Trade between the two countries witnessed steady growth with UAE non-oil exports to Italy increasing by 78 percent (AED 1.83 billion) from 2010 – 2011, re-exports increase by 23 percent (AED 827 million) and imports increasing by 33 percent during the same period, putting the final figure of non-oil foreign trade between the two countries – in 2011 – at around AED 21.9 billion, up by 33 percent from 2010, the study, conducted by MoFT Researcher Ahmad Ananbeh, and supervised by the Director of MoFT’s Analysis and Trade Information Department, Dr. Mattar Al Ali, revealed.
Geographic Distribution: The study also revealed that Italy was the UAE’s 11th largest non-oil trading partner in 2011, coming in 19th in its imports from the UAE and 8th in its exports to the UAE during the same year.
Free Zones: UAE Free Zones have, according to the study, witnessed a noticeable growth in overall trade with Italy (including non-oil trade), increasing from AED 210.5 million in 2009 to AED 373.3 million in 2011, achieving a growth of 77 percent in comparison with 2009 and 22 percent in comparison with 2010, and reaching AED 227 million during the first half of 2012.
UAE Free Zones imports from Italy also witnessed noticeable growth, increasing from AED 2.964 billion in 2009 to AED 4.409 billion in 2011 (achieving a growth of 49 percent during that period), with imports during the first half of 2012 exceeding AED 2.397 billion.
Exports: The study also revealed that there was an 86 percent increase in the exports of the UAE’s top ten non-oil commodities exported to Italy from January – August 2012.
Aluminium was the most exported commodity to Italy from the UAE, the 4th largest manufactured Aluminium exporter to the south European country. The UAE was also the 4th largest exporter of ceramics to Italy in 2011, preceded by Spain, China and Portugal.
The study called on the exporters of these commodities to work on increasing their exports to the Italian market and to also work on increasing their exports of other products and commodities such as gold, jewelry and sugar.
Re-Exports: The study also revealed that jewelry, diamonds, pipes, tubes, steel products, machinery, moving and leveling equipment, yachts, boats and transport vehicles were the top most re-exported products to Italy from the UAE during the first 8 months of 2012.
Imports: Jewelry, water taps and joints, industrial ovens, non-electric labs, air pumps, liquid pumps, luggage bags and boxes, footwear, petroleum oils and non-raw mineral oils and laboratory machinery and tools were some of the UAE’s most important imports from Italy during the first 8 months of 2012.
Italian Companies There were 92 Italian companies, 390 Italian trade agencies and 4387 Italian trademarks in the UAE according to the Ministry of Economy’s figures up until the end of December 2011.
UAE Investments According to the Ministry of Foreign Trade, the Mubadala Development Company, Aabar, Drydocks World, Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL), RAK Ceramics, Economic Zones World (EZW), Taghleef Industries and Damas Jewelry are some of the top UAE companies investing in Italy.
Investment Sectors The top sectors Emirati companies are investing in in Italy are; airplane manufacturing and maintenance, oil and natural gas exploration, operating and developing industrial and economic free zones, shipping and transport, aluminium production, ceramics and porcelain, packaging for food products, as well as investing in jewelry and gemstones.
Concluded Agreements The study pointed out that what encourages both parties to exert more effort to increase joint trade and investment cooperation are the many agreements and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) that have been reached between the two sides, most important of which were agreements pertaining to encouraging and protecting investments; economic, industrial, technical and financial agreements; double taxation avoidance and income-tax aversion prevention agreements, as well as the existence of a joint committee between the UAE and Italy.