The study further analysed that proximity and ease of movement of goods within the region had made the GCC countries the busiest export and re-export destinations for Dubai Chamber members. During the six-month period, 109,315 certificates of origin (COs) had been issued to export shipments destined to Saudi Arabia, equivalent to 30% of all COs issued during the half yearly period.
Still, COs covering export shipments of members to Qatar reached a total of 60,810 or 16% of the total number; to Kuwait, 35,146 COs or 9%; to Oman, 22,910 COs or 6%; to Bahrain, 17,629 COs or 5%; and to the UAE, 17,000 COs or 5% of the total certificates of origin issued during the six-month period.
Meanwhile, in terms of number of members exporting to a particular country, Qatar was ahead of Saudi Arabia. During the six-month period, 3,540 members exported to Qatar, or 38% of the 9,194 exporters during the period. The number of exporters to Saudi Arabia was 130 less at 3,410 or 37%.
The other GCC member countries made up the top six busiest destinations, with exporters to Kuwait numbering 2,344 or 25%; to Bahrain, 1,439 exporters or 16%; to Oman, 1,375 exporters or 15%; and to the UAE, 1,119 exporters or 12%. Non-GCC member countries with high number of exporters were Iraq, with 997 members exporting to the country; Jordan, with 992 exporters; and Egypt, with 963 exporters.
H.E. Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber, informed that the study indicates the pivotal role played by the trading sector led by the exports and re-exports of Dubai Chamber members which have shown an impressive growth in the first half of the year by making a record in the Chamber's history of operations. This excellent performance is the result of the traders' determination to explore new and emerging destinations to market their goods and expand their global outreach, he said.
Iraq is fastest growing marketComparative figures on export values to the various destinations for the first six months of the last two years singled out the rapid expansion of Iraq, with exports and re-exports to the country increasing from only Dhs4.1bn from January to June of 2011 to a high of Dhs19.4bn for the same period in 2012. The difference in value of Dhs15.3bn was equivalent to a year-on-year growth of 376%.
Exports and re-exports to Saudi Arabia grew by Dhs6.6bn, making the country the 2nd largest gainers. However, in terms of growth, the rate was comparatively much lower at 22%. The 3rd largest gainer was Qatar, growing by Dhs2.4bn or 31%. Other GCC member countries that gained significantly were Kuwait and Oman, exports to each country increasing by Dhs1.2bn.
The reconstruction of Libya led to a surge in demand in the country. Exports and re-exports of Dubai Chamber members to Libya grew by Dhs1.7bn or by 260% on an annual basis. The short-lived political turmoil in Egypt in the early part of 2011 led to lower exports to the country during the period. Thus, the export value of Dhs2.7bn in the 1st half of 2012 translated to an increase of 40% to a value of Dhs769m.
Other destinations that grew significantly were Jordan, by Dhs759m or 43%; Turkey, by Dhs663m or 131%; and Pakistan, by Dhs661m or 53%.
Six-month exports of members post a 13% growthValue of exports/re-exports of 9,194 members during the 1st half of 2012, based on declared value of shipments in certificates of origin issued during the period, reached a record high of Dhs136.2bn, registering a year-on-year growth of 13%. As shown in Figure 1, the value is the highest recorded for the first six months of the year, surpassing by 30% the highest pre-crisis export level of Dhs104.4bn recorded for the same period in 2008.
Nonetheless, the rate of growth following the dip in 2009 had been relatively modest compared to the pre-crisis period when the highest growth of 38% was reached in 2008.
By month, highest export value was recorded in May, at Dhs28bn, while lowest value was in the month of February, with Dhs19.7bn. June's Dhs22.7bn was 3rd highest, following the Dhs23bn export value noted for March.
In terms of level of activity, as indicated by the frequency of exports, or number of certificates of origin issued during the first six months of the year, the number registered in 2012 was highest at 372,955 COs while the highest monthly record was registered in May at 69,460 COs. This was followed by the 63,181 certificates issued in June.
Trading across border must remain easyThe recovery of exports of Dubai Chamber members from the impact of the global crisis in 2009 had been the product of the members' ability to adjust to shifts in market demands and changes in the global conditions, and of the government's friendly policies and regulations for trading across borders. With growth prospects for the global economy remaining low, demands are expected to be sluggish.
Thus, in its conclusion, the study suggests that the government and the financial sector must continue to implement policies and procedures that are supportive of the export sector.