UAE's non-oil foreign trade hits $320bn in first nine months of 2016

Official figures show marginal increase year-on-year; gold tops both imports and exports list of traded products
UAE's non-oil foreign trade hits $320bn in first nine months of 2016
(Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Wed 01 Feb 2017 07:28 PM

The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade totalled AED1.172 trillion ($320 billion) for the first nine months of 2016, up by 0.1 percent on the same period in the previous year.

Preliminary data of the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) indicated that the share of imports in the UAE’s total non-oil trade amounted to AED721.2 billion, a rise of 1 percent.

Native gold and semi-processed gold topped the list of imported goods, recording AED89.6 billion, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

The FCA said that the UAE’s exports grew by 6 percent to total AED149.1 billion, with gold also topping the list with AED43.3 billion, representing 29 percent of the total.

Re-exports were valued at AED301.4 billion, with mobile phones the most traded commodity with a value of AED48.1 billion at 16 percent of the total re-exports.

Ali Al Kaabi, head of FCA, said that the growth in the volume of the UAE’s direct non-oil trade came despite a global slowdown and reflected the country’s success in achieving economic diversification.

"Non-oil trade activity reflects an improvement in the UAE’s trade balance with many countries and supports traders’ and investors’ confidence in the UAE economy. The near future holds new investment opportunities in the light of expansion, diversity and innovation policies adopted by the wise leadership," Al Kaabi added.

He said he expected further growth in the figures in the coming years "in light of the new Federal Government strategy for the country in the post-oil era".

According to the FCA, Asia, Australia and the Pacific region was the UAE's top trade partners with a share of AED465.7 billion, equivalent to 42 percent of the total non-oil trade.

It added that Saudi Arabia was the top Gulf partner with AED54.8 billion of trade recorded, 43 percent of the total non-oil trade with GCC countries.

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