UAE’s non-oil trade could surge by 12.9% this year; Dubai Chamber

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has revealed that the non-oil trade volume of the UAE could increase by up to 12.9 percent this year supported by a rise in maritime transport activity and other positive global economic trends.

Global maritime transport and trade is expected to report a 4.8 percent growth this year, “depending on developments in fighting COVID-19 and progress in vaccinating populations around the world”, the trade body said.

International maritime trade reported a 4.1 percent drop last year due to economic headwinds produced by the pandemic, which included travel restrictions and the disruption of supply chains, consumption patterns, and manufacturing activities.

The pandemic devastated global trade and tipped the world economy into the worst recession after the Great Depression. However, International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected in October that the global economy will expand 5.2 percent this year after contracting 4.4 percent in 2020.

The government stimulus efforts, the easing of lockdowns in key economies, the reopening of global markets, and the widespread resumption of commercial operation in China are other factors that could positively impact the UAE’s trade output in 2021 compared to the previous year.

The UAE has introduced economic support packages worth more than $105 billion (Dh388 billion) since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai approved a $15 billion (Dh58 billion) federal budget for 2021. The expected spending for the second-largest economy in the Arab world is marginally lower than the $16.70 billion (Dh61.35 billion) budget for 2020, the largest in the country’s history.

Recently, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) had revealed a dramatic drop in foreign trade by approximately 8 percent last year, primarily due to the pandemic.

“Global merchandise trade dropped 20 percent at the height of movement restrictions in the second quarter, but “a slow recovery took hold in July and August, with a further improvement in September”, when some major economies returned to growth on an annual basis,” said Unctad.