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null UAE non-oil foreign trade totals AED 2.233 trillion in 2022 setting new growth record

06 Feb 2023


UAE non-oil foreign trade totals AED 2.233 trillion in 2022 setting new growth record


  • H.E. Bin Touq: The UAE's non-oil trade growth is a reflection of our wise leadership’s forward-looking vision & its approach to openness and expansion of global partnerships



  • H.E. Al Zeyoudi: The record levels of foreign trade in 2022 will support our efforts to further expand the country's network of strategic trading partners



The UAE’s non-oil foreign trade continues to set unprecedented records as it crossed the AED 2 trillion mark for the first time in history and totaled AED 2.233 trillion in 2022, with a 17 per cent growth from that of 2021.

The UAE’s non-oil trade performance shifted to a trajectory of unprecedented growth since its recovery from the pandemic’s impact, which had adversely affected global trade flows. After dropping to AED 1.496 trillion in 2020 with a 12 per cent decline, the country’s non-oil trade jumped 28 per cent in 2021 to touch AED 1.911 trillion, and the rapid growth continued through the year 2022 as well.

According to the latest non-oil foreign trade report issued by the Ministry of Economy, the unprecedented growth figures for the year 2022 are supported by a record growth in non-oil exports. The results underline the success of the national economic diversification agendas as well as the strategy to expand the network of trading partners. Moreover, the national non-oil exports set a new record in 2022 as their value touched AED 366 billion for the first time in history, with a six per cent year-over-year growth, 38 per cent compared to that of 2020, and 52 per cent compared to that of 2019. The country’s non-oil exports along with its top 10 largest trade partners registered a seven per cent growth. Gold, aluminum, oils, and cigarettes also maintained their position at the forefront of the country's most prominent exports. Iron exports registered the highest growth in 2022, followed by jewelry.

The contribution of non-oil national exports to the UAE’s total foreign trade was 16.4 per cent. In addition, imports and re-exports also recorded significant growth.

H.E. Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy, emphasized that the UAE's outstanding non-oil foreign trade performance is a translation of the forward-looking vision of the wise leadership and its approach to openness and cooperation with the rest of the world to drive sustainable economic growth.

H.E. Bin Touq said: “The UAE continues to achieve unprecedented growth in the field of non-oil trade despite global predictions of a slowdown. This confirms the effectiveness of the country's development vision, particularly the expansion of strategic partner network, which has clearly had a tremendous impact on the growth of national non-oil exports.”

H.E. added: “The significant growth in the UAE’s foreign trade confirms that we are on the right track towards doubling the GDP to reach AED 3 trillion by 2030. Trade remains at the heart of this strategy.”

H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said: “The UAE’s foreign trade figures for 2022 add significant momentum to our efforts to move forward with the efforts to expand our network of strategic trade partners. These follow the vision and directives of our wise leadership that consider the expansion of the UAE’s global economic partnership network as a top priority for 2023. It will also boost our efforts to establish more comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPA), building on the UAE’s success in establishing three of them - India, Israel and Indonesia - in 2022. Negotiations are ongoing with a more target markets of strategic importance, regionally and globally.”

  1. H.E. added: “The UAE looks forward to concluding CEPAs with nations and blocs that together account for 95 per cent of global trade today. This approach will create more growth opportunities for the non-oil trade, in line with the objectives of the ‘Projects of the 50” and the ‘We The UAE 2031’ vision, which target increasing national exports to AED 800 billion. Simultaneously, efforts to strengthen the UAE’s position as a global business and investment hub and a destination of choice for talented and innovative individuals will continue.

The total value of the UAE’s re-exports exceeded AED 600 billion in 2022 for the first time ever to reach AED 614.6 billion, with a 14 per cent growth. Ten main re-export markets of the country witnessed a sizeable annual growth as they recorded a combined growth of 13 per cent compared to that of 2021, while the rest of the markets accounted for 15 per cent growth. These ten markets include KSA, Iraq, India, Oman, Kuwait, China, USA, Hong Kong and Belgium. Telephones and diamonds were the top re-export items, while aircraft parts, petroleum oils, headphones, and car parts also saw significant growth.

Furthermore, the UAE’s imports also set a new record in 2022, surpassing AED 1250 billion for the first time to reach AED 1252.4 with a 22 per cent growth. The country’s imports from most of key markets increased in 2022, as the top ten importers to the UAE collectively witnessed a 24 per cent growth. These are China, India, USA, Japan, Turkey, KSA, Italy, Germany, Vietnam, and UK.  

The list of UAE’s top global trade partners remained the same in 2022, with growth recorded in UAE’s total foreign trade with all top partners except Hong Kong. Together, these nations account for 46.8 per cent of the UAE’s non-oil trade. China tops the list, followed by India, KSA, USA, Iraq, Switzerland, Japan, Oman, Turkey, and Hong Kong.

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