The total trade in UAE free zones and markets grew 23 per cent year on year in value to approximately Dh352.8 billion in 2010, of which imports accounted for Dh201.4 billion, while exports and re-exports were Dh151.4 billion.
Total UAE trade (non-oil foreign trade and free zones trade) amounted to nearly Dh1.1 trillion in 2010, of which imports were Dh754.3 billion, and exports and re-exports contributed Dh352.8 billion.
The Federal Customs Authority (FCA) announced in a press release yesterday that the free zone trade data reflects the role played by those zones in the national economy and international trade.
Such zones help the UAE cement its trade relationships with non-GCC countries and contribute as well to taking the economic decisions required to boost growth.
The growth rate in the free zones trade reveals a rebound in the economy and trade, and highlights the national economy's ability to lure foreign funds. It also confirms the strength of the UAE as an ideal business environment.
The total value of trade in free zones was Dh286.6 billion in 2009. Imports increased 20 per cent from Dh167.9 billion in 2009 while exports and re-exports rose 28 per cent from Dh118.7 billion. The FCA pointed out that in 2010, the total trade volume was about 24.2 million tonnes, including 15.2 million tonnes of imports and 9 million tonnes of exports and re-exports.
The daily average volume of imported and exported consignments dealt in different free zones and markets amounted to about 101,000 tonnes on the basis of official working hours (eight hours for five days a week), with an average of 13,000 tonnes per hour.
China, India, the US, Japan, South Korea, the UK, Malaysia, Germany, Switzerland and France respectively were the leading exporters to the free zones last year with a total export value of Dh136.1 billion, or 68 per cent of the total value of UAE imports.
In exports and re-exports, Saudi Arabia, Iran, India, Iraq, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Qatar, Belgium, Egypt and Pakistan were on top with a gross value of Dh95.3 billion, or 63 per cent of total UAE exports and re-exports.
The exports of the UAE free zones to the GCC countries rose in 2010 compared to its imports, which means that the GCC region is a key export destination for UAE free zones. In 2010, the trade value with this region amounted to almost Dh40.2 billion, of which imports represented Dh6.4 billion, compared to Dh33.8 billion in exports.