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UAE foreign trade over 50 years totals to $9.32 trillion

The total value of the UAE’s foreign trade in the past five decades amounted to some $9.32 trillion (Dhs34.23 trillion), according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Additionally, the country’s trade balance from 1971 to 2020 recorded a surplus of nearly $1.3 trillion (Dhs4.76 trillion).

The UNCTAD’s figures also reported that the value of UAE’s foreign trade increased 473 times from $1.15 billion (Dhs4.2 billion) in 1971 to $542.02 billion (Dhs2 trillion) by the end of 2020.

The cumulative balance of foreign direct investments (FDI) into the country rose from $7.8 million (Dhs28 million) in 1971 to some $20 billion (Dhs73.46 billion) by the end of 2020.

The UAE’s foreign trade over the five decades varied between exports by 57 per cent worth $5.3 trillion (Dhs19.5 trillion) and imports by 43 per cent, worth $4.01 trillion (Dhs14.7 trillion).

UAE’s exports increased 380 times, rising from $842 million (Dhs3.1 billion) in 1971 to $319.3 billion (Dhs1.17 trillion) by the end 2020, while imports rose 730 times from $309 million (Dhs1.13 billion) to $225.7 billion (Dhs828 billion) at the end of 2020.

According to the figures, the value of foreign trade increased 28 times by the end of the first decade, after the formation of the UAE, to $32 billion (Dhs117.5 billion), and nearly 33 times by the end of 1991 to $38.2 billion (Dhs140 billion), and nearly 74 times by the start of the 2000s to $85.7 billion (Dhs315 billion), and 462 times by the end of the fourth decade to $532 billion (Dhs1.9 trillion).

The year 2019 was the best year, in terms of the value of foreign trade, totalling $657.3 billion (Dhs2.4 trillion), followed by 2018 with $649.4 billion (Dhs2.38 trillion), and 2013 with $644.8 billion (Dhs2.3 trillion).

In 2014, the country’s trade was worth $619 billion (Dhs2.27 trillion), and in 2012 it reached $616 billion (Dhs2.26 trillion).

OFID loan agreement: The Opec Fund for International Development (OFID) has signed an US$80 million loan agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to finance international trade directly among corporates or through financial intermediaries.

The Opec Fund’s support will assist in boosting Afreximbank’s liquidity to grow its loan portfolio as it finances exports and imports in critical sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and healthcare. The Opec Fund’s loan will address trade challenges impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Opec Fund Director-General, Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, said, “As a catalyst for economic development and growth, international trade is key to support Africa’s post-COVID-19 recovery. We are pleased to cooperate with Afreximbank and to support their key initiative to make trade finance more accessible to African counterparties across the continent by reducing liquidity constraints.”

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