dubai Chamber, said that the UAE has an excellent trading relationship with Japan.
Japan ranks seventh on the list of the UAE's trading partners.
Bu Amim also said that the value of Dubai Chamber members' exports to Japan in 2009 amounted to approximately Dh40 million and maintained that the economic recovery would significantly contribute to the strengthening of trade between the two nations.
Japan's main exports to the UAE are vehicles and automotive parts and accessories.
Comparing total exports in the first 10 months of 2009, exports of this product group fell 68 per cent in 2009 tof $1.51 billion (136 billion yen) from $4.78 billion (431 billion yen) a year earlier, leading to a drop in share to 28 per cent, down from 46 per cent.
Japan's major exports include cars, electronic equipment, mechanical appliances, and iron/steel products. Japan's exports in these product groups also fell but not by the same magnitude.