Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed container terminal. Development projects at the port have resulted in an increase in re-exports, exports and imports. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Abu Dhabi: Re-exports from Abu Dhabi jumped 43.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2010, according to Statistics Centre-Abu Dhabi (SCAD).

However, non-oil exports increased 4.1 per cent in the same period over the corresponding period in 2009.

Imports made up 83.1 per cent of Abu Dhabi's foreign trade by value in the first quarter of 2010. The SCAD report, however, did not reveal the volume or value of total trade, imports, exports and re-exports.

Dr Eckart Woertz, Director of Economic Studies at the Gulf Research Centre, feels the rise hints at a tentative recovery of global trade on the one hand and on Abu Dhabi's economic diversification drive on the other.

"However, one needs to take into consideration that this rise comes from the low recession level of last year, and that it is still Dubai that accounts for the majority of the UAE's re-export trade," Dr Woertz told Gulf News.

SCAD's report showed oil exports contributed 6.4 per cent of the value of foreign trade in the first quarter of 2010.

"Most of the export groups showed positive growth at varying rates in the first quarter of 2010. Durables, semi-durable and non-durable goods topped the list, growing at a remarkable 275.3 per cent and accounting for 9.9 per cent of non-oil exports," the report says.

Next on the list were foodstuffs, which grew 27.0 per cent and contributed 8.3 per cent of non-oil exports, followed by industrial supplies with a growth rate of 19.8 per cent and the largest contribution to foreign trade (66.6 per cent ) during the reporting period.

For Mohammad Al Asoomi, a UAE economist, a big part of the growth has to do with the construction boom across the emirate. He also added that demand has increased due to the growing population.

"Abu Dhabi has not been affected by the financial crunch, so local demand remains high in general, particularly in the construction field.

"In addition, development projects at Abu Dhabi Airport and seaport have resulted in an increase in re-exporst, exports and imports."

The economic expert sounded a positive note on the second and third quarters of 2010. "The local economy is growing. Exports and re-exports will remain high, with more advancement in infrastructure. I believe the UAE is the trade centre in the Middle East."