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Gulf Recruitment Soars as Non-Oil Trade Hits AED 2.3 Billion and Kuwait Reports Record High Surplus

Middle East : 21 September 2012

Recruitment Soars in Saudi Arabia and the UAE
Job listings in the UAE and Saudi Arabia rose by nearly 15 percent over last year’s figures. As effects of the Arab Spring are less felt and local tourism booms, employment agencies boast of expanding job opportunities.

A recruitment platform in the Middle East stated that available positions in the UAE went up by 11 percent. Chief executive stated that growth in the UAE did not occur in traditional sectors. Instead, the Arab Spring has triggered an increasing desire to find a safe vacation spot to spend consumer dollars.
Hospitality and retail businesses are aggressively hiring, although a relatively low number of jobs have been posted in the finance, property and construction sectors, according to the website. Construction jobs are scarcer than they once were, and after a scale back in 2009, recruitment in the finance sector has yet to rebound.

Regional vice chairman at Stanton Chase International, Panos Manolopoulos stated that UAE firms increased recruitment over the first three quarters of 2012. Manolopoulos reported an increase of somewhere between 10 and 15 percent. Strong sectors include consumer products, technology, engineering and manufacturing, although financial services and banking remain stagnant.
Dubai recruitment consultants Mackenzie Jones expect to see higher levels of recruitment across the UAE for this year, according to sales and marketing director David Greenwood who forecasted a 10 percent rise.

Expansions have been triggered by the Arab Spring, stated Greenwood. Higher recruitment levels have been seen in education, hospitality and healthcare.
Independent economist Jarmo Kotilaine also agreed that a 10 percent increase was likely in the UAE. He noted that economic activity appears to be on the rise and the services sectors should respond to this increase quickly.

Non-Oil Trade Between Saudi and the UAE Reaches AED 2.3 Billion

Saudi Arabia is reported as the UAE’s top trading partner in the region for January 2012, according to recent statements from the FCA.
The UAE’s total figures for foreign non-oil trading reached AED 6.1 billion in January, with AED 2.2bn in imports, exports at AED 1.6bn and re-exports hitting AED 2.3bn.
Total trade between the Kingdom and the UAE reached AED 2.3bn, with trade between Oman and the UAE coming in second place at AED 1.6bn. Kuwait saw AED 808mn in trade with the UAE, while trade between Bahrain and the UAE hit AED 681mn. Trade with Qatar totalled AED 673mn.

January figures for total foreign trade between Arab states and the UAE reached AED 10.4bn, with imports hitting AED 4.5bn, exports at AED 2.4bn and re-exports coming in at AED 3.4bn, according to the FCA.
Total non-oil foreign trade for the UAE rose from January 2011 (AED 72.3bn) to January 2012 (AED 78.3bn), increasing by 8 percent or 6 billion dirhams.
Non-oil exports moved up AED 2.7bn for the UAE, going from AED 7.8bn in January 2011 to AED 10.1bn in January of this year. This 30 percent increase occurred despite political upheaval and negative economic circumstances in the region and around the globe, according the primary stats from FCA.

Imports went up by 11 percent in January, pushing non-oil imports for the UAE from the January 2011 figure of AED 46.8bn to AED 52.1bn in January of this year. Re-exports fell slightly, totalling AED 16.2 billion.

The UAE’s commercial partners for non-oil foreign trading remain the same, with Asian nations, Australia and Pacific countries reaching trade volumes of AED 36.8bn, or 48 percent of the total non-oil foreign trade. Europe represents AED 18.2bn, or 24 percent of the total trade, and the MENA region accounted for AED 10.1bn, or 13.15 percent of total trading figures. The Americas and Caribbean nations saw AED 7.6bn in non-oil trading, or 10 percent of the total.

Eastern and South Africa traded a total of AED 2.2bn with the UAE, or 3 percent of the Emirate’s total foreign non-oil trading. Western and Middle African nations were last, with AED 2bn in non-oil trading, or around 3 percent.

Record High $47 Billion Surplus for Kuwait

Kuwait’s budget surplus for the fiscal year ending March 2012 hit a new high of $47 billion or KD 13.2 billion, mainly due to healthy oil income and lower levels of spending. The record surplus represents 27.1 percent of Kuwait’s 2011 GDP, based on calculations from Reuters and the IMF’s GDP estimate for April.
The 2010-2011 fiscal year ended in a budget surplus of just 14.8 percent of the previous year’s GDP, or KD 5.3 billion. July forecasts from Reuters expected Kuwait to record a surplus of 22.3% of GDP in the current year.

Original budget numbers for Kuwait stated a KD 6 billion deficit, based on an expected oil price of $60 per barrel. The finance ministry was not available to confirm stated figures from Reuters.
Kuwait generally overestimates spending, and the 2011-2012 actual spending figures were KD 2.4 billion below planned levels and KD 16.2 billion above the actual spent the year before, according to al-Shall Consulting.

Oil revenues made up about 95 percent of Kuwait’s total revenue of KD 30.2 billion, according to the report. Central bank data indicates that these figures are more than twice those budgeted and a new record high.

Kuwait’s economy remains reliant on oil, despite struggles to diversify and overcome political rows.

Paul Holdsworth, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News
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