(JAFZA) Jebel Ali Free Zone has revealed that its non-oil foreign trade increased by 17% from 23.9 million to 27.9 million tonnes in 2016, worth $80.2 billion

Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, stated the “the value and volume of trade through JAFZA underlines the strength of national economy and its ability to adapt to global trading conditions, create investment opportunities and open up new markets to export from the UAE.”

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem added “… Jebel Ali Port plays a pivotal role in enabling international trade. Companies operating in JAFZA can import and re-export their goods to countries in the region. The Dubai Logistics Corridor connects Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum International Airport in one customs zone, reducing the time taken for movement for goods between sea and air transport modes and making the area the main transit gateway in the Middle East.”

In addition, China has also maintained its position as Jebel Ali Free Zone largest trading partner, with $11.3 billion worth of trade throughout the year.

Saudi Arabi is JAFZAs second largest trading partner with $7 billion, Vietnam comes in third with $4.3 billion through electronical appliances and electronic imports; followed by the United States with a  trade volume of $3.7 billion.

Machinery, electrical goods and electronics represents 49% of JAFZA’s total trade, with Jebel Al Port’s ability to handle heavy equipment playing a vital role, in addition to the high customer demand within this sector.

The oil and gas, in addition to the petrochemicals sector held 16% of total trade, followed by food and FMCG at 8%, textiles and garments at 7%; with the automotive and spare parts sector holding 6% of JAFZAs total trade.

Trade with the Asia Pacific region came to $32.4 billion, followed by the Middle East at $27.2 billion, the European continent ($9.9 billion), the Americas ($5.5 billion) and Africa ($5 billion).