Trade analysts highlight new opportunities and risks in UAE

Economic diversification in the United Arab Emirates will create new trade opportunities for exporters, according to analysts at Atradius.

In its latest Country Report, the trade credit insurer shows a rising demand in the region for high-tech goods is, leading to new potential trade opportunities for UK businesses looking to export overseas, while demand for pharmaceuticals, telecommunication equipment, electrical machineries and food are also strong.

The report states the economy is on its path to recovery after a deep 7% GDP contraction in 2020, forecast to increase about 1% this year. However, Atradius forecasts economic growth could be as high as 3% in 2021 depending on the speed of domestic and global vaccination rollout and on the subsequent containment of the coronavirus. UAE exports fell by just over 10% in 2020 and is expected to increase by more than 6% this year. Meanwhile, UAE imports are expected to grow more than 10% in 2021 after falling by around 7.5% last year.

Tanya Giles, head of SME business at Atradius UK, said: “Increasing demand in the UAE market is good news for UK exporters looking for new trade opportunities. Furthermore, the UAE has an added appeal to exporters as it is a major trading hub with the re-export of a wide range of goods accounting for almost 50% of its total merchandise exports.

“The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted consumption habits, business operations and trade patterns across the globe. As the global economy rebounds from recession, now is the time for businesses to reassess their trading strategies and seek new opportunities for growth. However, risk is an inherent part of global trade and uncertainty over the future path of the pandemic makes the risk even more acute. With this backdrop, comprehensive and real-time information on the market you want to do trade with is essential along with a robust risk management strategy, in-depth knowledge of the local business culture and protection against non-payment.”

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