UAE: Non-Oil Trade Hits Over $270 Billion During First 9 Months of 2020

Published January 14th, 2021 - 01:30 GMT
UAE: Non-Oil Trade Hits Over $270 Billion During First 9 Months of 2020
Latest data reflects economic resilience despite the worldwide turbulence caused by the pandemic. (Shutterstock)

The value of the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade reached Dh1.033 trillion during the first nine months of 2020, reflecting the sustained momentum of the country’s trade activity despite the worldwide economic turbulence caused by the pandemic.

The nine-month trade value accounted for almost 64.44 per cent of the trade value for the whole of 2019, underscoring the resilience of the trade sector amid the crippling global slowdown and lockouts.

The value of trade in the first half of 2020, when the adverse impact of the pandemic was at its peak was Dh658.3 billion, a decline of 16.24 per cent compared to Dh786 billion recorded in the same 2019 period. In 2019, non-oil foreign trade accounted for a large percentage to the UAE’s non-oil GDP, and achieved 5.0 per cent growth.

According to the data released by the Federal Center for Competitiveness and Statistics (FCSA), the UAE commands a leading position globally and regionally in merchandise trade, ranking third in re-exports globally and first in the Arab world.

The Arab world’s second largest economy is also on the list of the 20 most important exporting countries globally, and also on the list of the 20 most important countries in global imports, according to the Ministry of Economy.

The FCSA data reflects the movement of non-oil commodities comprising direct trade, free zone trade and warehouse trade.

In September 2020, the export and re-export activities of the UAE outpaced the import sector with their value reaching Dh76.35 billion, reinforcing the nation’s pre-eminent position as a strategic trade gateway and regional re-export hub.

The value of imports during the first nine months of 2020 reached Dh572.888 billion, while the value of exports hit Dh191.322 billion and re-exports Dh269.104 billion.

China retained its top rank as the main trading partner of the UAE with the bilateral trade value reaching Dh124.45 billion, followed by Saudi Arabia at Dh90.8 billion, relegating India to the third place at Dh70 billion. The US was the fourth largest trade partner at Dh60 billion and Switzerland at Dh41 billion.

The UAE’s trade with the GCC countries during the first nine months was valued at Dh153 billion, while with other Arab countries it reached Dh101.5 billion. The value of trade with non-Arab Asian countries reached Dh390.77 billion, and non-Arab African countries hit Dh103.38 billion. Bilateral trade with European countries touched Dh187 billion and reached Dh88.5 billion with American countries.

In the first nine months, gold topped the list of commodities with a trade value of Dh182 billion, followed by telephone devices, including cellular phones and other wireless networks, valued at Dh105 billion. Trade of cars and other vehicles designed primarily for the transport of people was valued at Dh45.6 billion.

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