Dubai’s foreign trade continued to move up in Q1 of 2014 with the same momentum it had in 2013. In Q1 2014, it amounted to Dh323 billion, of which Dh201.4 billion were imports, Dh26.5 billion exports and Dh94.4 billion re-exports.
Direct trade contributed 61% of Dubai’s foreign trade, valued Dh196.5 billion, while free zones contributed 38%, amounting to Dh122 billion, and the customs warehouses made up 1% with a value of Dh4.3 billion.
China topped the list of Dubai’s trading partners in the first quarter of 2014, with a trading value of Dh38.5 billion, compared to Dh30.3 billion in the first quarter of 2013, reflecting a growth rate of 27%. China-Dubai trade constitutes 12% of the Emirate’s overall foreign trade, keeping pace with the salient boom in China’s trade, surpassing other economic forces in the volume of foreign trade.
India came in second with an 8% of Dubai’s total foreign trade, equivalent to Dh26.3 billion. The US followed in the third place with a value of Dh20.1 billion, that is 6% of the total foreign trade volume. The fourth place was equally shared by KSA and Switzerland, with Dubai’s foreign trade with each of them valued at Dh13.2 billion, a 4% share of the total for each.
“The recorded foreign trade during the first quarter of 2014 portrays Dubai’s capability of adapting to all changes within the international trade variables; which is attributed to the wide array of markets covered by Dubai foreign trade, spanning the majority of international commodities from across the whole world. This comes in line with the inclusive vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and his wise directives for creating a multifaceted and broad economy,” said Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director of Dubai Customs.
He added, “Dubai has continued to maintain its capacity towards expansion and growth of the trade sector due to the current flexible commercial environment which boosts the position of Dubai as global and regional premier trading hub. Over the first quarter of 2014, the emirate has been a strong competitor with key world trade powers such as China, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Japan.”
Dubai-EU trade soared by 17.3% with Dh51.5 billion during Q1 2014, compared to Dh43.5 billion in the same period of 2013. Germany came first among European partners with a total value worth Dh10.3 billion. Trade with non-GCC Arab countries recorded Dh23.2 billion, where Iraq was at the top with Dh9 billion. Dubai-GCC trade was valued at Dh28.4 billion, headed by KSA. Trade with Japan grew 17% to Dh10.4 billion.
The Director of Dubai Customs further added: “Our top priorities at Dubai Customs is boosting the economic and commercial competitiveness of Dubai, through foreign trade facilitation and enhancement with real competitive advantages, which does position the emirate as the destination of choice for traders and investors due to its highly attractive and lucrative business environment.
To that end, Dubai Customs constantly improves its array of services and facilitations through human resources training and empowerment to deliver the best quality of Customs performance . Secondly, DC strives to enhance its services with the latest IT applications to keep up with the Smart Dubai Strategy aiming at transforming the city into the smartest worldwide. Our services are now fully smart and we have developed our inspection procedures via the advanced container scanning system and the Risk Engine. Consequently, 97% of non-risky transactions are now cleared electronically in less than 2 minutes from the time the client enters the consignment details into the Customs system.”
He continued, “The third track for developing our Customs services focuses on putting in place a thorough plan, spanning incomparable facilities to exhibitors and traders who will take part in Expo 2020.”
With Dubai transforming into the smartest city in the globe, telecommunication and information technology supplies took a focal place in major commodities traded through the emirate’s borders in the first quarter of 2014. Mobiles and telephone sets held the lead with a market share worth Dh43 billion. Computers hit a trade value of Dh13.3 billion. Data projectors and televisions represented around Dh4 billion. This is a clear indication of how technologically advanced is Dubai which hugely relies on modern IT applications in the provision of public services as part of its ambitious e-government strategy.