France Aims For Robust Trade with UAE As Economic Ties Deepen


France is aiming for a robust year of bilateral trade with the UAE in 2023, surpassing the $8 billion reached last year, as the two nations continue to deepen trade and investment ties. The second-largest European economy expects both oil and non-oil trade with the UAE to expand this year, with the traditionally strong luxury goods and aviation sectors driving growth in 2023, Olivier Becht, France's deputy minister for foreign trade, attractiveness and French citizens abroad.

Trade growth has remained robust over the past few years despite a rapidly changing world amid pandemic-driven economic uncertainty and the war in Ukraine. The first-half trade number will become available later in the year and will reveal the real growth picture, he said.

“We are lucky because if we look at the numbers, we are … at more than the level we reached just before the Covid crisis, [and] we have foreign trade [with the UAE], which is more than €7 billion,” Mr Becht said. “As minister of trade, I expect more, but the year is not finished yet, so I’m being careful [in estimates]” on trade growth targets amid continued headwinds for the global economy.

The value of bilateral trade between France and the UAE, the Arab world’s second-largest economy, surged by 16.8 per cent in 2022 to Dh29.44 billion ($8 billion), compared to the Dh25.2 billion recorded for the 12 months to the end of December 2021, state news agency Wam reported in May, citing Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre data. Import value climbed to Dh25.2 billion last year, while exports and re-exports reached about Dh4.2 billion.

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