The UAE exported $285 billion in merchandise trade in 2011, making it the world’s 20th biggest exporter, according to the most recent classification done by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Secretariat.The UAE , which surpassed countries like Australia, Brazil, Switzerland and Sweden, constituted 1.6 per cent of the world’s exports which stood at $18,215 billion of merchandise trade in 2011.These figures were released on the sidelines of the announcement of the 27th International Autumn Trade Fair (IATF2012), the region’s pioneer consumer goods show, which will be held from December 11 to 13 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.Satish Khanna, general manager of Al Fajer Information & Services, organizer of the show, said: “The same report says that the UAE is the world’s 25th importer in merchandise trade, having imported merchandise worth $205 billion in 2011, 1.1 per cent of the world’s imports of $18,380 billion.“The US tops the list of importers  with $2,265 billion of imports in 2011. The UAE was ahead of countries like Austria, Malaysia and Sweden in import value, which speaks volumes on the leading position of the country in the global trade in both imports and exports .”Khanna added: “Considering the remarkable role played by the UAE in the global trade, we anticipate great success for IATF 2012, which is regarded the leading regional buyer-seller meeting ground for the consumer goods segment in the Arab region.“The show will feature 400 exhibitors from 20 countries. Ranked as one of the more popular general trade fairs in the region, IATF 2012 will occupy 8000 sq m of space.”Over the last 26 years, IATF has been recognised as a robust regional business platform for the global consumer goods industry keen to expand footprints in the Mena region.The exhibition’s significance is being held at a time when global consumer goods manufacturers are shifting their focus to developing economies. Dubai  is ideally poised to gain as a trading hub for consumer goods being surrounded by fast growing markets of the Sub Continent and Africa.Khanna added: “Ever since its debut, IATF has grown as a significant exhibition brand in our portfolio serving the niche sector of consumer goods. Over the last couple of years, the show has become more attractive to global consumer goods companies with the rise in spending power of the region, particularly the GCC.“This year also, most of the regular exhibitors of the show are coming back with new products, and this underscores the strategic effectiveness of the fair as a regional platform to showcase and launch consumer goods and penetrate the market.”Hong Kong will be part of IATF12 for the ninth consecutive year with 35 exhibitors. The large scale participation of Hong Kong comes against the backdrop of the increasing trade between the East Asian country and the UAE and the region in general. The UAE is the single largest trade partner of Hong Kong in the Middle East region.The HK pavilion is being organised under the banner of Hong Kong Trade Development Council and will display a variety of consumer products, including gifts and premium, electronics, houseware and household products, in addition to fashion and fashion accessories.“The national pavilions will include 225 exhibitors from China, 35 from Hong Kong, 15 from Korea, 30 from India, 20 from Taiwan and 10 from Pakistan. Other countries participating at IATF2012 at individual levels include UAE, Netherlands, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran,” Khanna said.“IATF12 will unveil an exciting mix of products comprising cosmetics, foodstuffs, electronics, household appliances, plastic household products, toys, stationery, electrical items, handicrafts, carpets, garments, textiles, house ware, kitchen ware, sanitary ware, novelties, machinery, machine tools, hardware accessories and dairy products,” he added.Zhejiang Foreign Trade & Economic Co-operation Bureau will also be repeating their presence at the 27th edition of the show. Geared up to meet the contemporary living with style & innovation, they will bring in a wide range of goods manufactured in Zhejiang Province of China with participation from over 70 well established enterprises.In line with the past trends, participation from China continues to be enormous, with the pavilions being organised by several official bodies like China Foreign Trade organisation, Sinobal China, Shenzhen Wanbo, Massbetter Group, CCFNA and others. These participants have been represented at the IATF since its inception.Korea is also set to make their presence felt with over 15 companies from various provinces of Korea. Owing to its high expectation and value as a means for business, KITA and Busan Economic Promotion Agency are giving extensive support to Korean exhibitors in the show. Bringing new realms of business to explore, Korea promises to offer a broad range of products with active participation.Taiwan, who is participating for the first time at an official level after a gap of over 20 years, will feature 20 exhibitors, sponsored by TAITRA which is an official body responsible for the promotion of export and international trade.