ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates' foreign trade hit 2.2 trillion dirhams ($599 billion) in 2022, up 17% year-on-year, UAE Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum tweeted on Monday.
The Gulf state, a key OPEC producer, has invested heavily in transport and logistics infrastructure, and expanded economic partnerships to diversify away from hydrocarbons and towards becoming a global trade hub.
Non-oil exports grew 6% in 2022 from the previous year to 366 billion dirhams - but were up 52% from 2019 - while imports climbed 22% to 1.25 trillion dirhams, the ministry of economy said. Re-exports were up 21% over 2021.
The country aims to increase bilateral non-oil trade to $100 billion with India in the next five years after concluding a wide-ranging free trade agreement last year. Its other key trading partners include China, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Trade with Turkey jumped 40% in 2022, the fastest rate of growth among its top ten export markets. The UAE started negotiations for a free trade agreement with Turkey last year, and talks are expected to conclude in the first quarter.
UAE exports to Turkey grew 109% in 2022, to almost 20.7 billion dirhams, while imports from Turkey rose 15% to 40.3 billion dirhams, UAE minister for foreign trade Thani Al Zeyoudi told Reuters in a briefing on Sunday.
He said Turkey was now the UAE's sixth largest trading partner.
Trade deals with Cambodia and Georgia are also expected to be finalised in the first quarter. Negotiations on a trade agreement with Ukraine are due to kick off in the first quarter.
($1 = 3.6728 UAE dirham) (Additional reporting by Mahmoud Mourad and Muhammad Al Gebaly in Cairo; Editing by Alex Richardson and Bernadette Baum)