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Arab unrest triggers 32pc fall in UAE’s Q1 trade

UAE’s trade with the five countries affected by the Arab Spring has dropped by 32 per cent in the first quarter of the year as against the same period of 2010, said a report.

Among the countries affected by the unrest, Libya recorded the highest decline of Dh932 million ($254 million) or 73 per cent of the total losses, according to a report in Gulf News. Tunisia ranks next with a decline of Dh122 million or 10 per cent, followed by Yemen by Dh102 million or 8 per cent, Egypt Dh83 million or 7 per cent, and Syria by Dh19 million or 2 per cent, the report said.

‘The UAE’s exports to the Arab market represent 8 per cent of the export volume, while re-exports represent 13 per cent,” Dr Abdul Hamid Radwan, a leading economist, was quoted as saying by Gulf News.

“However, the political uprisings in some of the Arab countries have affected the economic situation in these countries in general as well as their trade relations with the rest of the world in particular,” he added. UAE’s trade with the five countries declined to Dh1.3 billion from the last quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, the report quoted Radwan as saying.

‘However, since the total trade volume between the UAE and these five countries doesn’t represent more than 2 per cent of the UAE’s trade, this slow-down will not have any effect on the UAE’s trade in general,’ Radwan added.

Meanwhile, UAE trade has expanded to over 202 markets with concentration on Asia where exports account for 47 per cent of the UAE’s total and imports represent 58 per cent and re-exports 48 per cent, according to the Ministry of Foreign Trade’s 2010 statistics, said the report.

Trade between the UAE and these countries grew one per cent over trade in 2009 despite the impact of the world economic crisis when UAE trade grew 14 per cent, according to the report.

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