UAE and G20 non-oil trade up 14% in first half to reach $181.9bn

The Emirates is boosting trade and investment relations with the G20 countries, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi says

G20 countries are the UAE's largest trading partners, said Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade. Antonie Robertson / The National
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Total non-oil trade between the UAE and the G20 countries rose 14.4 per cent annually to reach $181.9 billion in the first half of this year, following strong growth in 2022.

The UAE's non-oil exports to G20 countries grew by 10.6 per cent in the January to June period to $23.4 billion, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said on Thursday.

The value of re-exports also rose by 14 per cent to $38 billion, while imports increased by 15.2 per cent to $120.5 billion, he told state news agency Wam in India, where he is representing the UAE at the G20 summit in New Delhi.

Non-oil trade between the UAE and the G20 rose 21 per cent last year to $341 billion, representing 55 per cent of the Emirates' total non-oil trade for the year.

“G20 countries are the UAE's largest trading partners,” Dr Al Zeyoudi said.

“These strong trade and investment relations are a testament to the UAE's commitment to open and free trade. The UAE is a major player in the global economy, and it is working to strengthen its ties with other countries around the world.”

The Arab world's second-largest economy is strengthening trade and investment ties with different countries across the globe.

It aims to sign 26 Comprehensive economic partnership agreements (Cepas) by 2021 as it seeks to attract more investment and diversify its economy.

The UAE has already signed agreements with India, Indonesia, Turkey and Israel and is holding negotiations with several other countries to grow trade relations.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said the UAE's investment relations with G20 countries are “booming” with total investments of more than $215 billion by the end of 2021.

This represents 92.5 per cent of all Emirati investments worldwide.

“The total investment balance of G20 countries in the UAE is also significant, reaching more than $74.2 billion, accounting for 43.3 per cent of all foreign direct investment into the UAE,” he said.

The UAE's invitation to the G20 summit is a recognition of its status as a major economic player, a crucial partner in the global trading system and a responsible global citizen, he added.

Dr Al Zeyoudi also stressed the importance of cross-border co-operation in building resilience across global value chains, the need to enhance the participation of small and medium-sized businesses and encourage diversification of import sources, especially for critical sectors.

The UAE's non-oil foreign trade hit a record Dh1.24 trillion in the first half of 2023, up 14.4 per cent year on year. It is “on course” to achieve its non-oil trade aim of Dh4 trillion by 2031 amid government policies, Dr Al Zeyoudi said last month.

The UAE is also seeking to increase trade and investment ties with the Association of South-East Asian Nations member states.

Updated: September 07, 2023, 9:28 AM