UAE non-oil trade expands to a record Dhs3.5tn in 2023
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UAE non-oil trade expands to record Dhs3.5tn in 2023

UAE non-oil trade expands to record Dhs3.5tn in 2023

The country has initiated a raft of bilateral trade, investment and cooperation deals with several fast-growing economies

UAE’s non-oil trade hits record Dhs3.5tn in 2023

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai said the country’s non-oil foreign trade reached a record $952.93bn (Dhs3.5tn) despite macro-economic headwinds and a slowing global economy.

The UAE’s non-oil commodity exports jumped 16.7 per cent last year to reach Dhs441bn. The country’s exports in 2023 more than double the exports in 2018 and are close to achieving double the exports of 2019 at 84 per cent.

The country’s non-oil trade in goods reached a record Dhs710bn, a 16.3 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth and 12.4 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ). Non-oil exports of goods reached Dhs132.2bn in 2023, a 39.3 per cent YoY and 26.9 per cent QoQ increase.

“The UAE has established new bridges of cooperation through comprehensive partnership agreements. Thus, our foreign trade with the top ten trading partners jumped by 26 per cent, with Turkey by more than 103 per cent, with Hong Kong-China by 47 per cent, and with the US by 20 per cent,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

The Gulf state’s re-exports grew by 6.9 per cent in 2023 to reach a record Dhs690bn compared to 2022 and 27.7 per cent compared to 2021. Imports also increased to reach Dhs1.4tn, up 14.2 per cent compared to 2022 while the top 10 imported commodities achieved a growth of 20.9 per cent last year compared to a year earlier.

The most important imported commodities are gold, telephones, petroleum oils, cars and diamonds.

UAE’s top 10 trading partners

Meanwhile, the UAE has initiated a raft of bilateral trade, investment and cooperation deals with several fast-growing economies, including Türkiye, Indonesia, India and Cambodia to bolster efforts aimed at diversifying income sources and economic sectors.

Trade with Türkiye, which contributed 5.1 per cent to the UAE’s non-oil trade, grew by 103.7 per cent following the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries last September.

CEPAs are designed to enhance economic competitiveness and attract $150BN of direct foreign investments over the next nine years across sectors including digital economy, entrepreneurship, advanced skills, space, and advanced technology.

The programme enjoyed exponential growth in 2023, with three deals implemented, two more signed and awaiting implementation, and four agreed – taking the total number of CEPA partners since the launch of the programme to 10 across four continents.

China remains the UAE’s leading trading partner, followed by India, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Türkiye.

Read: India, UAE sign pact on trans-continental trade corridor

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