Jebel Ali Free Zone trade hits US$80.2bn in 2016


DP World has announced the growing of Dubai-based Jebel Ali Free Zone’s (Jafza) non-oil foreign trade by 17 per cent from 23.9mn to 27.9mn tonnes in 2016, worth US$80.2bn

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, CEO of DP World, said, “The value and volume of trade through Jafza underlines the strength of the national economy and its ability to adapt to global trading conditions, create investment opportunities and open up new markets to exports from the UAE.”

According to WAM news agency, Bin Sulayem added that Jafza supports economic diversification in line with the directives of UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to provide services and incentives to investors that meet their aspirations and provide additional benefits to compete in local, regional and global markets.

He added, “Jebel Ali Port plays a pivotal role in enabling international trade so companies operating in Jafza can import and re-export their goods and products to the various countries of the region. The Dubai Logistics Corridor connects Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum International Airport in one customs zone, reducing the time taken for the movement of goods between sea and air transport modes and making the area the main transit gateway in the Middle East.”

China has maintained its position as Jafza’s largest trading partner, with US$11.3bn worth of trade during the year with many Chinese companies in Dubai using logistics capability to re-export goods and products. Saudi Arabia is the second largest Jafza trading partner with US$7bn, while Vietnam was third with US$4.3bn through the import of electronics and electrical appliances, followed by the USA with a trade volume of US$3.7bn.

Machinery, electronics and electrical goods accounted for 49 per cent of Jafza’s total trade with Jebel Ali Port’s ability to handle heavy equipment playing a key role, coupled with high consumer demand in the sector. Petrochemicals, oil and gas sector had 16 per cent of total trade, followed by food and FMCG (eight per cent), textiles and garments (seven per cent), automotive and spare parts (six per cent).

Trade with the Asia-Pacific came to US$32.4bn, followed by the Middle East at US$27.2bn, Europe (US$9.9bn), the Americas (US$5.5bn) and Africa (US$5bn).