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 UAE’s Non-Oil Trade Crosses $500 billion in 2021

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UAE’s Non-Oil Trade Crosses $500 billion in 2021

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The total value of the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade in 2021 amounted to nearly $520 billion, reflecting a 27% growth compared with 2020, and by 11% compared with 2019, as the growth was consistent across all areas of trade, including exports, imports and re-exports.

According UAE’S Emirates News Agency, the individual non-oil foreign trade figures of all emirates of the country also witnessed growth in varying levels, evidencing the comprehensive growth achieved by the UAE’s global trade.

The value of national non-oil exports amounted to about $96.38 billion, setting a new record, exceeding $81.67 billion for the first time in its history, a growth of 33.3% as compared with the previous year and 47.3% as compared with 2019.

Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, affirmed that the country’s non-oil foreign trade performance once again proves that the UAE is among the most vibrant trade and business hubs regionally, and the leading trade routes globally.

He said that the comprehensive growth in the country’s trade is a result of the forward-looking vision of the UAE’s wise leadership and proactive government policies to enhance the country’s commercial attractiveness and diversify and expand its trade partnerships with global markets.

Passed COVID-19 Fallout

“The UAE’s foreign trade has by far passed the stage of recovery from the COVID-19 fallout on a global scale and has entered an advanced stage of growth and prosperity, as it saw over 11% growth compared with the pre-pandemic stage. The all-encompassing positive results seen across imports, exports and re-export activities in all the Emirates indicate a systematic and integrated growth powered by flexible and highly efficient trade policies and foundations for sustainable development,” the Minister added.

Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said the non-oil foreign trade data recorded in 2021 is a new milestone for this vital sector, which is a major driver of the growth of the national economy and one of the key pillars that support the UAE’s position in the trade and economic landscapes, both regionally and globally.

The past two years have witnessed good growth rates in trade activities, which are taking a more positive trend today, reflecting the increasing growth in the country’s foreign trade movement in general and the promotion of national non-oil exports in particular, which is still continuing its growing at high rates compared with 2019 and 2020, he pointed out.

Trade figures for 2021 showed that the total value of re-exports amounted to $141.92 billion, achieving a growth of 27.7% compared with 2020 and 1.6% compared with 2019. Meanwhile, the total value of the country’s imports during 2021 amounted to about $270 billion, a growth of 23.8% as compared with 2020, and about 7% compared with 2019.

China First

China ranked first as the country’s largest trading partner in 2021, accounting for 11.7% of the UAE’s total foreign trade with the world, and the value of non-oil trade exchange between the two countries amounted to $57.72 billion, a growth of 27% from 2020 and 19.8% from 2019.

India ranked second, accounting for 8.7% of the country’s total non-oil trade, with a value of $44.76 billion, followed by Saudi Arabia in third with a contribution of 6.6% and a value of $34.03 billion during 2021.The US came in fourth and Iraq ranked fifth.

About the country’s export destinations, India emerged as the top destination, accounting for 13.8% of the country’s total exports, and receiving $13.61billion of UAE exports, a growth of 150% from 2020 and about 100% from 2019. Saudi Arabia is second largest recipient of UAE exports, with a contribution of 10.7%. It received $10.35 billion of the country’s exports.


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