Abu Dhabi: The ongoing growth in trade between the UAE and France underscores their strong economic partnership and deep-rooted relations, supported by their leadership.
The visit of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to France also confirms the strength of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two friendly countries.
From 2012 to 2021, the value of the non-oil trade between the UAE and France increased by 8 percent, from Dh23.2 billion in 2012 to over Dh25.2 billion in 2021, according to data from Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, which showed a growth of 28 percent in trade exchange over the past year compared with 2020, amounting to Dh19.7 million.
Their non-oil trade over the past decade amounted to over Dh256.15 billion, with a total weight of 8.28 million tonnes. UAE's non-oil exports valued at over Dh5.16 billion, weighing 957,830 tonnes; and re-exports worth over Dh22 billion, weighing 198,220 tonnes. Imports from France were valued at Dh228.9 billion, with a total weight of 7.12 million tonnes.
Ornaments, jewellery and related products came in the first place on the list of five leading goods imported from France in 2021, with a value of Dh2.46 billion, followed by hand-made paintings and pictures at Dh2.33 billion, perfumes and cosmetic water at Dh1.73 billion, jets, propellants and gas turbines at Dh1.37 billion, at medicines at Dh1.3 billion.
The five leading goods exported to France in 2021 included large bottles and commodity preservation bottles valued at Dh94.3 million, followed by hardware components at Dh55.9 million, raw timbre at Dh45.4 million, cigarettes and tobacco at Dh29.5 million, and pumps and lifters for liquids at Dh26.3 million.
The five leading goods re-exported to France in 2021 included hardware components valued at Dh705.8 million, followed by jewellery and related products at Dh265.8 million, tourist vehicles and personal transport vehicles at Dh141.7 million, perfumes and cosmetic water at more than Dh125 million, and planes, helicopters, satellite components and spacecraft at over Dh121 million.
Moreover, the UAE-France Strategic Dialogue held its 14th meeting in Abu Dhabi in June 2022, underscoring the distinguished partnership between the two countries, following the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed and Emmanuel Macron, President of France.
In line with the ambitious 2020-2030 Emirati-French bilateral roadmap, which was adopted in June 2020, the two sides are working on boosting their cooperation in key areas, including the economy, trade, investment, oil and gas, hydrogen, nuclear energy, climate change, education, culture, health, artificial intelligence, food security and fintech.
Both sides also highlighted the importance of the "One Planet Sovereign Wealth Funds" initiative, which will be hosted by the UAE in October 2022, in addition to the "UAE-French Energy Event", on November 7 and 8, 2022.
59% increase in number of French tourists visiting UAE in 2021
Tourism between the UAE and France has witnessed significant growth in recent years, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021, the number of French tourists coming to the UAE increased by 59 per cent, compared with 2020, thus totalling 311,570.
According to the figures from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre, the total number of French tourists who visited the UAE from 2015 to 2021 totalled 2.461 million.
The UAE is a leading tourism destination for French tourists, due to its strategic location linking East to West, as well as its advanced infrastructure, the availability of varied accommodation options for all budgets, and its hosting of events and activities suitable for all ages. France, on the other hand, has become one of the top ten sources of tourists who visit the UAE.