December 2018

Gulf Industry Magazine helps you catch up with the numbers behind economic and industrial developments in the region.

Bahrain’s imports reach $1.36bn in October

BAHRAIN’S value of imports increased by 17 per cent as it reached BD515 million ($1.366 billion) during October 2018, compared to BD439 million ($1.164 billion) for the same month of the previous year, said a report.

The top 10 countries account for 67 per cent of the imports value, said the foreign trade report by Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) for the month of October, which encompasses balance of trade, imports, exports (national origin) and re-exports. According to the report, China was ranked as the top country that exports to Bahrain with BD66 million ($175.1 million); US came second with BD58 million ($152.9 million); while Australia ranked third with BD46 million ($122.07 million).

Aluminum oxide emerged as the top product imported to Bahrain with BD43 million ($114.1 million), while the non-agglomerated iron ores and concentrates as the second with BD40 million ($106.1 million). Floating or submersible drilling platforms came as third imported products with BD28 million ($74.3 million) during October.

Additionally, the value of the exported national origin increased by 1 per cent as it reached BD171 million ($453.7 million) during October 2018 versus BD170 million ($451.1 million) for the same month of the previous year. The top 10 countries account for 82 per cent of the exported national origin value and 18 per cent for other countries. Saudi Arabia topped the countries importing from Bahrain with BD33 million ($87.5 million), Egypt came second with BD24 million ($63.69 million); and the US ranked third place with BD22 million ($58.3 million).

As for national exported products, aluminium wire emerged as the top products exported in October 2018 with BD27 million ($71.6 million); agglomerated iron ores and concentrates were positioned second products exported with a value of BD26 million ($69 million); and unwrought aluminium stood third place for exported products with BD19 million ($50.4 million).

In regards to the re-exported field, the value of re-exports increased by 25 per cent as it reached BD59 million ($156.5 million) during October 2018 versus BD47 million ($124.7 million) for the same month of the previous year.


Kuwait pharma market set for solid growth

THE pharmaceuticals market in Kuwait is in the growing stage and is primarily driven by government’s healthcare initiatives, said a report.

The government had doubled the budget for healthcare spending between 2010 and 2016 which soared to hit nearly KD2 billion ($6.6 billion), stated Ken Research.

 More than 20 large governmental healthcare projects are in the pipeline worth KD3.5 billion ($12 billion) across the country, it stated in the report titled “Kuwait Pharmaceuticals Market Outlook to 2022.”

A booming oil and gas industry and limited diversification into other sectors have significantly constrained the manufacturing activities in Kuwait. As a result, domestic production of medicines in the country continued to be low and majority of the pharmaceuticals consumed were imported in this period, including branded and generic drugs, said the report by Ken Research. Although the industry is closely monitored by the government, medicine prices in Kuwait continued to be high. Doctors and patients generally prefer patented and branded products, which has stretched the government funding system, it stated. In 2017, patented drugs dominated the pharmaceuticals market of Kuwait as compared to generic drugs in terms of revenue. This is because branded and patented drugs are more popular in the country due to the relative wealth of the population and expatriate workers, it added.


Japanese investments in Abu Dhabi hit $1.6bn

THE size of Japanese investments in Abu Dhabi reached approximately Dh6.1 billion ($1.66 billion) by end of 2017, while the number of trade licenses issued to Japanese investors in Abu Dhabi reached 32, a media report said.

Similarly, the value of non-oil trade between Japan and Abu Dhabi stood at Dh9.803 billion between January and October 2018, compared to Dh8.320 billion in the same period last year, representing a 17.8 percent growth, Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri, chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (DED) was quoted as saying by Emirates news agency Wam.

He was speaking at the 6th Abu Dhabi-Japan Economic Council, ADJEC, which discussed ways to promote economic cooperation, partnerships and investment opportunities between the UAE and Japan in various sectors. Chaired by Saif Al Hajeri, Yoshihiro Seki, Japan’s State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and Seiji Hirota, representative executive director of Japan Cooperation Centre for the Middle East, the event drew the participation of a high-level Japanese delegation.


Dubai foreign trade in foodstuff tops $12bn

DUBAI’S external trade in foodstuff recorded Dh44.24 billion ($12 billion) in the first half of 2018, according to recent figures released by Dubai Customs in conjunction with the launch of Gulfood Manufacturing Exhibition 2018 in Dubai.

Imports made Dh27.68 billion, exports touched Dh7.71, and re-exports recorded Dh8.84 billion.

Rice took the lion’s share of foodstuff trade with Dh2.43 billion, followed by milk with Dh2.13 billion, sugar with Dh2.02 billion, nuts with Dh1.71 billion, and chocolate with Dh1.55 billion. India is Dubai’s biggest partner in foodstuff trade in the first half of 2018 with Dh3.84 billion followed by Iraq with Dh2.57 billion, the US with Dh2.36 billion, and Oman with Dh1.58 billion.

“Promoting external trade in support of national economy is a priority for us at Dubai Customs following the wise vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai,” said Nassim Al Mehairi, manager of Statistics Section at Dubai Customs.

“We facilitate the business by introducing the latest and best services in clearing cargo to help a better trade flow of food products from and into the country. Dubai has become an essential trade corridor for foodstuffs in the region, owing to its advanced infrastructure and efficient customs services.”


Abu Dhabi’s building licences up 23.5pc in Q2

A total of 1,436 building licences have been issued in Abu Dhabi city during the second quarter, up 23.5 per cent from 1,162 licences issued last year. According to Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi, the residential building licences accounted for 77.1 per cent of the total permits issued during the quarter (1,110) in yet a new evidence of the urban construction uplift in the emirate. Saadiyat Island was a top performer in terms of residential building activities, followed by Mohamed bin Zayed City, in an indicator of the continuing construction momentum, specially across freehold areas, said the data. As per the law, foreign ownership is allowed across free zones, which include, among others, Al Reem, Al Maria, and Saadiyat islands, it added.

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