Abu Dhabi’s non-oil exports rose 22.1 per cent to reach Dh11.6 billion last year, up from Dh9.5 billion in 2009, according to the latest report released by the Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi.
Imports, however, declined 7.8 per cent to Dh86.6 billion in 2010 from Dh93.9 billion in 2009.
Most goods came from the United States, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Japan. Machinery and transport equipment accounted for 52.3 per cent of the total imports and the main supplier was the US. Abu Dhabi’s imports from the US declined to Dh11.8 billion in 2010 compared to Dh12.6 billion in 2009.
But in 2009, the total value of the commodity exports from Abu Dhabi was equivalent to 41.2 per cent of the GDP, while imports were worth 17.5 per cent of the GDP.
“Over the past two years, Abu Dhabi’s economy has demonstrated considerable resilience and stability in the face of the global economic downturn, leaving it well placed for continued growth,” Marwan Shurrab, Vice-President and chief trader at Gulfmena investments, told Gulf News.
Asian countries remain the largest trading partner of Abu Dhabi. The emirate last year imported goods worth Dh38.4 billion. Abu Dhabi’s non-oil exports to Asian countries last year reached Dh5.5 billion and re-exports Dh10.1 billion. These products include plastics and basic metals, according to SCAD.
Meanwhile, the emirate is one of the largest exporters of crude oil and petrochemicals to Japan and Korea. Brazil has been listed as the top destination of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil exports, worth Dh2.8 billion in 2010.
In 2010, the emirate re-exported goods worth Dh11 billion, up from Dh8.7 billion in 2009. The top category was machinery and transport equipment, which made up 65.5 per cent and 50 per cent of total re-exports for 2010 and 2009 respectively.
Bahrain was the top destination of Abu Dhabi’s re-exports in the GCC, receiving goods valued at Dh3.6 billion.
Mohidin Bin Hendi, president of Bin Hendi Group, told Gulf News that several factors have contributed to the growth of the non-oil sector during the past few years.
“These include the wise directives of the country’s leadership, the country’s stability, security and the unparalleled infrastructure which encourages investments as well as commercial and industrial activities,” Bin Hendi said.
He added that what has boosted the exports of UAE commodities to other countries is power, which is based on cheap energy such as gas.
“This helps to produce and manufacture goods at cheaper and competitive prices,” he explained.
He pointed out that the government of Abu Dhabi as well as in other emirates enhanced investments in oil and gas, electricity, water, other infrastructure projects and financial services.
“Since the country enjoys an open economy, free movement of capital and financial stability, this positively improved the country’s economy. The UAE has a developed and modern infrastructure which is the foundation for any economy,” Bin Hendi says.
He pointed out that the government of Abu Dhabi had eased legislation for investments in the free trade zones and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad).