Mubasher: Arab merchandise trade increased by 31.60% during 2021 to exceed $2 trillion, owing to export growth by 42.40% to $1.20 trillion and import growth by 19.8% to $897 billion, Arab Investment & Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (Dhaman) said in a recent report.
The recovery of Arab merchandise trade during 2021 was helped by the improvement of the epidemiological situation in the region, return of economic activities, easing of movements restrictions on goods, coupled with a rise in the value of Arab exports, particularly oil, as well as average oil price surge up to $67.30 a barrel meanwhile.
Arab merchandise trade made up around 4.60% of global merchandise trade and roughly 10.80% of overall merchandise trade in developing countries.
Five Arab countries contributed more than 77% of the region’s total exports, while five countries constituted nearly 72% of overall merchandise imports. The UAE and Saudi Arabia had 56.2% of Arab merchandise trade for the same year.
As for trade partners, the top 10 exporting countries to the region had about 61.2% of Arab total merchandise imports, while the top 10 importing countries from the region constituted 56.4% of its overall merchandise exports.
Concerning inter-Arab merchandise trade, it leveled up by 27% to hit $358 billion in 2021, making up 17.4% of the total Arab merchandise trade, with GCC countries and Egypt having a combined share of 84% of the total.
In 2022, Arab goods and services trade is expected to keep growing by 31.60% to hit $3 trillion, based on International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates, in spite of expectations of continued impacts on global supply chains due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, China-Taiwan escalation, and other consequences.