Re-export surge propels Dafza H1 foreign trade to Dh78b
Driven by a significant surge in re-exports, Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (Dafza) recorded an eight per cent growth in foreign trade to Dh78 billion during the first half, contributing 12 per cent to Dubai's total external trade value.
Dafza said the stellar performance in overall trade was driven by an 11 per cent growth in re-exports valued at around Dh45 billion, representing 21 per cent of Dubai's total re-exports.
For the second consecutive year, the free zone also achieved a large trade surplus of over Dh11 billion in the first half of 2019, a growth of 35 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dafza, said the first half results confirmed the status of the free zone as a major contributor to the UAE economy in general and Dubai in particular. "The results also highlight the free zone's strategic role in facilitating global trade through Dubai, which is a key gateway for various countries and continents around the world and is a meeting point for routes linking East, West, North and South," said Sheikh Ahmed.
The results also underscore free zone's efforts to boost foreign direct investment (FDI) to the Dubai and sustain its business growth. "This reaffirms the initiatives of Dubai's leadership and government in stimulating economic activity and adapting to the global economic challenges ranging from trade tensions to slowdown in global growth," he said.
Sheikh Ahmed said Dafza's growth over the past two decades is a confirmation of its role in achieving Dubai's objectives and strategic plans of economic diversification.
Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General of Dafza, said the airport free zone continues to play a key role in boosting the growth of Dubai's economy. He said growth of trade through the free zone is a direct reflection of the positive image and confidence placed by foreign companies and investors in Dafza.
India accounted for the highest share of Dafza's trade at 18 per cent valued at Dh14.1 billion, followed by Switzerland (16.4 per cent at Dh12.8 billion), China (15.7 per cent at Dh12.3 billion). Switzerland topped the list of countries in terms of re-exports from Dafza by 27 per cent, valued at Dh12 billion, a growth of 16 per cent compared to the same period last year.
India also ranked first in terms of its contribution to Dafza imports and accounted for 41 per cent, valued at Dh13.8 billion with a 16 per cent growth compared to last year.
Machinery and electrical equipment topped the list of good re-exported through Dafza, accounting for 58 per cent of the total re-export value of Dh25.7 billion. This was followed by pearls, semi-precious stones and metals representing 35 per cent of the total re-export value of Dh15.5 billion.
In 2019, several international companies opened their regional headquarters in the zone or expanded their facilities to serve customers across the region. These include Airbus, which expanded its business with the opening of its first Africa and Middle East Cabin Electronics Service Centre. TNA, a leading global supplier of integrated food processing and packaging solutions, opened its new regional headquarters in Dafza. Michelin, a world leader in tire design, manufacturing and distribution, also opened its regional headquarters to manage its operations in Africa, India and the Middle East.