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UAE’s non-oil trade exceeds $400 billion in 2016

As a positive outcome of the UAE’s resilient economic growth policy, the country’s non-oil foreign trade in 2016 hit AED1.564 trillion, a 1 per cent growth over 2015, according to UAE Federal Customs Authority, FCA.

Despite besetting economic pressures, the volume of UAE’s non-oil foreign trade, including direct trade and free zones’, increased to AED1.564 trillion in 2016 from AED1.556 trillion in 2015, FCA said in its preliminary statistical data released recently.

Emirates News Agency WAM quoted Commissioner Ali Al Kaabi, Head of FCA, who said the statistics reflect the state of economic recovery and the growing competitiveness boasted by UAE products on different world markets in line with the directive of the UAE wise leadership to diversify the economy.

The FCA report indicated that the country’s imports grew slightly, by around two per cent during 2016, standing at AED969 billion, compared with AED952.3 billion in the previous year. Exports grew by 5 per cent to AED195 billion, compared with AED185.4 billion in the previous year, while the re-export volume reached AED400.4 billion in the same year.

Australia top trading partner

Asia, Australia and the Pacific countries topped the list of the most prominent trading partners of the UAE in the field of non-oil foreign trade, which reached a total of AED624.7 billion, equal to 42 per cent of the total trade in the country.

Europe came second, with AED339.6 billion, accounting for 23 per cent of total trade, followed by the Middle East and North Africa at a total of AED275.5 billion, accounting for 19 per cent, and the United States and the Caribbean at a total of AED147 billion, accounting for 10 per cent of UAE’s foreign trade.

The Eastern and Southern Africa regions ranked fifth, with a total of AED47.4 billion , 3.2 per cent, while West and Central Africa’s AED45.5 billion worth of trade marked 3.1 per cent of total non-oil trade in 2016.

GCC trade increases

Al Kaabi said that foreign trade with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries rose 11 per cent in the past year, compared with the previous year.

The Saudi Arabia comes on top of UAE’s GCC trade partners with a total trade worth AED 71.6 billion, accounting for 43 per cent of UAE’s foreign trade followed by Oman at AED 31.9 billion, 19 per cent, Kuwait at AED 25.8 billion, 15 per cent, Qatar at AED 21.3 billion, 13 per cent, and finally Bahrain at AED 16 billion 10 per cent.

Arab countries account for 18 per cent of the UAE’s total non-oil foreign trade, said Al Kaabi, noting that the Arab countries represent main destination for UAE exports and re-export commodities.

Editor’s note: AED1 = USD0.27 on the day this article was published.