Foreign Trade Minister Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi said that the UAE foreign trade would see growth by 10-15 per cent in 2012.
She added while meeting 60 journalists representing different continents, at Grand Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi, that the UAE foreign trade policy focuses on expansion of non oil sector with different countries worldwide, and boosting ties with its trade partners in five continents.
The journalists were invited by National Media Council to cover the UAE’s 41st National Day anniversary celebrations. Shaikha Lubna said the growth rate of UAE foreign trade in 2011 was 23 per cent against 14 per cent in 2010, surging by Dh47 billion.
The minister added, India was the top UAE trade partner last year as the trade between them stood at $53 billion, followed by China at $14 billion in the same year.
She said the UAE’s gross domestic product was ranked second in the GCC after Saudi Arabia — this was the case with the investments in 2010.
Shaikha Lubna said the gold constituted 50 per cent of the UAE’s exports last year.
The UAE minister said the UAE had managed to overcome the effects of the world financial crisis, thanks to growing energy demands in Asian markets — but this does not mean dropping the European markets, which enjoy high productivity, especially in the advanced technology.
She also referred to trade openness with Russia, Central Asian countries, Australia and South East Asian countries. The UAE-Russian trade stood at $2 billion last year, noting that there are 40 Russian companies operating in the UAE with exception of Russian companies at the UAE free trade zones.