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Turkish deals help UAE hit non-oil foreign trade record

Turkey’s exports to the GCC have soared from $1.2 billion to $9.5 billion in the past 20 years DP World
Tiurkey's manufacturing index stayed in negative territory for the sixth month running as market conditions remained challenging domestically and abroad
  • UAE-Turkey trade grows 87%
  • Total non-oil exports rise 11.9%
  • Switzerland tops non-oil export list

Bilateral trade between the UAE and Turkey recorded one of the highest growth rates in the first half of 2023, rising 87.4 percent annually.

The massive growth helped the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade reach a record high of AED1.239 trillion ($337.33 billion) in H1 2023, an increase of 14.4 percent year on year, the Ministry of Economy said in a statement.

“The UAE’s non-oil export continues to set unprecedented records as it rose 22 percent with the top 10 global trading partners in 2023,” UAE prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was quoted as saying by the UAE state-owned Wam news agency.

The UAE will remain a major player in international trade, maintaining its position as a bridge linking the East with the West and the North with the South, he added.

Turkey was one of the standout growth markets, with the country now accounting for 4 percent of the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade, up from 3 percent in 2022.

UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Turkey in June and Turkey’s President Erdoğan visited the Gulf state the following month.

The closer ties follow the signing of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (Cepa) in March. It is expected to boost the value of non-oil bilateral trade between the two countries to $40 billion in the next five years.

Standard Chartered UAE CEO Rola Abu Manneh told AGBI in July that the Cepa’s provisions, combined with the strong economic fundamentals of both countries, will lead to more large-scale capacity expansions in key industries such as agri-tech, clean energy, real estate development and tourism.

The UAE’s total non-oil exports reached AED205 billion in H1 2023, an 11.9 percent rise yearly. Non-oil exports in the first six months of 2023 exceeded those in 2017.

Non-oil exports accounted for 16.6 percent of total foreign trade in H1 2023, compared to its estimated share of 14.2 percent during the same period in 2019.

The total value of re-exports reached AED341 billion, up 9.9 percent year on year. Imports stood at AED693 billion, rising 17.5 percent year on year.

China retained its position as the UAE’s top global trading partner, followed by India, the US and Saudi Arabia.

Overall, the UAE’s top 10 trading partners witnessed a sizeable increase in non-oil trade, with a combined growth of 16.7 percent. The rest of the markets accounted for a 12.4 percent increase.

The UAE’s non-oil exports to its top 10 trading partners rose 22.9 percent. Switzerland headed the top five non-oil export destinations, while Turkey’s strong growth saw it leap into second place.

Saudi Arabia and India occupied the third and fourth positions, respectively, while North Macedonia joined the list for the first time, ranking fifth.

Gold, aluminum, oils, cigarettes, copper wires, jewelry and aluminum topped the UAE’s most prominent exports list.

Gold exports registered the highest growth in H1 2023, surging 40.7 percent to AED218.3 billion.

The contribution of gold exports to the UAE’s non-oil foreign trade stood at 17.6 percent, compared to 14.3 percent a year ago.

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