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GCC Foreign Trade Amounts to $1.1 Trillion

GCC Foreign Trade Amounts to $1.1 Trillion

Tuesday, 22 October, 2019 - 11:45
Oman Economic and Free Zones Summit 2019 kicks off on Monday, October 21, 2019 (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Muscat- Merza al-Khuwaldi
GCC's foreign trade in merchandise trade grew by $1.1 trillion in late 2018, compared to $ 86.2 billion in 2017, representing a growth of 11.1 percent, according to a GCC report.

The GCC Statistical center pointed to the most significant statistical indicators related to the GCC commodity foreign trade in 2018.

It said the GCC’s volume of trade exchange during the period between 2013 and 2016 had witnessed a decline, affected by the decrease in the value of total merchandise exports to the GCC countries. It rose again in 2017 and 2018.

As for the contribution of GCC member states, the statistical data issued by the Center stated that UAE and Saudi Arabia contributed to nearly three-quarters of the volume of GCC foreign trade.

According to the report, the total merchandise exports to the GCC countries in 2018 recorded $652 billion, an increase of 22.6 percent compared to 2017.

While the value of GCC-produced exports amounted to $551 billion in 2018, an increase of 27.6 percent compared to 2017.

In this context, the value of total merchandise imports slightly decreased by 2.3 percent compared to 2017 to reach $443 billion in 2018.

The surplus of the GCC merchandise trade balance rose 166 percent to $209 billion in 2018 compared to $578.5 billion in 2017.

In terms of national commodity exports, oil and its products recorded 81.4 percent of the value of national commodity exports to amount to about $448.8 billion in 2018 compared to $344.4 billion in 2017, a growth rate of 30.3 percent from the previous year.

It was followed by plastic and its products by 4.9 percent, then organic chemical products by 3.2 percent, gold and precious stones by 2.2 percent, aluminum and its products by 2.1 percent, and fertilizers by 0.7 percent.

As for the trade partners for GCC countries’ total commodity exports, China was ranked first in terms of total merchandise exports, accounting for 15.1 percent of the total merchandise exports to the world markets in 2018.

China was also ranked first among GCC trade partners in total merchandise imports for 2018, accounting for 17 percent of the total value of GCC merchandise imports from global markets for 2018, representing $75.2 billion.

On the other hand, Oman Economic and Free Zones Summit 2019 kicked off in the Omani capital, Muscat, on Monday at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center.

The two-day Summit was held under the motto: “Oman is a diversified hub for logistics and industry.”

A number of foreign investors will attend the summit, which aims at exploring investment opportunities within the Sultanate and demonstrate its efforts to diversify the economy.

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