77% of UAE firms forecast rise in trade volumes in next year

New HSBC survey says the UAE's push for diversification is bearing fruit for local companies
77% of UAE firms forecast rise in trade volumes in next year
By Staff writer
Thu 22 Mar 2018 01:58 PM

More than three-quarters (77 percent) of UAE-based businesses project an increase in trade volumes in the next twelve months, according to a new report.

The HSBC report also showed that 62 percent expect to see a jump in service trade volumes.

As the country and region undergo major economic transformation that focuses on diversification, businesses opportunities are increasingly plentiful, it said.

According to the report, service exports – of which transport and tourism will account for the lion's share - will grow at an average of 6 percent per year.

Sunil Veetil, regional head of Global Trade and Receivables Finance for HSBC MENAT said: “Although oil prices have impacted the GCC’s economies over the last year, the UAE’s push for diversification is bearing fruit.

"As we get closer to Expo 2020, we will see an increasing number of contracts being awarded in preparation, which in turn, increases opportunities for businesses.

“Speaking to our corporate customers in the UAE, it is clear that intra-regional trade routes will be of growing importance over the next twelve months – particularly Saudi Arabia, Kuwait. The pivot to Asia however remains strong for the long term, with countries such as India, China and Japan being key import and export destinations – reflecting strong bilateral ties. By 2030, 46 percent of the UAE’s total goods imports for example, will come from Asia.”

In an era of diversification, the UAE is emerging as a standout digital economy, the report said, adding that over a third (34 percent) of the UAE’s services businesses - higher than the global average of 30 percent - believe greater use of technology will be their main driver for trade growth.

However as businesses actively adapt to the latest technologies, cyber-security remains front-of-mind for many, with a clear majority (70 percent) concerned about cyber threats.

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