The UAE non-oil trade volume could grow by up to 12.9% year-over-year in 2021, supported by an expected uptick in maritime transport activity and other positive global economic trends, according to new analysis from Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The analysis based on recent data from the IMF, the UAE’s Federal Customs Authority and UNCTAD, projected 4.8% growth in global maritime transport and trade this year, depending on developments in fighting Covid-19 and progress in vaccinating populations around the world.
Government policies and stimulus efforts, easing of lockdowns in key markets, the opening of global markets and China’s resumption of commercial activity were also outlined as key factors that could positively impact the UAE’s trade performance in the second half of 2020.
Recovery on the horizon
UAE non-oil trade showed strong resilience in the face of economic obstacles in 2018 and 2019, as it recorded growth rates of 8.5% and 13%, respectively during those years, while maritime trade accounted for 83% of total goods traded.
Changing market dynamics
The forecast comes after international maritime trade recorded a 4.1% drop in 2020 due to economic headwinds created by the pandemic, which included travel restrictions and the disruption of supply chains, consumption patterns and manufacturing activities.
The UNCTAD data also indicated that many companies in the trade and shipping sector have already begun to evaluate options on how to ensure preparedness with the expected reconfiguration of supply chains due to the impact of the pandemic.
This includes investment in warehousing and warehousing, adopting advanced technologies and diversifying supply sources, which have become crucial for ensuring adequate inventory and maintaining operations.