Dubai posts 6.6% foreign trade growth rate in Q1 2012

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A view of Dubai World port, one of the world's largest and busiest ports. Photo - Samantha Appleton/Noor/CNN

Dubai posted a 6.6% growth during the first quarter of 2012 in its non-oil foreign trade, amounting to over AED 298.1 billion ($81.85bn), compared to AED 279.7 billion ($76.14bn) during the first quarter of last year, statistics released by Dubai Customs revealed.

Dubai Custom’s top official said the growth of emirate’s trade flow with countries around the world can be widely attributed to the implementation of several economic, tourism and construction projects, which also include the development of modern infrastructure like customs facilities at ports and airports and the provision of more advanced services.

“The continued growth in Dubai’s foreign trade reflects the strength and resilience of the UAE economy, thereby affirming the wise approach adopted to support economic diversity,” Ahmed Butti Ahmed, executive chairman of Ports, Custom and Free Zone Corporation, and Dubai Customs director general, said in his statement.

“The continued growth of Dubai’s foreign trade has mainly resulted in the development of modern customs systems that ensures offering a wide range of high quality services to the private sector and shipping and logistics companies,” Ahmed Butti added.

Dubai Customs highlighted that Dubai’s imports hit AED 175.2 billion ($47.70bn) during the first quarter of 2012, compared to AED 177.2 billion ($48.24bn) posted over the same period in 2011. Ahmed Butti said the figures represent a growth rate of 5.4% while the value of exports and re-exports over the first quarter of 2012 amounted to over AED 122.9, billion ($33.46bn), underlining a growth rate of 8.5% from AED 113.4 billion ($30.87bn) achieved during the same period in 2011.

Gold was the top product exported from Dubai valuing at around AED 18.6 billion ($5.06bn), followed by jewelry and precious metals at AED 1.4 billion ($380m) and non-crude oil at AED 1.2 billion ($330m).

Dubai’s list of imports was topped by unwrought, worked and semi-manufactured gold that costed AED 25.6 billion ($6.97bn) from January to March 2012, followed by diamonds at AED 13.9 billion ($3.78bn) and jewelry and precious metals at AED 11.7 billion ($3.19bn). Imports of telecom equipment and cars reached AED 11.4 billion ($3.10bn) and AED 7.6 billion ($2.07bn) respectively.

The latest Dubai Customs statistics revealed India as the emirate’s top trading partner in terms of imports, exports and re-exports, with total trade valued at around AED 40 billion ($10.89bn). The South Asian nation was also Dubai’s top exporting and re-exporting partner with trade figures hitting AED 21 billion ($5.72bn). New Delhi came second in terms of imports at AED 19 billion ($5.17bn), followed by China at AED 25.5 billion ($6.94bn). The US came at a distant third position with AED16 billion ($4.36bn) trade volume.

The UAE’s economic hub has been ranked as the fifth in the world in a recent report released by the World Bank titled ‘Doing Business Report 2012’. It was also positioned as the first among Arab countries in terms of ‘Facilitating Cross-Border Trade.’

According to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012, which ranks the world’s 59 most advanced countries, the Gulf emirates jumped 12 places – from 28th in 2011 to 16th this year, the greatest ranking increase of any country surveyed by the Swiss global business school.

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