UAE’s Trade Surges to Dh4.61 Trillion in 2023 with Strong Services Growth

UAE’s Trade Surges to Dh4.61 Trillion in 2023 with Strong Services Growth

In 2023, the UAE's trade in merchandise and services reached a total of $1.258 trillion (Dh4.61 trillion), maintaining a similar level to the previous year, driven largely by the services sector, according to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Merchandise Trade:

Merchandise exports from the UAE declined by 5% to $488 billion, placing the country 14th globally in terms of exports. On the other hand, imports saw a 7% increase, rising to $449 billion, making the UAE the 16th largest importer in the world. The UAE’s share of global merchandise exports and imports stood at 2.1% and 1.9%, respectively.

The WTO highlighted that merchandise imports were generally down in most economies, partly due to a significant drop in commodity prices such as oil and natural gas, which fell by an average of 63% in 2023. However, the UAE, along with other large energy exporters like Russia and Saudi Arabia, saw an increase in imports, with the UAE experiencing a 7% rise.

Impact of Economic Agreements:

The UAE has bolstered its trade and commercial services sectors through the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with countries including India, Georgia, South Korea, and Israel. These agreements have significantly boosted the country's trade activities.

Services Sector Growth:

Despite the drop in merchandise trade, the rise in the services sector helped offset the decline. The UAE government has been actively working towards establishing the nation as a services-based economy, attracting top global talent by offering long-term residency permits such as the Golden Visa and Silver Visa to professionals, scientists, and outstanding students.

In terms of commercial services, the UAE was ranked 13th globally, with exports increasing by 8% to $165 billion. Imports of commercial services rose by 13% to $108 billion, making the UAE the 18th largest importer globally.

Digitally Delivered Services:

The UAE also ranked 20th globally in digitally delivered services, with a value of $48 billion in 2023, up from $46 billion the previous year.

Global Trade Trends:

The drop in merchandise exports from the UAE and other Gulf countries was largely due to declining commodity prices. Globally, the value of world merchandise trade fell by 5% in 2023 to $24.01 trillion. However, this decline was offset by a strong increase in commercial services trade, which rose by 9% to $7.54 trillion.

Future Projections:

Looking ahead, the WTO projects that the volume of world merchandise trade will grow by 2.6% in 2024 and 3.3% in 2025, as demand for traded goods rebounds following a contraction in 2023.

News Source: Khaleej Times

Maryam Pervez

Written by Maryam Pervez

Maryam is the Managing Editor at HiDubai, bringing 8+ years of expertise in marketing, social media, and content development. She holds a Master's degree in Marketing Comms from Middlesex University.
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