Home » UAE services exports set to reach new heights, driven by strong growth in key sectors

UAE services exports set to reach new heights, driven by strong growth in key sectors

by Dubaiforum

ABU DHABI, 24th October, 2023 (WAM) — The UAE has tremendous potential in the services sector driven by strong growth in key sectors such as travel and tourism, information and communication technology, and professional services.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, said that the country’s services sector is a key driver of economic growth and diversification. He noted that the UAE ranked 12th as the largest exporter of services in the world in 2022, according to the World Trade Organisation. The value of the country’s services exports reached AED 567 billion, or US$154 billion, in the past year.

Al Zeyoudi added that global services exports reached US$7.2 trillion in 2022, representing 25 percent of the value of total global exports and 11.8 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP). This highlights the enormous potential for the UAE to boost its economic growth and diversification in this direction.

The new strategy for services exports, which was recently approved by the Cabinet, is expected to increase the contribution of this vital sector to non-oil foreign trade and the country’s gross domestic product.

The services economy currently accounts for more than two-thirds of global economic output. In light of the new strategy, the UAE is working to stimulate the growth and prosperity of its services exports. This is especially important as services trade has increased globally by 60 percent faster than trade in goods and commodities in the past decade. The UAE’s performance has surpassed this global average, as the country’s services exports have increased four times faster than the rest of the world in the past eight years.

The UAE’s services sector is growing rapidly and is now a key driver of the country’s economy.

“The nature of trade is changing and services exports are experiencing significant growth,” Al Zeyoudi said. “While goods trade remains the cornerstone of the global trading system, services trade is making up a larger share of the trade mix.”

The minister added that the country’s services exports are increasing at faster rates than the global average, which has helped to consolidate the UAE’s position as a global business hub with a high-value, increasingly services-based economy. Services trade currently accounts for about 29 percent of the country’s total foreign trade.

The goal behind launching the new services exports strategy in partnership with the private sector is to help services companies in the country maximise the benefits of the country’s expanding trade relations.

“The travel and tourism sector is the best example of how the country is gaining an increasing share of the global market,” Al Zeyoudi said. “We are also focusing on a number of other key sectors, including information and communication technology, professional services, financial services, education, medical tourism, Islamic financial services, the creative economy, and logistics.”

The government is working with the private sector to develop a clear roadmap for each sector, create data-driven goals, identify markets and products, develop new improvement initiatives, and promote opportunities.

“We realise that we, as a government, are not experts,” Al Zeyoudi said. “Companies know what is best for business, and business leaders are the best to advise us on how to facilitate their success. Our role is to provide a framework to help companies succeed, whether here or in new markets.”

The UAE is also investing in digitisation and modern technologies to create a new era of technology-based trade.

“This strategy is in line with our broader goals of creating a new era of technology-based trade, in conjunction with the UAE’s readiness to host the 13th World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi,” Al Zeyoudi said.

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