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Asian demand for Dubai’s exports up despite COVID-19 disruptions

The Asian markets are offering bright spots for exporters in Dubai despite the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The overall activity of exporters that sell various goods, including gold, diamonds, mineral products and vehicles to Southeast and East Asian markets posted double-digit growth in April, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Sunday.

The total value of certificates of origin (COOs) that were secured by Dubai Chamber-registered firms for goods bound to Southeast Asian markets reached 652.3 million UAE dirhams in April, up by 34 percent from a year ago. For products bound to East Asia, the value of COOs issued amounted to 341.7 million dirhams, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 23 percent.

A COO is an important document in international trade that is often required when shipping goods into a particular country. It serves as the proof of origin of the products being sold.

Based on the latest data, the Dubai Chamber said that businesses who are trading with markets in Asia are faring better than expected despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. In its report, “Asian Markets: Bright Sports Amid the COVID-19 Trade Disruptions,” the chamber said trade activity remains “particularly strong” in Southeast and East Asian markets.

The chamber noted that there have been large amounts of gold being shipped from Dubai to Asia in recent months.

Among the Asian countries, Singapore topped the list of destinations for Dubai’s exports, with the value of COOs for products bound to the Asian state reaching 407.5 million dirhams, up by 93 percent from a year earlier.

Along with gold and associated products, including articles of jewelry, petroleum products formed the majority of Dubai’s exports to Singapore.

Indonesia was the second most significant market in Southeast Asia for Dubai exporters, with COOs valued at 75 million dirhams, up by 9 percent, while Vietnam came third with COOs valued at 52.6 million year-on-year.

Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Brunei completed the top ten markets.

“Several factors supporting Asian markets’ ability to deal with the impact of COVID-19, include past experience in dealing with pandemics, namely measures implemented to promote commerce amid restrictions and divert trade from countries under lockdown to Dubai,” the chamber said.

“In addition, large amounts of gold shipped from Dubai to Asian markets in recent months has boosted the value of the emirate’s exports,” it added.

In East Asia, China came as the number one market for exporters registered under Dubai Chamber. During the month of April, the COOs for the country valued at 248.5 million, represented year-on-year growth of 56 percent. Top exports to the country included vehicles, mineral products, cooking oil and other solid residues and copper waste/ scrap.

South Korea emerged as the second-biggest recipient of goods from Dubai, with COOs valued at 62.2 million. The Asian country had imported mineral products, unwrought aluminum, copper waste/scrap and aluminum waste/ scrap from Dubai.

Hong Kong came third on the list of destinations, with COOs valued at 21.9 million. Its top imports from Dubai included unwrought gold, diamonds and jewelry articles.
Source: Reuters (Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

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