UAE free zone trade surges to $ 27.4 b in Q1

Monday, 26 September 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Dubai: The trade volume in UAE free zones in the first quarter of 2011 surged 19 per cent to Dh101 billion ($27.4 billion) compared to Dh84.6 billion during the same period last year, said a report.

The free zone trade volumes registered a Dh16.4 billion growth during the period, the emirates news agency Wam said in its report citing Federal Customs Authority (FCA) data.

This represents 31 per cent of the total volume of the trade, the report added.

The total UAE trade volume (non-oil external trade and free zone trade) in the first quarter reached Dh329.4 billion, of which imports hit Dh204.2 billion, Dh27.3 billion for exports and re-exports contributed Dh98 billion, the report added.

According to FCA, the free zone trade data reflects the economic role played by those zones in national economy and international trade.

The growth rate in the free zones trade reveals a rebound in economy and trade, and highlights the national economy’s ability to lure foreign funds, it stated.

The results also confirm that the UAE outshines others as an ideal business environment, the report said.

As per FCA data, the imports volume of the free zones grew 19 per cent year-on-year in 2010, from Dh48.8 billion in 2010 to Dh57.4 billion.

Phones were top on the list of imports in the UAE free zones and markets with a gross value of Dh8.2 billion followed by diamond (Dh6.3 billion), gold (Dh4.1 billion), data processing devices, magnetic and optical readers (Dh3.7 billion), it stated.

The exports and re-exports registered a 20 per cent growth with the volumes hitting Dh43.6 billion in the first quarter compared to Dh36.2 billion in 2010.

China, India, the US, Japan, South Korea, the UK, Hungary, Switzerland, Malaysia and France were the top exporters to the free zones during the first quarter with transaction volumes hitting Dh39.6 billion or 69 percent of the total value of the UAE imports.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Belgium, Afghanistan, Bahrain and Oman consecutively were on top in re-exports with a gross value of Dh27.6 billion, representing 68 per cent of the total UAE re-exports.

On the export front, Iran, India, Iraq, Germany, US, Egypt, Saudi, UK, Turkey and Somalia dominated the scene with a gross value of Dh1.6 billion, representing 56 per cent of the total UAE exports.

Cigar and cigarettes topped the export list with a gross value of Dh642 million, followed by petroleum oil and processed mineral oils (Dh219 million) and plates (Dh207 million), said the FCA.

The re-exports of the UAE free zones to the GCC countries posted a significant rise compared to its imports, which means that GCC region is a key re-export destination for UAE free zones, the report stated.

According to the FCA, Saudi emerged out as the leading trading partner among the GCC countries with a trade volume of Dh6.5 billion in the first quarter followed by Kuwait (Dh2.1 billion), Qatar (Dh1.2 billion), Oman (Dh772 million), and Bahrain (Dh 594 million).

The total free zones trade volume of the UAE with the Arab countries in terms of value in the first quarter witnessed an increase in the re-exports from these countries.

The total foreign trade volume of the UAE with Arab countries reached Dh20.3 billion, including Dh2.1 billion of imports, Dh802 million and Dh17.4 billion of re-exports, the report added.