Abu Dhabi's foreign trade surged in 2011

Emirate’s exports and imports rose 37.6% to Dh5332.9bn

Abu Dhabi’s foreign trade increased by 37.6 per cent in 2011 to reach Dh 532.9 billion, as a result of the hike in exports by 38.5 per cent and imports by 34.4 per cent. The total trade accounted for 66 per cent of the GDP of the emirate in 2011.

Commodity exports

Commodity exports of the emirate of Abu Dhabi achieved a significant increase in 2011 by 38.5 per cent, as its value exceeded Dh416 billion. That was attributed mainly to the surge in oil exports, which rose by 41.5 per cent to more than Dh393 billion during the same year. In turn, this contributed to the increase in the average annual growth rate of total commodity exports during the last five years which reached 14 per cent during the period (2006-2011). The value of Abu Dhabi's non-oil commodity exports amounted to Dh11.5 billion in 2011, less by 1 per cent compared to 2010. The value of re-exports reached Dh11.6 billion, increasing by nearly 5.2 per cent compared to 2010.

The "industrial supplies" commodity group made up 47.3 per cent of total non-oil exports, as its exports amounted to Dh 5.4 billion in 2011, increasing by 18.8 per cent (Dh0.86 billion), compared to 2010. The "capital goods" group (excluding transport equipments)" came in second place on the list of most important export commodities, as exports of this group amounted to Dh4.8 billion. These two groups accounted for 89 per cent of the total value of non-oil exports in 2011.

Commodity Imports

Abu Dhabi commodity imports totaled Dh116.4 billion in 2011, compared to Dh86.6 billion in 2010, registering a growth rate of 34.4 per cent, while the annual growth rate of total commodity imports stood at 19.7 per cent on average during the period (2006-2011).

Coverage Ratios of Exports to Imports

Abu Dhabi's exports continued to cover commodity imports at very high ratios during the period (2006-2011), where coverage ratio reached 358 per cent in 2011. The ability of exports to cover imports was mainly due to the ability of oil exports to cover imports, as the coverage ratio exceeded 388 per cent in 2011. The non-oil exports (excluding re-exports) coverage to imports did not exceed 10 per cent, while the percentage coverage of total non-oil exports (including re-exports) to imports reached 19.8 per cent in 2011.

Balance of trade

Abu Dhabi’s trade surplus increased significantly in 2011, reaching Dh300 billion, compared to Dh214 billion in 2010, marking a growth rate of 40 per cent. This was a natural outcome of the boom in oil exports as a result of the increase in oil prices in world markets.

Key trading partners

Saudi Arabia came first on the list of trading partners of the emirate of Abu Dhabi for non-oil commodities trade during 2011, as it accounted for 11 per cent of the total non-oil trade of the emirate, with trade valued at Dh15.9 billion during the same year.

The United States came in the second place, with approximately Dh13.6 billion, and a relative importance of 9.7 per cent, while South Korea acquired the third place, as it accounted for 8.4 per cent of the total non-oil trade of the emirate, and trade worth Dh11.8 billion. Japan ranked fourth in with a share of Dh9.9 billion of the total emirate's non-oil trade during 2011, marking a relative importance of 7 per cent.Three countries from the European Union, Germany, Italy and France, assumed the fifth, sixth, and seventh ranks respectively.

The map of Abu Dhabi’s trading partners in exports by countries has been constantly changing in recent years. Canada won the first place among importing countries from Abu Dhabi in 2011, with imports from Abu Dhabi valued at Dh2.7 billion, accounting for 23 per cent of Abu Dhabi's total non-oil exports to various countries around the world.

Saudi Arabia ranked second, with imports from Abu Dhabi valued at Dh2 billion, constituting 17.9 per cent of Abu Dhabi's non-oil exports. Brazil fell to third place with Dh1.7 billion imports from Abu Dhabi, equivalent to 14.5 per cent of the total non-oil exports, noting that it ranked first in 2010.

Exports of floating and submersible drilling and production platforms have always been a factor in changing the map of the emirate's trading partners from one year to another.

Despite the change that occurred in the second and third places on the list of key re-exports trading partners during 2011, the GCC countries occupied the first fourth ranks, the same as in 2010. Bahrain took in 29.6 per cent of Abu Dhabi's total re-exports, to maintain the first place, with re-exports valued at Dh3.4 billion. Saudi Arabia came second by 13.8 per cent, Qatar retreated to the third place by 13.4 per cent, while Kuwait maintained the fourth place by 9.5 per cent. Away from GCC countries, India won the fifth place by 5.8 per cent of Abu Dhabi's total re-exports in 2011.

With regard to key trading partners in imports, the USA ranked first for the third year in a row, as its exports to Abu Dhabi amounted to Dh13.4 billion, representing 11.5 per cent of the total imports of the emirate of Abu Dhabi in 2011.

Saudi Arabia maintained the second place with 10.5 per cent, while South Korea advanced from the eighth to the third place by 10.1 per cent, and Japan fell to fourth place with 8.5 per cent.The decline in imports from Germany continued, to place it in fifth place by 8.2 per cent in 2011, after ranking fourth in 2010, and second in 2009.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

According to the official figures of 2009 available on the size of FDI in Abu Dhabi, foreign direct investment rose to Dh43.2 billion increasing by more than 11 per cent, compared to 2008.

Sources of Foreign Direct Investment

No significant change in the sources of foreign investment in the emirate of Abu Dhabi took place during 2009 compared to 2008. The first three places on the list of countries investing in Abu Dhabi did not change. UK came first in terms of investments of Dh4.3 billion in 2009, accounting for 9.9 per cent of total FDI in Abu Dhabi. France maintained the second place with Dh3.2 billion, constituting 7.4 per cent of total FDI, while Australia ranked third with Dh3.2 billion investment. Kuwait advanced to the fourth place with Dh2.9 billion, while Japan fell to fifth place with investments of Dh2.8 billion.

FDI by economic activity

The real estate and business services sector took the largest share of foreign direct investment by economic activity in Abu Dhabi in 2009, with investments amounting to Dh17 billion, constituting 39.3 per cent of total FDI in the emirate during the same year.

The brokerage and insurance sector maintained the second place with investments of Dh6.2 billion, representing 14.9 per cent of total FDI. However, this figure was significantly lower compared to 2008, as the share of the brokerage and insurance sector then amounted to 25 per cent of FDI. The water and electricity sector came in third place with 13.6 per cent of total FDI in the emirate in 2009.
 

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