Briefs on International Trade (BIT) 2022/[04] - Department of Commerce

25th March 2021

UAE - Gateway to the Gulf Region

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has one of the most open economies in the world. It is often considered as the gateway to the Middle East region specifically in trade and investment perspectives. As a country with a robust economy supported by a strategic location, strong financial reserves, large sovereign wealth fund, consistent government spending, progressive policy of economic diversification, free zones and increased foreign direct investment, the UAE continues to be a strategic hub in the Middle East and Northern African (MENA) region.

"The UAE is placed among the top countries in the world with regard to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows and outflows. In the year 2020, it ranked 15th globally in terms of FDI inflows and 13th globally in terms of FDI outflows."

The UAE has the fifth largest economy in the Middle East with a GDP of US$421 billion recorded in 2020. The economy is heavily dependent on revenues from petroleum and natural gas while tourism is one of the major non-oil sources of revenues in the UAE. In 2020, the UAE imported goods estimated to be worth of 226.37 billion U.S. dollars and exported goods worth of US $306.41 billion.

UAE - Sri Lanka Bilateral Trade

The UAE is Sri Lanka's major trading partner in the GCC region. The total trade volume has recorded at US $ 1.6 Bn in the year 2021 with the trade balance heavily in favour of the UAE. Tea, apparel, precious stones, natural rubber, desiccated coconut, copra, cashew nuts, essential oil, fruits and vegetables, processed food, sea food, rubber products are the major export commodities from Sri Lanka to the UAE while petroleum products dominate Sri Lanka's imports from the UAE. Considering the factors that the ethnic market is dominated by the large Asian population, high buying power of the consumers, industrialization and the focus on high tech industry, Sri Lankan exporters have the potential of increasing their exports products to the UAE market especially in fruits and vegetables, spices, processed food, gem and jewelry, IT products and watercraft sectors.


Briefs on International Trade (BIT) 2022/[04](PDF)

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