DAFZA’s non-oil foreign trade hit $32bn in 2020

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) has stated that its non-oil foreign trade reached more than $32.3 billion by 2020.

The free zone accounted for 10 percent of non-oil foreign trade in Dubai, and 25 percent of overall free zone trade in the Emirate of Dubai. This confirms the free zone’s ability to tackle the pandemic’s threats and consequences. The findings demonstrate DAFZA’s integrated ecosystem, which maintains global trade stability despite changing economic conditions and fluctuations.

During the third and fourth quarters of 2020, DAFZA’s trading increased by 36.4 percent and 23 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year. A trade surplus of $4.3 billion was also achieved by the free zone, with $2.3 billion in the first half and $2 billion in the second half of the year.

DAFZA’s overall trade increased by 7.1 percent in the second half of 2020 compared to the first half. This is due to a 10.7 percent rise in all-goods imports, a 7 percent increase in exports, and a 4.5 percent increase in re-exports.

Mohammed Al Zarooni
Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni
Director General – DAFZA

“Continuous performance reflects Dubai’s role in maintaining economic activity and promoting trade on a regional and global scale in the face of crises and unprecedented events. DAFZA consistently contributes to the improvement and continuity of trading activities. The free zone will continue to provide the necessary capabilities for the emirate’s economic landscape to flourish and further expand its reach within key industries and regions.”

In terms of goods, the first place for DAFZA’s trade-in 2020 was machinery and electrical equipment, with 76.7 percent and a value of $14 billion for exports and re-exports, and 74.8 percent and a value of $10.5 billion for imports.

Pearls, semi-precious stones, and metals follow it with 16.2 percent and a value of $2.9 billion for export and re-export, and 17.7 percent and a value of $2.4 billion for imports, respectively. In DAFZA, both sectors account for 93 percent of total trade.

Asia ranked first in terms of major trading partners, accounting for 42.6 percent of total DAFZA trade, followed by the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries (37.3 percent), and GCC countries (17.8 percent).

In total DAFZA trade, Europe ranks third with a rate of 13.6 percent. In 2020, China was DAFZA’s largest trading partner, accounting for 27 percent of trade worth $8.7 billion, with Iraq contributing to 10 percent of trade worth $3.2 billion. India came in third with $2.3 billion, or 7 percent of the total.

China led the way in terms of imports with 62.6 percent, followed by India 15.5 percent and the US 5 percent. Iraq ranked first in exports with 17.5 percent, followed by Switzerland at 7.5 percent and Saudi Arabia at 6.2 percent.

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