Dubai's non-oil foreign trade marked 6.6% growth in the first quarter of 2012, amounting to over AED 298.1 Billion compared to AED 279.7 Billion achieved in the first quarter of last year, according to figures announced by Dubai Customs Monday. Ahmed Butti Ahmed, Executive Chairman of Ports, Custom and Free Zone Corporation and Dubai Customs Director General, told Emirates News Agency (WAM), "The continued growth in Dubai's foreign trade reflects the strength and resilience of the UAE economy, thereby affirming the wise approach adopted to support economic diversity." The figures revealed include non-oil direct trade, free zone trade and customs warehouses, he added. He attributed Dubai's trade flow with foreign countries to the implementation of many tourism and construction projects. This includes the development of modern infrastructure like customs facilities at ports and airports as well as the providing more advanced services. The Dubai Customs Director General also revealed Dubai's imports reached AED 175.2 Billion in the first quarter of 2012, compared to the AED 177.2 Billion posted over the same period in 2011, a growth rate of 5.4%. The value of exports and re-exports over the first quarter of 2012 amounted to over AED 122.9, Billion, a growth rate 8.5% from the AED 113.4 Billion noted during the same period in 2011. The official said the UAE's openness to the world markets, combined with its capacity to deal with diverse consumer products has helped in addressing economic diversification in the country. The growing purchasing power parity has also contributed to the increase in the volume of imports. Moreover, high quality Emirati made products, the promotion of the national industry and the strategic facilities offered to exporters, have also played a significant role in increasing export volumes and expanding into more foreign markets, he said.
India is currently ranked as Dubai's top trading partner in terms of imports, exports and re-exports, achieving as total value of over AED 40 Billion. It emerged as Dubai's top exporting and re-exporting country at AED 21 Billion and came second in terms of imports at AED 19 Billion, following China at AED 25.5 Billion, while the US came in third place at AED16 Billion. Unwrought, worked and semi-manufactured gold topped the list of Dubai's imports with AED 25.6 Billion from January to March 2012, followed by diamonds at AED 13.9 Billion and jewellery and precious metals at AED 11.7 Billion. Imports of telecom equipment have reached AED 11.4 Billion, while cars touched AED 7.6 Billion. Gold was also the number one product to be exported from Dubai during the said period at AED 18.6 Billion, followed by jewellery and precious metals at AED 1.4 Billion and non-crude oil at AED 1.2 Billion. Telecom equipment and devices came in first in terms of re-exported products from Dubai to the rest of the world at AED 19.5 Billion, followed by diamonds at AED 13.6 Billion, non-crude oil at AED 4.6 Billion, IT machinery at AED 4.3 Billion and gold at AED 3.2 Billion. Dubai Customs is consistently upgrading services provided to customers, exporters and importers while also developing strategic regulations and procedures for custom clearances. This backs the efforts to achieve sustainable development in the UAE and help attract more investments, he said. "The continued growth of Dubai's foreign trade has mainly resulted in the development of modern customs systems that ensures offering a wide range of high quality services to the private sector and shipping and logistics companies," said Ahmed Butti. The Emirates' positive trade rates and favourable rules and regulations are focused towards attracting more foreign investments. Such an environment for international trade would boost UAE's prospects of hosting Expo 2020, he said and added the country's past experience in hosting major events like the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in 2003 make its chances stronger. (QNA)