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Dubai Chamber members trading in Asian markets remain resilient amid Covid-19 pandemic

Dubai Chamber members who are trading with markets in Asia are faring better than expected despite business challenges brought forth by the (Covid-19) pandemic, a new report issued by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has revealed.

The report, entitled Asian Markets: Bright Spots amid the COVID-19 Trade Disruptions and issued to Dubai-based exporters and re-exporters who are members of the Chamber, observed signs of resilience in several markets and geographical regions, with trade activity particularly strong in Southeast and East Asian markets.

The total value of Dubai Chamber members’ Certificates of Origin (COOs) targeting Southeast Asian markets during the month of April 2020 reached AED 652.3 million, with overall activity in this region registering a 34% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth rate for the same month, and a 119% month-on-month (m-o-m) growth rate. With respect to East Asian markets, the declared overall value of COOs in April reached AED 341.7 million, representing a y-o-y growth rate of 23% and m-o-m growth rate of 0.1%.

Several factors supporting Asian markets’ ability to deal with the impact of Covid-19, include past experience in dealing with pandemics, namely measures implemented to promote commerce amid restrictions and divert trade from countries under lockdown to Dubai.

In addition, large amounts of gold shipped from Dubai to Asian markets in recent months has boosted the value of the emirate’s exports – a trend that is particularly evident in Singapore.

The report identified Singapore as the top Southeast Asian market for Dubai Chamber members in April, with the value of COOs targeting the country reaching AED 407.5 million, marking y-o-y growth of 93% and m-o-m growth of 202%. Along with gold and associated products, including articles of jewellery, petroleum products formed the majority of members’ exports to Singapore.

Indonesia was next most significant market in Southeast Asia for Dubai Chamber members with COOs valued at AED 75 million, representing a y-o-y growth of 9% and m-o-m growth of 136%. Vietnam came third with COOs valued at AED 52.6 million, y-o-y growth of 87% and m-o-m growth of 128%, followed by Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Brunei.

China was the most lucrative East Asian market for Dubai Chamber members in April of this year, with COOs for the country valued at AED 248.5 million, representing a y-o-y growth of 56% and an m-o-m growth of 1%. Top exports to the country included vehicles, mineral products, cooking oils, oil cake and other solid residues and copper waste/scrap.

South Korea was the second most important East Asian market in April, with COOs valued at AED 62.2 million. Top exports to South Korea from Dubai Chamber members included mineral products, unwrought aluminium, copper waste/scrap, and aluminium waste/scrap. Hong Kong was third in the region with COOs valued at AED 21.9 million, with its top imports from Dubai Chamber members including unwrought gold, diamonds and jewellery articles, followed by Taiwan, Japan and Mongolia.

Despite the overall challenging global trade climate imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Southeast Asia and East Asia are showing signs of continued growth in the form of new regional hubs for storage and distribution, as well as the expansion of existing ones, the report explained.

“The resilience of the Asian markets is very encouraging and should be a beacon of hope for businesses in the UAE, as economies in the region also begin to resume their economic and commercial activities,” the report added.


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