(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Figures enhance UAE's status as a global trading hub; India still emirate's top export partner.
Dubai's non-oil foreign trade surged nine per cent to cross the Dh1 trillion mark by the end of the third quarter of 2013 from Dh918 billion for the same 2012 period, with India retaining its rank as the No.1 trade partner.
Two-way trade with India grew to Dh111 billion in the first nine months, while China recorded Dh99 billion to reinforce its position as the second-largest trading partner of Dubai. The United States was at third position with Dh65 billion.
"Trade is one of the key pillars in the overall structure of our local economy and a main driver for its growth. We look at the rising curve in trade volumes as an indicator of the success of our developmental strategies," said Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.
The strong results and a steady increase in the volume of foreign trade exchanges are solid evidences of the effectiveness of Dubai's economic policies, Shaikh Hamdan said.
The pace of growth in trade further enhances the UAE's status as a global trade hub and reinforces Dubai's position as a focal gateway for international trade exchanges.
"With the UAE voted the host nation of World Expo 2020 in Dubai, the trade sector will undoubtedly witness tremendous growth over the coming few years up to the beginning of the next decade. Appearing for the first time ever in the Middle East North Africa and South Asia, the world's largest exhibition will pave the way for stronger trade flows, opening unprecedented opportunities in a region inhabited by around two billion people," Shaikh Hamdan said.
"Dubai's highly-reliable and efficient infrastructure and quality logistic services will be strong assets to facilitate and support the expected trade growth across the region."
Dubai Customs statistics showed that he trade growth was driven by a surge in imports to Dh610 billion from Dh546 billion.
Exports and re-exports also rose to Dh399 billion from Dh372 billion.
Direct trade accounted for 64 per cent of Dubai foreign trade to hit Dh649 billion, up from Dh595 billion for the same 2012 period. Free zones trade share was 35 per cent at Dh348 billion and customs warehouse trade hit Dh12 billion
Ahmed Butti Ahmed, executive chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and director-general of Dubai Customs, said the roadmap to the development of Dubai's foreign trade for the coming years is crystal-clear now. "As the emirate is getting closer to hosting Expo 2020, our main mission is to corroborate Dubai's leading role in the world's scenery, to become one of the world's most important cities in international trade," he said.
"To achieve this, we need to implement commercial strategies that respond to the nature of on-going transformations in global economy, in the light of the uprising of Asian markets and their taking on a leading position in international trade movement, in order to maximise our utilisation of these transformations, by further cementing ties with Asian markets which strive to expand their reach through Dubai and strengthen their existence in a wide region that extends from Asia to Europe and Africa," Ahmed added.
China topped the list of Dubai's import sources with a share of 16 per cent or Dh96 billion, followed by the US with a share of nine per cent amounting to Dh58 billion and India with Dh55 billion.
In exports, India was first with a share of 21 per cent or Dh24 billion, followed by Turkey with 13 per cent and Dh15 billion and Switzerland with seven per cent or Dh8 billion.
In re-export destinations, Saudi Arabia was first with a share of 12 per cent or Dh33 billion, followed by India with 11 per cent or Dh32 billion, Iraq with a share of 7 per cent at Dh20 billion.