Trade between the UAE and Asia is set to surge by as much as 10 per cent over the next five years, as South Korea, China, India and Japan remain key export markets for the country, a report has claimed.
The HSBC Trade Connections report, published yesterday, said that while the UAE's exports would remain focused on oil, emerging sectors such as gold sent to Switzerland and India are forecast to grow 16.17 per cent and 3.29 per cent respectively by 2016.
It also said that the UAE's imports — the biggest sources being India, China, the US, Germany and Japan — are expected to increase. Imports from India are expected to grow 10 per cent and from China by 8 per cent. Europe will also be key, the report said, particularly in the aviation sector, as imports of aircraft and engines from Europe and the US are expected to continue rising as the UAE's airlines continue to expand.
Above world average
The highest predicted rates of growth are of imports from Germany, US, UK and France, with aircraft and space satellites from Germany set to grow by 16.84 per cent and from the US by 10.17 per cent.
Meanwhile, engine components from the US are expected grow by 13.40 per cent, from the UK by 8.41 per cent and from Germany by 7.71 per cent.
More generally, the report predicts that trade in the UAE will grow at an annual rate of 6.99 per cent over the next five years until 2016 and increase 5.37 per cent between 2017 and 2021.
This growth will be higher than the world average over the next 15 years, demonstrating the continuing strength of the UAE economy. "The UAE has been showing steady economic growth despite the economic and financial tensions around the globe," said Mohammad Al Asoomi, a UAE-based economist, commenting on the HSBC findings. "The UAE business community has explored new markets and export destinations in Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America, achieving excellent trade results."
The report said that trade in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is expected to grow 131 per cent by 2026, exceeding the global figure of 86 per cent.
Hydrocarbons remain a key trading focus for the region. In addition, the increase in the importance of iron and steel will underline the pace of industrial growth in the Middle East and North Africa.