Dubai: The UAE non-oil Foreign Trade witnessed a tangible improvement during 2012. It is expected to grow by 15 per cent amounting to Dh3.60 trillion according to year-end results, Abdul Rahman Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, told Gulf News.
“The total value of UAE’s non-oil foreign trade in the first half of 2012 touched Dh718.4 billion compared to Dh646.6 billion for the same period in 2011, recording an increase by Dh71.7 billion, up by 11.1 per cent,” he said.
However, the overall trade values have grown further during the second half of 2012 and is expected to reach Dh3.60 trillion, increasing by 15 per cent by year-end, Al Saleh said.
This figure includes the value of trade in the UAE Free Zones which is expected to reach Dh440 billon, recording 20 per cent increase by the end of 2012.
Al Saleh attributed this growth to the developed economic and strategic plan that the UAE follows in foreign trade policies.
“It is a reflection of the ongoing improvement in the trade sector across the UAE,” he added.
“The policy of opening new markets, approaching new trade partners as well as economic diversification have strong impact on the UAE foreign trade result,” he said.
Pointing to the policy of expanding the scope of trade partnerships, Al Saleh said that while trade volume of Dh1 billion has been made with 65 trade partners in 2009, and with 70 trade partners in 2010 and 75 in 2011.”
Moreover, Al Saleh remarked that the trade value is expected to grow between 10 to 15 per cent in 2013 reaching Dh3.70 trillion.
Major trading partners
According to the latest report of the UAE National Bureau of Statistics about Foreign Trade 2012, non-Arab countries in Asia were the main trade partners of the UAE in the first half of 2012.
“Non-Arab Asian countries ranked first amongst UAE trade partners with traded commodities amounting to Dh230.4 billion or 46.2 per cent of the traded volume of commodities with the rest of the world,” NBS revealed.
NBS said: “The EU came second with a traded amount of Dh107.2 billion in H1, 2012, constituting 21.5 per cent of the UAE’s trade exchange with other blocs. The American countries came third with traded commodities worth Dh46.6 billion, recording 9.3 per cent, and the GCC came fourth with Dh46 billion at a ratio of 9.2 per cent.”
Increasing UAE trade competitiveness at regional and international markets is one of the main objectives of the ministry, Al Saleh remarked.
According to several international reports the UAE ranking has improved and today the emirates have an advanced competitive ranking not only across the Arab world but globally.
For instance, the UAE came in first place in the Middle East and North Africa, and the fifth globally in the Trading Across Borders index, according to The World Bank’s Doing Business Report.
Moreover, The World Economic Forum’s Global Enabling Report 2012 has revealed the UAE’s advanced standing out of 132 developed and developing countries included in the report, where it attained advanced positions in its primary and subsidiary indicators.
In addition to that, the UAE came in first place in the Middle East and North Africa, and the seventh Globally in the Efficiency of Import-Export Procedures index.
Al Saleh said that introducing a foreign trade policy that is consistent with international foreign trade developments and serves the economy of the UAE, is what the ministry looking is for.
“Moreover, maintaining UAE trade interests abroad, increasing UAE trade competitiveness at regional and international markets, educating people about the trade regulatory environment that is consistent with the best international practices, as well as pursuing institutional excellence through achieving efficiency are our main interest to boost trade in the UAE.”