Dubai — The UAE retained its position in 2010 as the largest market in the Arab world, with its imports of goods and services accounting for nearly 28 per cent of the total Arab imports, according to official data.
But the country remained second to Saudi Arabia in terms of exports despite an increase in its exports of goods and services in 2010, showed the figures by the Abu Dhabi-based Arab Monetary Fund (AMF).
The AMF, an IMF-style regional establishment affiliated to the Cairo-based Arab League, gave no data for 2011 but the UAE’s commercial exchange is expected to have sharply grown during that year because of a surge in crude prices and business upturn following a downturn in 2009, Emirates24/7 reported Thursday.
The report showed UAE’s imports stood at around $183.4 billion in 2010, nearly 28 per cent of the total Arab import value of around $655 billion. The UAE’s imports in 2010 were up from nearly $170 billion in 2010 as a result of an increase in oil prices and production.
The UAE has overtaken Saudi Arabia as the largest Arab importer over the past five years mainly because of a business upsurge in some years and a steady increase in Dubai’s imports, the region’s non-oil commercial hub.
Saudi Arabia’s imports stood at $106.8 billion in 2010 while Egypt, the most populous Arab nation, came third with an import value of $51.5 billion.
It was followed by Iraq with around $43 billion, Algeria with nearly $37 billion, Morocco with about $35 billion, and Qatar with $23.5 billion.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil supplier and the largest Arab economy, dominated regional exports, with a value of $251 billion in 2010.
It was followed by the UAE with nearly $212 billion, Qatar with around $72 billion, Kuwait with $66 billion, Algeria with $57 billion and Libya with $46 billion.
Saudi Arabia alone accounted for around 27.7 per cent of the collective Arab exports of goods and services of $904 billion while the UAE’s exports amounted to nearly $23.4 per cent, according to the AMF. The report showed the UAE, the second largest Arab economy, also dominated trade in the region, with its total commercial exchange. — Agencies