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Dubai’s foreign trade in foodstuffs recorded a significant increase in 2013, as a result of the emirate’s escalating demographic and economic growth and mounting recovery across most sectors, backed by continued government spending on infrastructure projects to drive Dubai’s ongoing urbanization.
Latest statistics issued by Dubai Customs in parallel with Gulfood show indicate that Dubai's foreign trade in the food sector amounted to Dh46 billion during January to September 2013, compared with Dh43 billion for the same period in 2012; that is a growth of 7 percent. This upswing was due to imports rising from Dh31 billion to Dh32 billion, exports from Dh6 billion to Dh7 billion, and similarly re-exports from Dh6 billion to Dh7 billion.
Dubai Customs contributed to the growth of food trade providing quality customs facilities for this sector, and ensuring speedy customs clearance of all its shipments, in order to cater to the food needs of the community without unnecessary delays. DC aims to strengthen Dubai’s world position in foodstuffs trading industry by enhancing its leading role in the re-export of these commodities into the global markets.
India tops the list of Dubai's trading partners in food imports for the period from January to September 2013, with a share of 12 percent of total imports, which is equivalent to about Dh4 billion. Brazil occupies the second position with a share of 10 percent, equivalent to Dh3.2 billion. The United States is third with a share value of 9 percent, equivalent to around Dh3 billion.
In terms of exports, Saudi Arabia leads the way as the first trading partner of Dubai with a share of 14 percent, equivalent to about Dh1 billion, followed by Iraq and Oman with a share of 11 percent each, equivalent to about Dh800 million.
In foodstuff re-exports, Iran is the major partner for Dubai with a share of 25 percent, equivalent to Dh1.7 billion, followed by Oman with a share of 12 percent, equivalent to Dh794 million, and Saudi Arabia with a share of 7 percent, equivalent to approximately Dh456 million.
Dubai has become an essential trade corridor for foodstuffs in the region, owing to its advanced infrastructure and efficient customs services that insure easy access of dietary supplies to the surrounding markets in record time. Dubai Customs’ Risk Engine, in particular, has helped expedite the procedures at Customs checkpoints, allowing the clearance of 88 percent of shipments in just two minutes.
Sugar, tea, rice, milk, cocoa products, and nuts are among the major foodstuffs that are traded through Dubai.