A U.A.E. daily has said that the latest trade figures from Abu Dhabi underscore just how strongly the entire U.A.E. economy continues to perform.
"According to the data, foreign trade constituted nearly two-thirds of Abu Dhabi's gross domestic product in 2012 and was worth a staggering Dh600 billion" stated Gulf News in an editorial on Wednesday.
Oil exports accounted for 93.7 per cent of commodity-based exports, a rise of 6.9 per cent over 2011 and worth Dh451.5 billion. But the real good news comes in the non-commodity sector, where the growth was 34.3 per cent greater in 2012 than the year before, amounting to Dh15.4 billion.
This huge jump represents a concerted effort by government in shifting from dependence on the oil sector and developing other industries capable of raising the U.A.E.'s economic profile and profitability as well as providing meaningful employment for all. With the opening of Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad), the facility will help increase the emirate's trading profile.
According to the economic data, imports by sea represented 69.9 per cent of import trade. It is also worth noting that re-exporting increased by 27.5 per cent to Dh14.75 billion and this will only increase further with Kizad coming fully on-stream.
In terms of trading partners, Saudi Arabia remains the largest market for exports from Abu Dhabi.
"The decision to improve transport links with Saudi Arabia, by redevelopment of the Al Sila Road and by construction of a rail network, augers well for future growth", concluded the paper.