Sharjah's foreign trade saw record growth in 2007, reporting an increase of 47.5 per cent over the previous year, amounting Dh43.5 billion in revenues – a significant increase in the average annual growth reported between 2003 and 2006.
The Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) attributes this growth to the increased revenues resulting from import and re-export activity. Import revenues jumped 41.3 per cent to Dh26.7bn in 2007, up from Dh16.8bn in 2005 and Dh18.9bn in 2006. Meanwhile, transit and re-export trade revenues have grown by 62.7 per cent to reach Dh16.6bn in 2007, up from Dh10.2bn in 2006.
Ali bin Salem Al Mahmood, Director-General of the Sharjah Economic Development Department, said: "This unprecedented growth in foreign trade reflects the dynamic development policy adopted by the emirate and the effective controls implemented by government departments, cultivating a favourable climate for trade growth, which is a vital aspect of our economic development.
"This record growth is an embodiment of the increasingly prominent role played by Sharjah in the region and beyond. Revenues from trade with other GCC countries have grown by 84.6 per cent, from Dh2.6bn in 2006 to Dh4.8bn in 2007."
Al Mahmoud attributed these record growth figures to the 83.3 per cent increase of revenues from re-export and transient trade, from Dh2.4bn in 2006 to Dh4.4bn in 2007.
He said the current growth resulted in a trade surplus of Dh4.1bn in the GCC in 2007, while trade exchange with other Arab states has grown from Dh3bn in 2006 to Dh3.7bn in 2007, totalling a growth of 23.3 per cent and a trade surplus of Dh3.1bn in the greater Arab region in 2007.
India has proved to be the emirate's major trade partner with revenue of Dh7.3bn over the last year, followed by Japan and China with Dh3.5bn and Dh2.3bn, respectively.
Sharjah's major trade partner in re-export trade in 2007 was Iran with Dh3.6bn, followed by Iraq with Dh2.1bn, and KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. Goods re-exported to KSA were worth Dh1.2bn, Kuwait Dh751m, Bahrain Dh719m and Oman Dh686m.