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Dubai’s Q1 2020 external trade reaches Dhs323bn with China as largest trading partner

Dubai’s Q1 2020 external trade reaches Dhs323bn with China as largest trading partner

Customs transactions in Dubai reach 4 million in Q1 2020, up 60 per cent year-on-year

Dubai’s external trade in the first quarter of 2020 reached Dhs323bn with exports growing 2 per cent year-on-year to Dhs43bn despite challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

China remained Dubai’s largest trading partner, contributing Dhs35.8bn, followed by India at Dhs30.4bn, and the USA at Dhs19.5bn.

Imports amounted to Dhs189bn while re-exports reached Dhs92bn.

“Though the pandemic has impacted markets around the world, Dubai’s external trade has been able to maintain its momentum thanks to the diversity of its markets and its ability to adapt to global changes, trends and needs. From an early stage, our leadership invested in developing infrastructure and advanced technology that have enabled us to be resilient amidst crises and turn challenges into opportunities,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council.

The volume of Dubai’s external non-oil trade reached 24 million tons in Q1 2020.

Of this, imports accounted for 16 million tons, exports were 4.2 million tons, and re-exports were recorded at 3.6 million tons.

In March, Dubai said that its non-oil foreign trade in 2019 grew 19 per cent from 91 million tons in 2018 to 109 million tons last year.

Read: Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade rises 6 per cent to Dhs1.37 trillion in 2019

Direct trade in Q1 2020 reached Dhs188bn while trade out of free zones reached Dhs133bn, and customs warehouse trade accounted for Dhs2bn.

A breakdown revealed that land trade contributed Dhs4bn, sea trade Dhs116bn, and air trade Dhs163bn.

Customs transactions in Dubai was reported at 4 million in Q1 2020, up 60 per cent from 2.5 million in Q1 2019.

“This makes Dubai one of the best customs and logistics hubs in the world, and a very attractive environment for foreign investments and businesses,” said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman & CEO and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.

The highest traded commodity by value in 2019 was precious metals and stones. Gold, jewelry and diamonds trade grew 2 per cent to Dhs92bn, followed by phones with Dhs38bn, and petroleum oils which contributed Dhs16bn.

In March, Dubai unveiled a stimulus package worth Dhs1.5bn to support businesses in the emirate to help counter the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “To support businesses during this difficult time, we announced a stimulus package plan which included a refund of 20 per cent of the customs fees imposed on imported products sold locally in Dubai markets from 15 March to 30 June. The package also includes the cancellation of the Dhs50,000 bank guarantee or cash required to undertake customs clearance activity. Bank guarantee or cash paid by existing customs clearance companies will be refunded,” said Sheikh Hamdan.

Read: Coronavirus: Dubai reveals Dhs1.5bn stimulus package to support businesses

A press statement by the Dubai Media Office said that The World Customs Organization recently endorsed the Dubai Customs initiative of establishing a global platform for the best customs practices and AEO mutual recognition agreements. With this, Dubai Customs will facilitate data transfer between the World Customs Organization and member customs organizations.

In January, Dubai Customs launched a new blockchain-based e-commerce platform.

Read more: Dubai Customs launches e-commerce platform

The platform constitutes two phases – first being the blockchain platform, that will facilitate e-commerce export transactions via couriers, and was completed in September 2019.

The second one will facilitate e-commerce import, declaration consolidation and automated refunds, as well as reduce fees and charges in addition to onboarding of logistics companies.

In April, Dubai-based global port operator DP World also launched a digital platform to facilitate trade freight forwarders and allow businesses to book shipments of cargo from and to anywhere in the world, by any combination of sea, land and air.

Read also: UAE’s DP World launches digital platform to move global trade online

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