The value of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil foreign trade hit Dh201.2 billion in 2020, despite the headwinds posed by the pandemic and the consequent restrictions in cargo movements globally.
Imports, accounting for a major share of the total trade, were valued at Dh92.5 billion, exports at Dh73.46 billion, and re-exports at Dh35.26 billion, according to data released by the General Administration of Abu Dhabi Customs shows.
Rashed Lahej Al Mansouri, director-general of the General Administration of Abu Dhabi Customs, said his department recorded more than 1.093 million digital customs transactions in 2020.
“This achievement came in line with the automation of all customs services and the digital completion of customs clearance processes and transactions,” said Al Mansouri.
Abu Dhabi’s foreign trade sector also maintained the diversity of its global and regional markets in 2020. Saudi Arabia retained its rank as the emirate’s top trading partner with the total trade valued at more than Dh44.43 billion, including imports worth Dh11.47 billion, and re-exports and exports valued at DhD32.97 billion, “reflecting the solid strategic partnership between the Kingdom and Abu Dhabi.”
In 2019, Abu Dhabi’s non-oil foreign trade was valued at Dh213.3 billion. According to World Trade Organisation, in 2019 the UAE exported $315.9 billion (Dh1.153 trillion) worth of goods and $72.5 billion (Dh264.62 billion) of services, imported $267.9 billion (Dh9778.84 billion) worth of goods and $72.7 billion (Dh265.355 billion) worth of services.
Dubai, which is the main trade hub, recorded Dh1.182 trillion in non-oil foreign trade in 2020 with the value of exports growing 8.0 per cent to Dh167 billion, while imports accounted for Dh686 billion and re-exports Dh329 billion.
In 2020, Abu Dhabi Customs in cooperation with its partners recorded 515 cases of narcotics seizures across all its customs ports, compared to 1,790 in 2019. The seizures included narcotics and other prohibited and restricted substances.
The seized narcotic items weighed around 24,329.4 grams, while narcotic pills weighed 21602.5 grams, compared to 78,307.35 grams of narcotic substances and 66,986.50 grams of narcotic pills in 2019.
Al Mansouri said Abu Dhabi Customs relies on the latest international practices and procedures to thwart attempts to smuggle narcotics. The automation of services have helped to reduce the time for operational procedures and ensured financial savings for customers by sparing them of the need to visit the Customer Happiness Centres.
The electronic integration of the customs with registered agencies and many approval departments, helps to avoid the requirement for customers to refer to those authorities to obtain approvals in addition to digitally expediting customs transactions.
Al Mansouri said in order to strengthen local and global partnerships, the authority had worked with the team of the Federal Customs Authority to prepare the first unified customs plan at the federal level, and collaborate with the World Trade Organisation and the World Customs Organisation to develop capabilities through applying the best global practices. The authority also supports the approved economic operator project, which enables in linking Abu Dhabi Customs with customs authorities globally.
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