The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is reported to be working toward further expanding trade links with the UAE, which has proven a fruitful re-export destination. We shouldn’t be surprised to see an even more robust relationship in coming years, even though 45% of Saudi exports already either go to or through the Emirates.
Dubai: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is looking to explore new markets through the gateway of Dubai, Ahmad Hakbani, Secretary General of Saudi Export Development Authority, told Gulf News on Sunday.
“The main role of our authority is to ease Saudis’ businesses by supporting their industries and enhance their presence in the international markets,” he said. “And Dubai is an ideal gateway to achieve this target since it is a very popular re-export destination in the region.”
Saudi Arabia’s exports stood at Dh190 billion last year. Forty-five per cent of it goes either to or through the UAE.
The government of Saudi Arabia is also putting more efforts to boost trade between the two countries and take advantage of the strong trade environment in Dubai, Hakbani added without disclosing additional details.
“Authorities expanded the industrial area in Saudi by 300 per cent last year expecting Saudi’s industries to grow further in the region and internationally,” he said.
Saudi’s non-oil exports make up the petrochemical industry, which include downstream plastic production, building materials and food, he said.
While Saudi’s petrochemical industry achieved a steady growth of 20 per cent in the last five years, authorities are very optimistic of further growth in the coming years.
Satish Khanna, General Manager of Al Fajer Information and Services, said that currently Saudi’s share of petrochemical exports is estimated at 17 per cent worldwide, while it represents 70 per cent of the GCC’s overall petrochemical exports.
Saudi’s petrochemical exports are expected to reach 100 million tones by 2016, a 250 per cent increase comparing to 2006, Khanna said.
By Zaher Bitar
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