UAE non-oil foreign trade hits record $136 billion in first quarter

The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade hit a record 499.7 billion dirhams ($136 billion) in the first quarter of this year, as the Arab world’s second-largest economy accelerates its efforts to reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons .

Non-oil trade values ​​for the first three months of the year rose more than 20% from the same period last year, state news agency Wam reported on Wednesday, citing data from the Emirates Federal Center for Competitiveness and Statistics.

The figure is also up more than 26% from the first quarter of 2019, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

China, Asia’s largest economy, was the UAE’s biggest trading partner during the January-March period, with bilateral trade between the two countries worth 57 billion dirhams. It was followed by India (46.2 billion Dh) and Saudi Arabia (32.5 billion Dh).

The UAE has taken several measures to boost non-oil foreign trade.

In March, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said the country’s non-oil trade had totaled 16.1 trillion dirhams over the past 10 years.

The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade also jumped 27% in 2021 to reach 1.9 billion dirhams, 11% above pre-Covid levels in 2019, said Deputy Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. -president and ruler of Dubai, in a tweet on Sunday.

In February, the United Arab Emirates signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with India, Asia’s second-largest economy, which is expected to grow non-oil trade between the two countries to $100 billion in five years. from 60 billion dollars currently. It is also in talks for similar deals with South Korea and Indonesia.

In the first three months to March 31, gold was the UAE’s main non-oil foreign trade commodity, Wam reported.

The trade value of gold stood at 84.4 billion dirhams and accounted for almost 17% of the total trade.

Next come diamonds (40 billion Dh), telephone and communication devices (37 billion Dh), mineral oils (24.6 billion Dh), ornaments and jewelery (21 billion Dh) and cars (19.5 billion MAD).

Updated: May 25, 2022, 5:43 p.m.

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