DUBAI: Non-oil trade at Jebel Ali Free Zone rose 17 percent to $80.2 billion (SR300.75 billion) or an equivalent 27.9 million tons in 2016, from 23.9 million tons a year earlier.
China kept its position as the free zone’s major player with $11.3 billion worth of non-oil goods, equipment and commodities being shipped in via the Jebel Ali port; followed by Saudi Arabia with $7 billion; Vietnam with $4.3 billion and the US with $3.7 billion.
Machinery, electronics and electrical goods accounted for almost half of the total trade at Dubai’s main trade and logistics hub, while petrochemicals and the oil and gas sector had 16 percent; followed by food and fast-moving consumer goods at 8 percent; textiles and garments at 7 percent and automotive and spare parts at 6 percent.
“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,” Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the group chairman and chief executive of DP World, said in a statement.
Trade with the Asia Pacific region in 2016 reached $32.4 billion; with the Middle East at $27.2 billion; the European continent at $9.9 billion; the Americas at $5.5 billion and Africa at $5 billion.
“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,” bin Sulayem said, noting Dubai’s logistics corridor, which connects the port with Al Maktoum International Airport in a single customs zone, helps reduce the sea-to-air time constraint in the movement of goods.
“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,” he said.