Economic partnerships and ‘Operation 300 billion’ – UAE plans to double trade in 10 years


Blending the best of digital capabilities with robust business and manufacturing possibilities – this is the recipe the UAE is working on for a qualitative boost to their trade.
Image Credit: Clint Egbert / Gulf News

Dubai: Large-scale economic deals with India, UK and Israel will be the building blocks the UAE will use to move closer to their stated goal of doubling their total trade over the next 10 years.

The federal government has entered into comprehensive economic partnership agreements with India, Indonesia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Israel, Kenya, South Korea and Ethiopia. “These countries represent 10% of world trade and 60% of the world population,” said Saed Al Awadi, CEO of Dubai Industries and Exports.

Such an agreement will be decisive in opening up new opportunities, whether it is to capitalize on existing volumes – as is the case with the United Kingdom and India – or to go further with a new partner. like Israel. (The UAE’s non-oil trade was valued at MAD 1.4 trillion in 2020.)

Dubai is also moving on a similar parallel track when it comes to trade, the official added. “At the level of Dubai, the emirate has implemented the T2 initiative, which aims to double the volume of trade from 2020 to 2025,” Al Awadi said. “The goal is for Dubai’s total trade to reach 2,000 billion dirhams.

“The emirate has launched several initiatives aimed at increasing the competitiveness of exports as well as the ease of doing business. Dubai has also launched the World Logistics Passport (WLP) designed to make global trade more fluid, unlock market access through the creation of new trade routes and provide economic efficiency gains to members.

“The WLP overcomes non-tariff trade barriers by providing financial and non-financial benefits such as accelerating the movement of goods, reducing administrative costs, improving information on goods and facilitating cross-border trade. “

Get the “passport”

A direct initiative of Dubai, the World Logistics Passport is managed by DP World, the operator of ports and terminals. Several countries have already signed a process that promises to smooth the flow of goods from one country to another. Governments, logistics companies and anyone related to supply chain management can enroll in the program.

“The role of technology is undeniably important for cross-border partnerships that can be formulated virtually,” said Al Awadi. “Historically, companies had to attend trade shows and then schedule follow-up meetings. Technology has changed this and the counterparties can be identified using a multitude of websites.

“Virtual trade shows dramatically reduce participation costs and make it easy for micro and small businesses to identify global partners. The United Arab Emirates have developed online tools such as and that allow businesses of all sizes to easily and inexpensively access global markets.

“It should be noted that with one of the best logistics infrastructure, the country will surely be a regional technology trading center.”

One-off intervention

Last year, the Dubai Free Zones Council launched a program to reduce and postpone rent payments for six months after the start of the pandemic. This free zone decision “aimed to reduce the short-term working capital needs of companies, by restoring security deposits and guarantees to increase non-bank liquidity, by canceling fines for companies and individuals to allow better financing in the short term and by making work more flexible. laws so that temporary contracts allowing the free movement of labor between companies can be created, ”Saed Al Awadi said.

A double project

Along with the trade burden, the UAE is working hard to expand its industrial base. Of course, the country has advanced industrial assets in the energy sector, including renewables, as well as in aluminum and cables. But with the launch of “Operation 300 billion”, the United Arab Emirates wants to raise the profile of the manufacturing sector to a whole new level.

Again, as with commerce, Dubai will execute its own industry-focused game plan. Dubai’s industrial strategy will carve out a role in six key subsectors: aerospace, marine, pharmaceutical and medical equipment, aluminum and wrought metals, fast moving consumer goods, and machinery and equipment.

“The 300 billion operation aims to make the industrial sector the main engine of the economy of the United Arab Emirates, contributing 300 billion dirhams to the GDP by 2031, more than double its current contribution”, added the manager. “Together, these initiatives support each other due to their overlap, but they also aim to ensure that the UAE becomes a place of sustainable and advanced manufacturing. “


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