UAE's non-oil trade hits Dh1.75t

Abu Dhabi - Country ranks 16th globally in commodity exports and 20th in imports



By Staff Report

Published: Wed 17 Feb 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 18 Feb 2016, 9:30 AM

 The UAE Ministry of Economy said on Wednesday that the value of the UAE's non-oil foreign trade reached Dh1.75 trillion in 2015, a growth of up to 10 per cent from 2014.
The figures in the first half of 2015 are positive indicators for the UAE's foreign trade including direct trade.
In its report, the Ministry of Economy pointed out that the figures show a rise in the country's competitiveness as a capital of regional trade, noting that the volume of the UAE's non-oil trade (inclusive of free zones trade) was valued at Dh1.632 trillion in 2014, while its direct trade totalled Dh1.072 trillion and the value of imports reached Dh696.4 billion.
World Trade Organisation, WTO, figures show that the UAE's exports amounted to Dh132.2 billion and re-exports totalled Dh243.7 billion.
The Ministry of Economy also noted that the rise in the volume of UAE trade zones in 2014 amounted to about Dh560 billion, confirming that the country managed to achieve the top rank in International Trade Statistics for 2015 released by the WTO.
According to the report, the UAE maintained its top ranking on the world trade map, coming 16th globally in commodity exports and 20th globally in commodity imports.
In the area of service trade, the UAE ranked 19th globally as service importer, and 42nd globally in service exports.
The Ministry of Economy says that the figures and data contained in the WTO International Trade Statistics 2015 are promising, and reflect the continued success of the UAE's economic policies year after year. This success has boosted the UAE's position on the global trade arena and it is expected that the UAE will achieve more growth and progress as well as more positive results on all levels that come as part of the Federal Government's implementation of the UAE Vision 2021 and its National Agenda.
The WTO report offers an overview of the development the UAE experienced in the international commodity and service trade.
The UAE made intensive efforts over the past years, represented by its opening up its economy to foreign trade and investment with the aim of increasing growth opportunities and achieving the well-being of its people and residents.
Dubai's win of the bid to host the World Expo 2020 and the groundbreaking development projects carried out by the UAE in several sectors, supported by many initiatives such as the national innovation strategy, have together given a boost to ongoing efforts aimed at raising the country's profile and competitiveness to better improve the performance of various sectors, including trade.
The UAE has maintained its position as the most important market for exports and imports of goods in the Mena.
The sector of Small and Medium-size Enterprises in the coming years will see a new phase of growth and development and will witness a significant turn during the coming phase with the start of the practical steps for the implementation of Federal Law No. 02 of 2014 on projects for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.
The National Programme for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Projects aims to draw up the general outlines pertaining to the provision of technical, administrative, and training expertise and support in various fields for ensuring the continued development of small and medium enterprises. The programme will co-ordinate with federal and local government entities, and the private sector, for the purpose of marketing SME products in the UAE and abroad.
In addition to playing a major role in the UAE's transformation towards a knowledge-based economy, SMEs are a key employment generator and mitigate adverse economic and social effects. Given its phenomenal potential, the UAE Vision 2021 has set up a national index that the contribution of the SME sector to the nation's non-oil GDP must reach 70 per cent by 2021.
Indicators issued by the Ministry of Economy, as well as reports from the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, show that non-oil sectors today contribute to more than two thirds of the UAE's GDP. These sectors have become the main stimulator of the overall economic growth. Growth of the overall economy is at 4.6 per cent while growth in the non-oil sectors registered 8.1 per cent in 2014.
GDP in 2014 reached Dh1.5 trillion at current prices, while at constant prices it reached Dh1.2 trillion in 2014.
Real GDP growth reached 4.6 per cent in 2014 and is expected to grow in 2015 by three to 3.5 per cent.
Non-oil sectors recorded strong growth in GDP at current prices and reached 8.1 per cent in 2014, and the contribution of non-oil sectors in the national economy reached 68.6 per cent of GDP at constant prices in 2014. This contribution is expected to reach 80 per cent in 2021 through intensive investment in the industrial and tourism sectors, air and shipping, import and re-export as well as through supporting activities based on the knowledge economy.
Capital invested in 6401 industries reached Dh127.3 billion, with a total of 433,939 employees.
The industrial sector's contribution to GDP is approximately 14 per cent, a continued increase.
The sector is expected to double the volume of investment over the next five years with the continuation of infrastructure projects, both at the federal level or within each emirate, as the country is preparing to work on a number of projects in the development of integrated industrial zones and the launching of huge projects for roads, creating a world-class transport network which will connect the most important residential and industrial centres in the country.
The UAE, over the last five years, has made intensified efforts to open up the economy to trade and foreign investment in order to increase growth opportunities.
The GCC is negotiating on free trade agreements with both the European Union and the Mercosur countries Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, and individual agreements with Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, Pakistan, India and Turkey.
- haseeb@khaleejtimes.com


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