Trade in Free Zones ‘&’ Markets hits AED 202 billion in H1, 2011

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The trade volume in country’s free zones during the first half of the current year reached approximately AED 201.7 billion, compared to same period last year of AED 169.2 billion showing an increase of AED 32.5 billion with 19% growth.

The Federal Customs Authority (FCA) announced yesterday that the free zone trade of the first half of this year represents 31% of the total volume of the trade, referring to the fact that the total UAE trade volume (non-oil external trade and free zone trade) in the first quarter of the year reached AED 646.7 billion, of which imports hit AED 398.3 billion, 60.6 billion for exports and re-exports contributed AED 187.8 billion.

FCA stated that the imports volume of the free zones 18% Y-o-Y in 2010, from AED 96.4 billion in 2010 to AED 113.4 billion. Exports and re-exports reached AED 88.3 billion, rising 21% from AED 72.9 billion in 2010.

In the first half of this year, the total trade volume of free zones and markets in terms of weight reached about 9.4 million tons, including 6.1 million tons of imports, 571 thousand tons of exports and 2.8 million tons of re-exports. Thus, the daily average weight of imported and exported shipments and consignments dealt with by the different free zones and markets amounted to about 39 thousand tons per day on the basis of official working hours (8 hours for 5 days a week), with an average of 5 thousand tons per hour, the Authority pointed out.

China, India, the USA, Japan, South Korea, Hungary, the UK, Malaysia, Germany and Switzerland, respectively, were the leading exporters to the free zones in the first quarter with a value of AED 76.4 billion, or 67 % of the total value of the UAE imports.

Regarding exports, Iran, India, Iraq, Egypt, USA, Germany, Saudi Arabia, UK, Turkey and Afghanistan consecutively were on top with a gross value of AED 3.1 billion, representing 52% of the total UAE exports. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, India, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Belgium, Hong Kong, Qatar, Lebanon and Egypt consecutively were on top in re-exports with a gross value of AED 55.4 billion, representing 67% of the total UAE re-exports.

The re-exports of the UAE free zones to the GCC countries rose compared to its imports, which means that GCC region is a key re-export destination for UAE free zones.

The trade volume with this region in terms of value, in the first half of the year, reached almost AED 23 billion, of which imports, represented AED 3.1 billion, compared to AED 19.4 billion in re-exports and 493 million in exports.

According to the Authority Saudi Arabia was the leading trading partner among GCC countries with a trade volume of AED 14.2 billion in the half of 2011. It was followed by Kuwait (AED 4 billion), Qatar (AED 2.2 billion), Oman (AED 1.2 billion), and Bahrain (AED 1.1 billion).

The total free zones trade volume of the UAE with the Arab countries in terms of value in the first half witnessed an increase in the re-exports from these countries. The total foreign trade volume of the UAE with Arab countries reached AED 42 billion, including AED 3.8 billion of imports, AED 1.7 billion and AED 36.4 billion of re-exports.

FCA has revealed that phones topped the list of imports in the UAE free zones and markets in the first half, with a gross value of AED 16 billion. They were followed by diamond (AED 10 billion), data processing devices, magnetic and optical readers (AED 8.2 billion) and gold (AED 6.7 billion).

The Authority has further added that phones were the main re-exports in the UAE free zones and markets in the first half of 2011, with a gross value of AED 14.2 billion, followed by diamond (AED 10 billion), data processing devices, magnetic and optical readers (AED 7.8 billion), petroleum oils and processed mineral oils (AED 5.7 billion) and gold (AED 3.6 billion).

The authority pointed out that Cigar and cigarettes were the main exports with a gross value of AED 1.3 billion, followed by petroleum oils and processed mineral oils (AED 539 million) and plates (AED 327 million).

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