China and India: Dominant Exporters to UAE

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Posted on July 22, 2010 at 4:07 PM


China and India have become the leading suppliers of goods to the United Arab Emirates. India exported a record 61.5 billion dirhams (about 16.7 billion dollars) worth of goods to the UAE in 2009 while China exported 47.8 billion dirhams (about 13 billion dollars) to UAE last year, totaling 109.3 billion dirhams. Imports from China and India make up 24.5 percent of the UAE’s total imports. The United States, Japan and the European Union formerly served as the top exporters to the UAE during the 1990’s. In the past ten years, however, India and China have emerged as the most dominant import sources to UAE. The increased presence of China and India is the result of an aggressive marketing maneuver by the two countries. They offer competitive prices, geographical convenience and strong political relationships to the UAE. The marketing blitz along with the volatility in the bill of imports from key Western suppliers established India and China as the dominant suppliers of import goods.

The UAE serves the Middle East as a supplier of re-exported goods. The number one importer of these goods is Iran. Most re-imports come from Dubai and total 17.6 percent or about 25.9 billion dirhams (7.05 billion dollars) of the UAE’s total non-oil re-exports. In 2009, the UAE became the largest trading hub in the Middle East, overtaking Saudi Arabia. The UAE also handles over 20 percent of the Gulf region’s non-oil trade.


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