Emirates’ non-oil foreign trade reaches Dhs1.628 trillion in 2018 - GulfToday

Emirates’ non-oil foreign trade reaches Dhs1.628 trillion in 2018


Gold and aluminium trade in 2018 has consolidated the UAE industry’s position in global markets.

The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade, including direct and free zone trade, and customs warehouses, reached a total of Dhs1.628 trillion in 2018, announced the Federal Customs Authority, FCA, on Tuesday.

In a statement, the Authority noted that direct non-oil foreign trade accounted for 63 per cent (Dhs1.025 trillion) of the total value, while free zone trade and customs warehouses amounted to 36 per cent (Dhs592.4 billion) and one per cent (Dhs11 billion) respectively.

Commenting on the results, Ali Saeed Matar Al Neyadi, Customs Commissioner and Chairman of the Authority, said that the UAE non-oil foreign trade witnessed positive and significant developments in the said year, most important of which is the continuation of growth and stability in UAE Foreign Trade with the rest of the world which enhanced the UAE position as strategic, commercial gate for the states in the region.

He noted that the value of imports suffered a ‘remarkable regress’ during the year at the rate of 4.2 per cent to reach Dhs938 billion compared to Dhs979 billion in the previous year. At the same time, the growth continued in the export business at the rate of 1.8 per cent during the year in which the re-export value reached Dhs478.4 billion compared to Dhs470.1 billion last year.

UAE non-oil foreign trade with Arab states has seen significant developments, with an average increase of 21 per cent compared to 19 per cent from the previous year. Trade exchange with Arab countries increased to Dhs341.2 billion, and the value of imports an exports amounted to Dhs77.3 billion and Dhs93.8 billion respectively. The FCA noted that re-exports totalled Dhs170.1 billion between the UAE and Arab states, adding that this represents a significant surplus in trade balances.

Gold and aluminium trade in 2018 has consolidated the UAE industry’s position in global markets, said Al Neyadi, adding that the value of the UAE’s export of raw and half-finished gold increased to Dhs53.4 billion during the year, while raw aluminium reached Dhs18.6 billion.

GCC states’ trade with the UAE represented a 14 per cent (Dhs220.9 billion) share of total UAE non-oil foreign trade, split across imports (Dhs56.5 billion), exports (Dhs65.8 billion) and re-exports (Dhs98.6 billion).

UAE trade with Saudi Arabia reached Dhs107.4 billion in 2018, enabling the Kingdom to acquire almost half of UAE trade with GCC countries, followed by Oman (Dhs46 billion), Kuwait (Dhs39.2 billion), and Bahrain (Dhs28.3 billion).

The FCA Chairman also revealed that UAE non-oil foreign trade with international economic regions remained stable in 2018. Data by the Authority revealed that Asia and the Pacific Ocean region came on top of the FCA’s trade partners’ list, acquiring 39.3 per cent (Dhs603.2 billion) of the total, while Europe listed 22.4 per cent (Dhs344.4 billion). The UAE’s non-oil imports during 2018 amounted to Dhs938 billion, the FCA noted, adding that the import of raw and half-finished gold took the lead in imported commodities totalling Dhs111 billion during the year.

Meanwhile, the combined profits of companies listed in Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and Dubai Financial Market amounted to Dhs19.45 bn in Q1-2019, which is almost the same amount booked in previous quarter, according to official figures released by the two bourses.

The DFM-listed firms’ total profits stood at Dhs9.75 bn in Q1 against Dhs9.73 bn in the comparable period 2018, with ADX-listed companies posting Dhs9.7 bn against Dhs9.75 bn in the same period last year.

The banking sector accounted for the largest share of net profits at Dhs11.13 bn during the first three months of the year. Bank of Sharjah and Invest Bank have not disclosed their financial statements yet.

DFM-listed banks’ profit surged 17 per cent to Dhs5.51 bn in Q1 against Dhs4.69 bn in the corresponding period year before, with lenders accounting for 57 per cent of the market’s profits during the period.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance, said that the UAE appreciates the role the private sector plays in the country’s development process.

Everyone has contributed to building the country, which has become a leading global model, he continued, adding that the UAE appreciates the support of its expat community has provided towards attaining its goals and visions.

The Minister’s remarks came during a workshop titled, “Towards Tolerant Institutions: Practices and Policies,” organised by the Ministry of Tolerance in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and attended by representatives of Emirati institutions and several experts and investors.

“Since the establishment of the UAE by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the country has welcomed talented and steadfast people, who have lived and worked with everyone and have many achievements to their credit, supported by the ‘country’s leadership,” he noted.

Sheikh Nahyan added that the Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, promoted the values of tolerance, coexistence and acceptance, stressing that the workshop aimed to ingrain the culture of tolerance among private sector institutions and the ministry is keen to hold other workshops and events that promote tolerance.


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