United Arab Emirates emerging as regional trading hub

Monday, September 6, 2004

ABU DHABI The United Arab Emirates role as a regional trading hub has been strengthened by incrased demand from Iran and Iraq.

A new study said the UAE has served as the leading port for re-exports to the Persian Gulf and other regions, Middle East Newsline reported.

The study by the Emirates Industrial Bank said the rate of re-exports to the UAE was increasing by more than 20 percent amid strong demand from Iran and Iraq.

"Imports into the UAE have been rising steadily in recent years, but a major cause of the rise in gross imports is not import demand but demand for re-exports that are growing at a much faster rate than imports," the study said.

The study said that nearly a third of UAE imports were destined for re-export. The largest market for the UAE re-export market was the five other Gulf Cooperation Council states as well as Iran and Iraq.

EIB said Iran was the leading client of UAE re-exports. India and Pakistan were also emerging as leading clients.

The UAE, particularly its port at Dubai, has been cited as the leading transit point for components shipped by the Pakistani nuclear smuggling ring led by Abdul Qadeer Khan. Khan established companies in Dubai to process weapons of mass destruction equipment shipped from Pakistan for re-export to Iran and Libya.

The report said Dubai handles 75 percent of all UAE imports. EIB said most of the imports were processed for re-export.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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