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Revealed: Dubai’s biggest foreign trade partners during the first nine months of 2019

Revealed: Dubai’s biggest foreign trade partners during the first nine months of 2019

The emirate’s non-oil foreign trade grew 6 per cent to cross Dhs1 trillion between Jan-Sept

Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade values rose nearly 6 per cent to reach Dhs1.02 trillion during the first nine months of 2019, up from around Dhs966bn during the same period in 2018.

Exports rose by 23 per cent to Dhs118bn, re-exports grew by 4 per cent to Dhs312bn, and imports increased by 3 per cent to Dhs589bn, an official statement said.

Foreign trade volumes also grew by 22 per cent to reach 83 million tonnes between January to September, compared to 68 million tonnes in the same period last year.

While re-exports rose 48 per cent year-on-year to reach 13 million tonnes, exports grew by 47 per cent to 14 million tonnes and imports increased by 13 per cent to 56 million tonnes.

In terms of countries, China remained Dubai’s largest trading partner, contributing Dhs109bn, a 6 per cent year-on-year increase. India was the second biggest trading partner at Dhs100bn, up 16 per cent, followed by the US with Dhs57bn and Switzerland with Dhs47bn.

Saudi Arabia maintained its position as Dubai’s largest Arab trade partner. The country was its fifth-biggest partner globally with Dhs42bn worth of trade.

In terms of commodities, gold contributed Dhs129bn, up 17 per cent, followed by mobile phones which grew 7 percent to reach Dhs119bn. Trade in petroleum oils reached Dhs68bn while diamonds accounted for Dhs63bn.

The statement also said that the third quarter saw the highest trade activity worth Dhs343bn, a growth of 7 per cent year-on-year. The second quarter’s trade activity rose by 3 per cent to Dhs337bn while the activity in the first quarter touched Dhs339bn, up 7 per cent year-on-year.

“The strong performance of Dubai’s foreign trade reflects the robust fundamentals of our economy and prepares us to take advantage of the new opportunities that will come in 2020 – the year that will mark a new push for transformational growth over the next 50 years,” said Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of Dubai Executive Council.

“We are confident our external trade sector will continue its strong growth momentum. Government teams are going above and beyond to develop new initiatives that will fast-track our trade growth. These include the Dubai Silk Road project, which will enhance Dubai’s position as a leading trade and logistics hub.

“We are working on a virtual trade zone, the first of its kind in the world, which will considerably boost the development of e-commerce regionally and globally,” he added.

Dubai’s foreign trade out of free zones was a “big contributor” to the overall increase, accounting for Dhs439bn, a 11 per cent increase year-on-year, the statement said. Direct trade grew 2 per cent growth to reach Dhs574bn, while customs warehouse trade hit Dhs6bn.

Land trade grew by 11 per cent to Dhs169bn, sea trade increased by 5 per cent to Dhs381bn, and air trade rose by 4 per cent to Dhs469bn.

Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman and CEO and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said: “The strong growth delivered by non-oil foreign trade is a sign of how resilient the Dubai economy is. It also reflects Dubai’s success in developing its manufacturing facilities.

“Dubai trade is agile and it has strong access to new markets thanks to its reliability and transparency. This helps us with our upcoming projects that will be delivered in 2020 – the year of preparation for the next 50 years, based on an advanced infrastructure and the best AI applications which are expected to immensely change and disrupt the nature and structure of trade in the coming few decades.”

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