Dubai’s external foodstuff trade reaches Dhs52 billion in 2020 - GulfToday

Dubai’s external foodstuff trade reaches Dhs52 billion in 2020

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The UAE showed an outstanding performance in securing food during the COVID-19 pandemic with Dubai external foodstuff trade reaching Dhs52 billion in 2020, according to Dubai Customs.

“Food security is gaining more importance under the current circumstances, and the challenges posed by the pandemic which swept across the world,” said Nassim Al Mehairi, Manager of Statistics Section at Dubai Customs. “The UAE showed an outstanding performance in securing food during the pandemic following the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. In 2020, Dubai external foodstuff trade totalled Dhs52 billion (imports Dhs34.7 billion, exports Dhs10 billion, and re-exports Dhs7.3 billion). In terms of volume, this trade weighed 17 million tonnes (imports 12.5m tonnes, exports 3.1m tonnes, and re-exports 1.3m tonnes,” he added.

The Holy Month of Ramadan witnesses an increase in consumption of different foodstuffs. For this, Dubai Customs works hard to ensure a streamlined food trade during the Holy Month, and that everyone has access to high quality foodstuff. Following the quick recovery from the repercussions of COVID-19, Dubai works efficiently on the post-COVID 19 era through the implementation of the national strategic plans, which include food security as one of the priorities.

Different customs centers at Dubai Customs accelerate clearance of foodstuff shipments to ensure they are delivered to the market without any delay. Zadi (or my food) platform reflects the close cooperation between Dubai Customs, DP World and Dubai Municipality to facilitate food trade. Zadi is a unified food import platform aimed at facilitating the import and re-export of food shipments throughout Dubai ports. The first-of-its-kind platform in the Middle East aligns with the UAE plan for the post-COVID-19 era that will ensure the country’s robust recovery and development. Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade strongly rebounded from the challenges posed by the global economic repercussions of COVID-19 and the suspension of business activity by countries across the world in the first half of last year to record high growth in 2020.

Boosted by its resilience to global headwinds, as well as its rapid economic recovery and revitalised growth in the second half of the year, Dubai’s foreign trade in 2020 touched Dhs1.182 trillion. Total trade volume in 2020 reached 100 million tonnes, driven by a 6% year-on-year volume growth in the second half of the year. Overall value of exports in 2020 grew 8% to Dhs167 billion while imports accounted for Dhs686 billion and re-exports totalled Dhs329 billion.

Sultan Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said, “Dubai’s external trade sector impressively overcame the impact of a global trade downturn in 2020. With the gradual opening of borders, Dubai’s trade volumes started recovering and growing quickly in the second half of 2020. In the third quarter, Dubai’s trade surged 34% compared to Q2, and in Q4, trade grew by 7% to Dhs326 billion compared to Q3. Trade volumes in the second half of 2020 expanded by 6% compared to the corresponding period in 2019. Overall, 100 million tonnes of goods were traded in 2020, which reflects the rapid recovery of this sector. This rebound is now spurring greater growth in 2021. The resumption of trade with Qatar, the start of trade engagement with Israel, the positive spin-offs from hosting EXPO 2020 and the launch of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan will all contribute to accelerating the emirate’s growth momentum.”

Bin Sulayem added, “To develop the external trade sector and play a greater role in maintaining Dubai’s leading position in global trade, the Dubai Chamber has been restructured by creating three new chambers of commerce. The new chambers will enhance support for the trade sector by creating new solutions for the needs of investors and companies as part of a strategy to grow the emirate’s global trade in line with the vision of Dubai’s leadership for the next 50 years.”

The DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said all government departments and organisations will work in tandem to achieve the goal of boosting Dubai’s external trade and helping the emirate continue its pivotal role in facilitating global trade and tourism. “Dubai Customs has launched its five-year strategy for the period 2021-2026, which outlines nine goals and four main objectives in developing customs operations. Dubai Customs received the Agile organisation Certification from the American Business Agility Institute (BAI), thereby becoming the first agile government organisation in the world. As part of enhancing cooperation with export funding entities, Dubai Customs signed an MoU with Etihad Export Credit Insurance Company (ECI) to facilitate greater export performance in the emirate. Meanwhile, the Department is set to host the 5th WCO Global AEO Conference in cooperation with the Federal Customs Authority and the World Customs Organisation in May in Dubai.”

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