The UAE remained the top Arab consumer market with its imports of more than $273 billion in 2012 exceeding a quarter of the region’s total imports.
Official data also showed the UAE had the second largest trade volume after Saudi Arabia, with its total commercial activity sharply surpassing its GDP.
The UAE’s imports of goods and services totaled $273.5 billion in 2012, the highest volume in the Arab world, accounting for almost 27 per cent of the region’s total trade of goods and services of around $1,022 billion, showed the figures by the Kuwaiti-based Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation (IAIGCC).
Saudi Arabia emerged as the second market, with imports of around $211 billion, followed by Iraq, with nearly $77 billion and Algeria with $67 billion.
As for exports, Saudi Arabia retained its position as the largest Arab exporter given its massive oil supplies, which average above nine million bpd in 2012. The Gulf Kingdom’s exports of goods and services totaled $410 billion, accounting for nearly 28 per cent of the total Arab exports of around $1,446 billion.
The UAE came second, with exports of about $314 billion, followed by Qatar with nearly $124 billion, mostly crude oil, liquefied natural gas and petrochemicals. Exports stood at $123 billion by Kuwait, $96 billion by Iraq and around $75 billion by Algeria.
Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy and world’s dominant oil exporter, maintained its position as having the highest trade volume in the region, with a total exchange of goods and services of around $621.7 billion in 2012.
The UAE came second with nearly $588.5 billion, followed by Qatar, with around $175.1 billion, Iraq with $173.5 billion and Kuwait with $165.3 billion.
The report showed Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Iraq, Kuwait, Algeria and Egypt accounted for nearly 80 per cent of the total Arab trade of $2,468 billion last year.
A breakdown for the UAE showed trade has steadily grown over the past few years at an average 25 per cent annually between 2008 and 20012. Exports grew by around 27 per cent annually and imports by 24 per cent during that period.