UAE’s non-oil foreign trade surges to Dhs527.5 billion by end of Q1


The UAE’s non-oil imports grew 25 per cent during Q1 to Dhs292 billion.

The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade amounted to Dhs527.5 billion by the end of Q1-2022, Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, revealed.

“Despite rapid shifts taking place globally, the UAE is working according to an ambitious strategy to boost its foreign trade and usher in a new era of economic growth and prosperity in line with the requirements of the next stage of the UAE’s development journey, and its objectives to enhance the competitiveness of the national economy and its position as a leading global trade hub,” Dr Al Zeyoudi told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

The minister added that the UAE’s exports grew around 18 per cent Year-on-Year to Dhs91 billion by end of Q1-22, noting that exports have doubled over the past five years.

Dr Al Zeyoudi explained that the UAE’s non-oil imports grew 25 per cent during Q1-22 to Dhs292 billion, with re-exports hitting Dhs144 billion, up 19 per cent on the corresponding period last year.

He added that the top trading partners list during Q1 2022 included China, India, Saudi Arabia, the US, Iraq, Switzerland, Turkey and Japan, with significant growth rates compared to the volume of trade exchange during Q1-21.

Asked about the country’s foreign direct investments, Dr Al Zeyoudi said that the UAE’s FDI inflows saw a growth of about 4 per cent, noting that such impressive growth rates indicate an upward trajectory in the UAE’s drive to woo investments and international businesses, supported by the country’s stable and conducive investment environment.

FDI growth in 2021: The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into the UAE recorded a 3.9 per cent growth in 2021 compared to 2020 to reach nearly Dhs76 billion ($20.7 billion).

As a result, the total FDI balance in the country increased to reach nearly Dhs630 billion by the end of 2021, highlighting a 13.7 per cent growth over 2020. Over the past ten years, FDI inflows into the country have grown by 116 per cent, while the total balance of those investments during the same period grew by 113 percent.

The foreign investments received by the UAE are spread across all sectors and vital economic activities, such as traditional and renewable energy, oil and natural gas, financial sector, insurance activities, real estate, health, industry and agriculture. Various new economic sectors such as digital economy, technology, innovation, artificial intelligence, Internet of things and blockchain, innovative medical technologies, high-speed transportation, virtual and augmented reality, robotics and self-driving cars also attracted considerable FDI.

Meanwhile, the UAE’s outward FDI flows reached nearly Dhs 82.6 billion (Dhs22.5 billion) in 2021, with an annual growth of 19.1 percent. They grew by 789 per cent over the past ten years, which led to an increase in the UAE’s investments in foreign markets to reach nearly Dhs830.5 billion by the end of 2021, with a growth of 11.1 per cent compared to the end of 2020.

The UAE’s investments have proven highly efficient in regional and international markets, and in various vital economic sectors, where they serve as qualitative and sustainable strategic investments. The UAE companies have been able to enhance the competitiveness of the national economy in a number of advanced global industries and services such as aviation, transportation and mining, in addition to the great progress they have made in the field of conventional and renewable energy. In addition, they also perform well in real estate and construction sectors, ICT, oil and natural gas, logistics, ports and infrastructure, tourism, hotels and entertainment sector, banking and agriculture.

In terms of its ability to attract FDI, the UAE advanced by nine ranks in 2020 compared to 2019 and ranked 15th globally. At the same time, it advanced six positions globally in terms of outward FDI flows to rank first in the Arab world and 13 globally, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2021.

The UAE also ranked first in the Arab world and 15th globally in the Kearney’s FDI Confidence Index for the year 2021, advancing four places compared to the year 2020, thus outperforming a number of major global economies such as Singapore, Australia, Portugal, Denmark, Ireland, Brazil and Finland in the general ranking of the index.

Under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE enhances its stature as a capital of business tourism, to achieve sustainable development by supporting economic diversification, developing national industries and vital sectors, and investing in knowledge development and capacity building.

Sheikh Mohamed’s keenness to promote business tourism by supporting a wide range of specialist exhibitions in future industries has helped attract strategic investments in advanced technologies and the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The farsighted vision of Sheikh Mohamed has strengthened the UAE’s position in tourism industry in the region and has led to outstanding outcomes and achievements, benefitting the UAE and Abu Dhabi, in particular.



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