Sheikh mohammed
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Abu Dhabi: The total value of the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade in 2021 amounted to nearly Dh1.9 trillion, a 27% growth compared to 2020, and 11 per cent up compared to 2019 levels, data released on Sunday showed.

The value of national non-oil exports stood at about Dh354 billion, setting a new record as it crossed Dh300 billion for the first time in history, achieving a growth of 33.3 per cent compared to 2020 levels, and a 47.3 per cent jump compared to 2019 figures.

The growth was consistent across all areas of trade including exports, imports and re-exports.

Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, affirmed that the country’s non-oil foreign trade performance once again proves that the UAE, thanks to the support and directives of its wise leadership, is among the most vital and active trade and business hubs regionally.

"The UAE's foreign trade has by far passed the stage of recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global trade and has entered an advanced stage of growth and prosperity today, with more than 11 per cent growth compared to the pre-pandemic stage,” the minister said.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, noted that the non-oil foreign trade data is a major driver of the growth of the national economy and one of the pillars of its regional and global trade landscape reputation.

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"The past two years have witnessed good growth rates in trade activities, which are taking a more positive trend today, reflecting the increasing growth in the country's foreign trade movement in general and the promotion of national non-oil exports in particular, which is still continuing its during 2019 and 2020,” he said.

"These results come in light of the launch of the Projects of the 50 and the continuous efforts being implemented by the country to enhance its position on the international trade map and ensure an attractive, active and open commercial environment to the world and linked to a diverse and strong network of global supply chains,” he added.

Trade figures for 2021 showed that the total value of re-exports amounted to Dh521.3 billion, achieving a growth of 27.7 per cent compared to 2020 and 1.6 per cent compared to 2019. Meanwhile, the total value of the country's imports during 2021 amounted to about Dh1 trillion, showing a growth of 23.8 per cent over the year 2020, and about 7 per cent from 2019.

Top trade partners

China ranked first as the country's largest trading partner in 2021, accounting for 11.7 per cent of the UAE's total foreign trade with the world, and the value of non-oil trade exchange between the two countries amounted to Dh212 billion, a growth of 27 per cent from 2020 and 19.8 per cent from 2019. India ranked second, accounting for 8.7 per cent of the country's total non-oil trade, with a value of Dh164.4 billion, followed by Saudi Arabia in the third position with a contribution of 6.6 per cent and a value of Dh125 billion during 2021, achieving a growth of 20 per cent compared to 2020 and 10.1 per cent compared to 2019.

At the fourth place is the US, with which trade exchange has grown by 8.1 per cent compared to 2020. Iraq ranked in the fifth place.

About the country's export destinations, India emerged as the top destination, accounting for 13.8 per cent of the country's total exports, and receiving Dh50 billion of UAE exports, a growth of 150 per cent from 2020 and about 100 per cent from 2019. Saudi Arabia became second largest recipient of the UAE exports, with a contribution of 10.7 per cent. It received Dh38 billion of the country's exports, achieving a growth of 48 per cent compared to 2020 and by 22.4 per cent compared to 2019.