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Wednesday, June 20, 2018
ABU DHABI, Jun 7 2018 (WAM) - The end of 2017 has marked a new starting point in strengthening cooperation between the UAE and Saudi Arabia after the establishment of cooperation committees in the fields of trade, politics, economy and security, a move described by the international economic press as the beginning of a new phase on the GCC and Arab levels. It was also described as a vital platform and a cornerstone in rebuilding the regional system with a clearer and more coherent vision of the two largest Arab economies.
Following the formation of the Emirati-Saudi Cooperation Committees, the relations between the two countries have become a unique model of cooperation at various levels, supported by the firm will of both countries’ leaders to further strengthen these relations.
The experts further explained that the vast experience enjoyed by the two countries in the fields of economic development, trade and investment are key pillars for making joint cooperation committees a vital platform for the development of plans, strategies and initiatives that support their relentless efforts to achieve development and prosperity, especially through investment and joint ventures in priority sectors; such as industry, construction, reconstruction and others, as well as the development of a partnership between the private sectors in both countries, which is an integral part of the overall development process.
On the economic and commercial levels, the formation of the Emirati-Saudi Cooperation Committees has contributed to closer relations between the two countries and increased the volume of trade exchange between them during the past few months. Saudi Arabia has become the fourth most important trading partner in the UAE.
Saudi Arabia continued to rank first in the Gulf in terms of value of bilateral trade with the UAE with a share of AED58 billion ($ 15.7 billion) in 2017, accounting for 46 percent of the UAE’s total non-oil trade with GCC countries, according to statistics from the UAE Federal Customs Authority.
The value of non-oil trade between the two countries reached AED20 billion in 2016, accounting for 43% of the UAE’s total non-oil trade with the GCC countries and 27% of the UAE’s total non-oil trade with the Arab countries for the same year. These facts indicate the overall strength of the relationship between the two brotherly countries.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was the second most important destination for re-exports from the UAE in 2016, accounting for 9% of the country’s total re-exports that year, meanwhile, the Kingdom was the first on the Arab level, accounting for 29% of the total re-exports to the Arab countries, and 47% on the GCC level. With regard to imports, 45% of UAE imports from the GCC are sourced from Saudi Arabia.
In contrast, the UAE ranked sixth globally as the largest trading partner of Saudi Arabia, accounting for 6.1% of Saudi Arabia’s total trade for 2016 and ranked first on the Arab and GCC level as Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner, accounting for 56% of Saudi Arabia’s total trade with GCC countries for 2016.
In terms of investment, Saudi Arabia accounted for 4% of the total foreign direct investment in the UAE until the end of 2015, and is ranked first in the Arab world, accounting for nearly 30% of the Arab direct investment stock in the UAE, and 38% of the balance of GCC investments in the country.
It is noteworthy that all expectations of global financial and economic institutions indicate that the ratio of actual GDP of the UAE and Saudi Arabia will exceed 46% of the actual GDP of the Arab countries for the years 2017 and 2018, compared with 41% on average for the previous period since 2000 – 2016. The two countries account for 53% of the total goods and services foreign trade of Arab countries by the end of 2017.
WAM/Esraa Ismail/Rasha Abubaker
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