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Fri 8 Nov 2019 01:26 AM

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UAE has potential to double exports to African countries - study

Analysis is released ahead of the 5th Global Business Forum Africa which will be held in Dubai on November 18-19

UAE has potential to double exports to African countries - study

The report said the UAE's exports to African countries have recorded strong growth over the past decade, supported by expanding UAE-Africa trade links.

The UAE could double its exports to African countries with plastics, rubber and sugar identified as the top products offering the most untapped potential estimated at $867.9 million, $457.9 million and $291.7 million respectively, according to analysts.

The analysis, based on recent data from the International Trade Centre, was released ahead of the 5th Global Business Forum Africa which will be held in Dubai on November 18-19.

It said the UAE's exports to African countries have recorded strong growth over the past decade, supported by expanding UAE-Africa trade links, Dubai’s ongoing efforts to enhance its position as a gateway to African markets and improving economic conditions across the continent.

The findings indicated that the UAE’s exports of products, such as electrical devices, machinery, and vehicles, have exceeded their export potential to the African continent.

Africa's trade bloc is a massive opportunity for UAE businesses

Infrastructure gaps, a lack of investor-friendly regulation and high tariffs have remained as barriers for Africa's regional and international trade, writes Hamad Buamim President and CEO of Dubai Chamber

However, it added that the UAE is still developing its “hub status” for the export of the majority of other products.

Top UAE exports to African markets in 2017 by value were plastics and rubber ($925.3 million), metal products ($407.7 million), other metal products ($267.8 million), sugar ($190.2 million), beauty products and perfumes ($165.7 million), and jewellery and precious metal articles ($161.7 million).

The report said the top African markets offering the most untapped potential to import plastics and rubber products from the UAE include Kenya (estimated untapped potential of $88.2 million), Egypt ($81.3 million), Nigeria ($73.3 million), Tanzania ($ 63.6 million) and Ethiopia ($35.5 million).

Somalia ($91.8 million), Sudan ($66.7 million), Libya ($49.8 million), Djibouti ($35.7 million) and Egypt ($29.3 million) were also identified as high-potential African markets where the UAE can boost its exports of sugar.

In the category of metal products, the analysis suggested that UAE exports to Egypt could potentially be increased to $34 million, followed by Ethiopia ($26.6 million), Libya ($24.5 million), Angola ($23.6 million) and Senegal ($10.9 million).

GBF Africa 2019 is organised by Dubai Chamber under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The high-level forum, held under the theme Scale-Up Africa, will bring together heads of state, ministers, policymakers, prominent business leaders, industry experts and entrepreneurs from Africa and the UAE to connect, collaborate and explore new avenues of economic cooperation.