Dubai: The value of foreign trade at the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (Dafza) in 2018 jumped by 62 per cent to reach Dh146 billion, driven by growth in the value of exports and re-exports.
Dafza reported on Sunday Dh83.3 billion in exports and re-exports in 2018, rising by 90 per cent year-on-year, as imports increased by 35 per cent to reach Dh62.5 billion. This resulted in a trade surplus of Dh21 billion for Dafza in 2018.
Data from the Authority showed that non-Arab Asian countries accounted for 46 per cent of Dubai’s trade in 2018, with a value of Dh66.5 billion, while Arab countries ranked right behind with 27 per cent of trade (Dh39.5 billion). European countries came in at third place, with 22 per cent of trade and a value of Dh32 billion.
More specifically, India was the top trade partner, with a value of Dh24.1 billion, followed closely by China (with Dh24 billion), and Switzerland (at Dh23 billion).
In terms of products, machinery and electrical equipment accounted for the top traded items, with 54 per cent of foreign trade and a value of Dh79 billion. They were followed by pearls, previous stones, metals, and jewellery, accounting for 38 per cent and Dh56 billion; and medical and scientific equipment along with watches and audio and visual materials (at 4 per cent of trade and Dh5 billion).
Dafza on Sunday also announced it has increased its budget for 2019 to Dh1 billion, to raise its contribution to Dubai trade. In 2018, it contributed 11 per cent to the emirate’s foreign trade — up four percentage points from the 7 per cent in 2017.
Dafza said its net profit grew by 5 per cent year-on-year in 2018 while revenues rose by 8 per cent, though it did not disclose the figures for its earnings.