DUBAI: The UAE’s non-oil trade showed signs of recovery during the second half of 2020 and is expected to achieve 12.9 percent growth in 2021, according to the latest yearly report by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI).
The report relied on data provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the UAE Federal Customs Authority.
The DCCI report said the recovery in the second half of 2020 was due to the UAE government’s support for the trading sector, in addition to the easing of lockdown measures in major economies such as China.
The report looked at international maritime trade, based on the UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport for 2020, which stated that the sector had lost its steam since 2019.
This was due to several factors, including trade tensions between China and the US and uncertainty in economic policies, which caused a decline in global economic output, the commodities trade, and eventually maritime trade.
International maritime trade was hugely damaged in 2020 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. It would be pertinent to mention here that maritime non-oil trade represents 83 percent of the total UAE non-oil trade. The growth of international maritime trade shrank in 2019 to 0.5 percent, which was the lowest growth rate since the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Short-term expectations were already negative for maritime transport and trade in early 2020, and the consequences of the pandemic had a strong impact on the expectations for 2020 onward.
The report pointed to positive indicators for 2021, especially in global maritime trade, based on the UNCTAD and IMF data, which forecast a positive growth rate of 4.8 percent, depending on the current situation and progress in fighting the pandemic.