UAE set for big global trade push

Dubai - Sheikh Mohammed takes to Twitter to highlight the country's trade achievements as well as its vision, going forward.

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By Issac John

Published: Sun 27 Jun 2021, 8:03 PM

The UAE on Sunday unveiled plans to broaden its foreign trade by entering 25 new international markets as part of a drive to boost exports by 50 per cent in the next few years.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took to Twitter to highlight the country's trade achievements as well as its vision, going forward.

"Today, I chaired a Cabinet meeting at Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi. We adopted the nation’s agenda to enter 25 new international markets to further expand our foreign trade,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Currently, the UAE's annual non-oil trade exceeds Dh1.5 trillion, and its logistics network is spread across 400 global cities. The Arab world’s second-largest economy is also among the top 20 in foreign trade competitiveness indicators, the Vice-President said.

With the UAE's non-oil economy accounting for "more than 70 per cent" of the country’s gross domestic output (GDP), Sheikh Mohammed said the goal is to increase national exports by 50 per cent in the coming years.

The UAE’s GDP in 2020 was Dh1.42 trillion at constant prices, with non-oil GDP making up just over Dh1.0 trillion of this. This year, while the overall economy is set to grow by 2.5 per cent, the non-oil economy will surge by 3.6 per cent, according to estimates from the Central Bank of the UAE. The country’s GDP is forecast to expand 3.5 per cent in 2022 and non-oil growth will rise to 3.9 per cent.

"On a federal and local level, we work as one team to take our national economy to new heights. God willing, the UAE will continue to remain a global non-oil economic capital during the coming decades," Sheikh Mohammed said.

"We also adopted a national scale for research and development funds. The UAE spends 1.3 per cent of its GDP on research and development. It is the first Arab country in this field. Our goal is to compete globally in the future. It is the research and development that drive the economy of the knowledge we seek to consolidate," the Vice President said.

The Cabinet has adopted a set of legislative amendments in the field of emergency and disaster response, and in the health, educational and economic sectors. "The goal is a quality of life that is the best in the world based on the most diversified and established economy," he noted.

The Central Bank projects that the UAE economy would gradually recover during 2021 and 2022 from the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic. As per the apex bank’s findings, the Targeted Economic Support Scheme has been effective in mitigating the risks posed by the pandemic by ensuring a continued flow of credit and helping affected individuals and companies.

Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq has said the UAE seeks to double the size of its economy over the coming decade. The Ministry of Economy and other government entities are "working according to an ambitious vision to double our national economy over the next 10 years to reach Dh3 trillion by 2031", he said.

The country is pressing forward to speed up its economic recovery by embracing technology linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, he has said.

Preliminary results from the UAE's Federal Statistics and Competitiveness Centre showed the country's economy shrank 6.1 per cent last year and non-oil GDP contracted 6.2 per cent, which the ministry described as a "comparatively low decline" given the slump in other major global economies.

The UAE non-oil trade volume could grow by up to 12.9% year-over-year in 2021, supported by an expected uptick in maritime transport activity and other positive global economic trends, according to new analysis from Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In non-oil foreign trade, Dubai and Abu Dhabi recorded impressive performances in 2020 regardless of the global pandemic headwinds. While Dubai’s foreign trade in 2020 touched Dh1.182 trillion, the value of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil foreign trade hit Dh201.2 billion in 2020.


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