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The FCA’s preliminary statistics showed an increase in the total non-oil direct foreign trade of the UAE, in terms of value, up to AED 553.4bn during the first half of the current year; well above the AED 535.7bn achieved during the same period last year. This marks an increase of AED 17.7bn, and a growth rate of 3%.


His Excellency Commissioner Ali Al Kaabi, the FCA chairman, stated in a press release yesterday that the UAE continues to reinforce its outstanding ranking on world trade map, and boost its role in facilitating trade exchange among world countries during the first half of 2016. This is driven by the increasing activity rates in all economic sectors along with the advance of the state’s competitiveness on many global indicators.


The FCA Commissioner added that the rates of trade exchange between the UAE and countries around the world grew during the first half of the current year despite global slowdown and the declining prospects for global trade growth; which underlines the effectiveness of the economic diversification policy adopted by the prudent leadership to diversify the sources of income and production, it also highlights the high competitiveness of the national products.


World Trade Organization has recently lowered its forecast for global trade growth in 2016, warning that growth will mark “the slowest pace since the financial crisis.”


World trade will expand by 1.7% this year, well below the April forecast of 2.8%, according to the latest WTO estimates. The contraction was driven by slowing GDP and trade growth in developing economies such as China and Brazil, in addition to North America. The organization has also reduced its estimates for 2017, pointing out that trade growth will range from 1.8% and 3.1%, down from 3.6% in previous forecasts.


“There is no doubt that the projected decline in international trade volume will affect the customs sector globally, particularly with regard to revenues, strategies, and future development plans, we should, therefore, identify the multiple consequences of growth and global trade slowdown carefully; in addition to conceiving corrective and development plans so as to spare the global economy more tremors and ramifications.” The FCA chairman added.


He also confirmed the keenness of the UAE to facilitate global trade and remove tariff and non-tariff barriers impeding trade with countries of the world. The barriers removal will promote world trade relations, and contribute to fulfilling the citizen’s aspirations and meeting the growing needs of consumers, while seeking, at the same time, to protect the security of the society from unsound business practices, and preserve the economic business interests domestically and globally.



The UAE total direct non-oil foreign trade, in terms of weight, hit nearly 98.6m tons during the first half of 2016; of which imports accounted for 38.8m tons, exports 55.3m tons, and re-exports 4.5m tons.


Trade Partners


Regarding the UAE trade partners map in terms of direct foreign trade, the FCA figures showed that Asia, Australia, and the Pacific retained top ranking among UAE non-oil trade partners during the first half of the current year, with a share of AED 211.3bn  accounting  for 39% of the total non-oil trade.


Europe ranked second, with a share of AED 139.9bn (26%). Next came MENA with a share of AED 92.9bn (17%), America and the Caribbean with a share of AED 55.1bn (10%), while East and South Africa came last with a share of AED 16.8bn (3%).



Top Goods


The FCA preliminary statistics revealed that, among top goods traded during the first half of the current year, raw gold and golden works ranked top in imported goods with a share of 16% which accounts for AED 55.6bn of total imports. Unmounted diamond came second with a share of AED 24bn (7%), then came car imports with a share of AED 21.8bn (6%), telephone handsets with AED 17.3bn (5%), and precious stones jewelry with a share of AED 13.7bn (4%) of total imports.


The UAE non-oil exports data also showed that raw gold and golden works ranked first with a share of AED 28.1bn accounting for 13% of the total exports, raw aluminum came next with a share of AED 11.2bn (13%), then precious stones jewelry AED 9.5bn (11%), polymers of ethylene in primary forms with a share of AED 6.8bn (8%), and publications with a share of AED 2.3bn (3%) of UAE total non-oil exports during the first half of 2016.



ed diamond ranked top among re-exports in the first half of 2016 with a share of AED 25.1bn (22% of re-exports). With a share of AED 15.9bn (14%), precious stones jewelry ranked second. Next came cars with a share of AED 9.3bn (8%), telephone handsets with a share of AED 8bn (7%), and aircraft parts with a share of AED 3bn (3%) of total re-exports.


GCC Countries


Direct non-oil trade with GCC countries throughout the first half of 2016 accounted for 9% of the UAE total world trade, according to the FCA. The trade value with the GCC countries during that period amounted to AED 51.6bn.


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was the UAE top GCC non-oil trade partner with a share of AED 18.4bn, representing 36% of the UAE non-oil trade with GCC countries. Next came Oman with a share of AED 14.2bn (27%), Qatar with a share of AED 7.6bn (15%), Kuwait with a share of AED 6.1bn (12%), and Bahrain with a share of AED 5.3bn (10%) of the UAE-GCC non-oil trade.


Arab Countries

FCA preliminary data showed that the total UAE non-oil trade with Arab countries during the first half of 2016 accounted for 17% of the UAE non-oil world trade, with an estimated value of AED 95bn. The UAE imports from Arab countries reached AED 35.4bn, while re-exports were AED 13.3bn worth.