UAE’s non-oil foreign trade hit $599 billion in 2022
The UAE’s foreign trade hit 2.2 trillion dirhams ($599 billion) in 2022, up 17% year-on-year, UAE Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum tweeted.
The Gulf state, a key OPEC producer, has invested heavily in transport and logistics infrastructure, and expanded economic partnerships to diversify away from hydrocarbons and towards becoming a global trade hub.
Non-oil exports grew 6% in 2022 from the previous year to 366 billion dirhams – but were up 52% from 2019 – while imports climbed 22% to 1.25 trillion dirhams, the ministry of economy said. Re-exports were up 21% over 2021.
Read more: India-UAE trade to hit $100 billion by 2027
The country aims to increase bilateral non-oil trade to $100 billion with India in the next five years after concluding a wide-ranging free trade agreement last year. Its other key trading partners include China, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.
Trade with Turkey jumped 40% in 2022, the fastest rate of growth among its top ten export markets. The UAE started negotiations for a free trade agreement with Turkey last year, and talks are expected to conclude in the first quarter.
UAE minister for foreign trade Thani Al Zeyoudi
UAE exports to Turkey grew 109% in 2022, to almost 20.7 billion dirhams, while imports from Turkey rose 15% to 40.3 billion dirhams, UAE minister for foreign trade Thani Al Zeyoudi said in a briefing.
He said Turkey was now the UAE’s sixth-largest trading partner.
Additionally, Al-Zeyoudi stated that the countries and blocs with which the state aims to sign agreements represent approximately 95% of global trade, noting that this trend creates more opportunities for growth and prosperity for the state’s non-oil trade in order to meet the goals of the “Projects of the 50” and “We the UAE 2031” vision, which aim to increase UAE foreign trade to 4 trillion dirhams and non-oil exports to 800 billion dirhams.
Trade deals with Cambodia and Georgia are also expected to be finalized in the first quarter. Negotiations on a trade agreement with Ukraine are due to kick off in the first quarter.
Abdullah bin Touq Al-Marri, UAE’s Economy Minister
For his part, Abdullah bin Touq Al-Marri, UAE’s Economy Minister, said “This historic recovery in the country’s foreign trade also confirms that plans to double the GDP to 3 trillion dirhams by 2030, of which trade is an essential component, are also on track.”
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