Dubai has achieved exponential growth in the total volume of non-oil foreign trade commodities during the first quarter of 2016.
According to statistics released by Dubai Customs, the volume of traded goods jumped up 17 per cent, compared to the same period last year, to reach 24 million tons.
The significant growth was the result of re-export commodities soaring 35 per cent to 4.1 million tons, export goods rising by 26 per cent to 4.58 million tons, and import goods going up 11 per cent to 15.25 million tons.
Dubai continued to show its resilience to global growth challenges and increasing market fluctuations due to the protracted slowdown in virtually all key economies of the world, which further reflects the emirate’s role as a pre-eminent hub for international trade and commerce at the crossroads of Eastern and Western markets.
The growth in the volume of traded commodities enhanced the momentum of Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade, which touched Dh319 billion at the end of March 2016. Imports contributed Dh196 billion, exports Dh36 billion, and re-exports Dh87 billion.
Mobile phones top
Mobile phones topped the list of high-value commodities in Dubai’s foreign trade in the first three months of this year with Dh43 billion worth of trade. This supports Dubai’s transformation into the world’s smartest city and its growth as one of the region’s and the world’s major trading hubs for smart ICT products.
Next on the list was gold with Dh32 billion worth of trade, followed by diamonds with Dh23 billion, and jewellery with Dh18 billion. Dubai maintained its global market share of precious metals and jewellery commodities trading.
On the other hand, Dubai’s foreign trade in automobiles in the first quarter of 2016 stood at Dh15 billion.
China top market
Meanwhile, Dubai further diversified its foreign trade markets, while maintaining strong relationships with its largest global trading partners. China topped Dubai’s trading partners with trade worth Dh39 billion in Q1 2016. India came second with Dh24 billion worth of trade, followed by USA at third place with Dh22 billion. Saudi Arabia remained Dubai’s top GCC and Arab trading partner, and fourth largest globally, with a total value of Dh14 billion.
Growth prospects promising
“The safe-haven sector of foreign trade in the emirate of Dubai is gaining greater momentum at the present stage of the UAE’s economic development, where it is moving ahead into the post-oil phase that was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to boost the nation’s diversified economy and ensure its sustainability,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.
“A key factor in our national economic diversification, Dubai’s foreign trade sector puts the UAE solidly on the world trade map, especially as Dubai has positioned itself among the leading global markets for smart information technology and broadened its global trading partner network to include major players in the world economy,” added Bin Sulayem.
He affirmed that the growth prospects of the foreign trade sector are now even more promising, given the UAE’s and Dubai’s rapid growth as knowledge economies, propelled by the ambitious goals of UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021, and the hosting of mega events like Expo 2020.
Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs, reaffirmed that “Dubai Customs is committed to taking the national economy to the next stage by supporting the trading community in Dubai with advanced, automated trade facilitation services and streamlined processes that will further cut down the time needed to complete inspections and Customs clearance, all of which provide traders with great value in terms of minimising the cost and time of doing business through Dubai.”
“Several projects and initiatives have been launched to speed up clearance procedures and increase business returns for traders and investors. These efforts have recently culminated in Dubai Customs being honoured by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid for winning the trust of our customers who named us the best government entity in customer happiness, apart from ranking first and scoring 95% on the smart Happiness Index. This accomplishment only motivates us to work harder and spare no effort in making our clients happier.”
The Director of Dubai Customs also noted that new innovative projects to further enhance trade facilitation and control are in the pipeline, which will add to the successful ones that were launched last year such as the Virtual Corridor for easing cargo movement between customs centres in Dubai, and the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Program which ensures the safety and facilitation of international trade.