The UAE trading sector has expanded impressively over the past decade, with merchandise import volumes growing at an average rate of around 11 percent per annum, between 1990 and 1999, reported the Emirates’ official WAM news agency.
Citing a new study by the journal of the Emirates Industrial Bank (EIB), the agency noted that “very few countries have recorded a double-digit import growth rate for an entire decade". According to the study, the UAE is currently the largest importer of merchandise goods in the Gulf region, slightly outranking even Saudi Arabia.
However, when relating to export growth, the Emirates’ performance is less impressive, standing at four percent per annum. The EIB study associated this modest rate with international oil prices, rather than the country’s export capacity.
The report noted that more than one-third of the UAE's imports were re-exported, a factor which the report considered significant to the process of diversifying the Emirati economy― that is, reducing the economic dependence on oil.
The UAE, with a population of a less than three million, now ranks as the world’s 33rd largest exporter and 36th largest importer, though admittedly exports are overwhelmingly crude oil. ― (MENA Report)
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