UPDATE 1-Saudi imports from UAE drop 33% in July after new trade rules
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By Davide Barbuscia
DUBAI, Sept.22 (Reuters) – The value of Saudi imports from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in July fell 33% month-on-month, official data showed on Wednesday, after the kingdom imposed new rules in July on imports from other countries. Golf’s country.
Imports from the neighboring United Arab Emirates fell to 3.1 billion riyals ($ 827 million) in July, from 4.6 billion riyals in June, according to data from the General Statistics Authority. On an annual basis, imports from the United Arab Emirates decreased by around 6%.
In July, Saudi Arabia changed its rules on imports from other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to exclude goods made in free zones or using Israeli inputs from preferential tariff concessions, a decision seen as a challenge to the UAE’s status as a regional trade and business. hub.
Despite being close allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates compete with each other to attract investors and businesses.
Electronic billboards in Dubai celebrated the friendship between the UAE and Saudi Arabia ahead of the Saudi National Day on Thursday, but the national interests of the two countries have increasingly diverged, including in their relations with Saudi Arabia. Israel and Turkey.
Saudi Arabia’s new trade rules exclude from the GCC tariff agreement products made by companies with a workforce of less than 25% of the local population – a problem for a country like the Emirates Arab Emirates where the population is mainly made up of foreigners.
He also said that not all products made in the region’s free zones would be considered locally made – a blow to the UAE where free zones are a major engine of the economy.
The monthly decline in the value of imports from the UAE was by far the biggest drop this year, according to data from the statistical authority.
The United Arab Emirates rose to third place among the main importing countries in July after China and the United States, down from second in June.
“The data for July may have been particularly volatile when it comes to creating the required documents … The coming months may provide a clearer indication of new Saudi regulations on exports from the United Arab Emirates,” said Monica Malik, economist chief at the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
The value of Saudi Arabia’s overall exports jumped 79.6% from July 2020, when international trade was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The increase is mainly due to higher oil exports, which rose 112.1% year-on-year, the authority said. ($ 1 = 3.7504 riyals) (Report by Davide Barbuscia; additional report by Lisa Barrington Editing by Edmund Blair, Robert Birsel)