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Tue 22 Dec 2009 05:52 PM

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UAE-China trade down nearly 30% this year

Data shows trade between nations valued at $14.99bn in first nine months of year.

Trade between the UAE and China has dropped by nearly 30 percent this year and UAE imports to China have slumped by over half, according to figures released by the Commercial Office of Chinese Consulate in Dubai.

The data shows that the total volume of trade between China and the UAE for the first nine months of this year was $14.99bn, with exports to the UAE amounting to $13.29bn and imports into China amounting to $1.7bn, according to WAM news agency.

Last year, total trade volumes stood at $28.16bn, out of which $23.55bn was exports to the UAE and $4.61bn represented imports to China.

The two figures cover different lengths of time but when adjusted accordingly it can be seen that trade between the two countries has dropped by roughly 29 percent - trade from China to the UAE is down by a quarter and imports from the UAE to China have slumped by over a half.

The bulk of products imported from China are household and domestic appliances, cookware and kitchenware, tyre and rubber products, shoes, hardware, machinery and machine tool and building materials.

Figures from the CIA World Factbook show that last year China was the UAE’s largest import partner, representing 13.2 percent of total import trade.

While trade with China this year has declined, the UAE is still the biggest country in the GCC for Chinese companies. The UAE currently has the highest number of Chinese companies in the GCC, being home to 2,000 Chinese companies compared with just 20 in Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) reported that exports by its members declined by 18.7 percent in the first 11 months of 2009, compared to the same period last year.

Members of the DCCI exported AED167.6bn ($45.6bn) between January and November 2009, compared to AED206.2bn in the same period last year.

At the time of writing, the Chinese Consulate in Dubai was unavailable for comment.

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