Dubai Chamber member exports and re-exports to West Africa up 42% in first 5 months of 2021

  • Value of Certificates of Origin for Western Africa-bound shipments during Jan-May 2021 period reached a record $387 million, trade data shows.
  • Nigeria dominated trade with West Africa with a share of 67% of the total value of the members’ exports and re-exports.
  • Analysis released as Dubai Chamber gears up to host 6th Global Business Forum Africa in Dubai in cooperation with Expo 2020 Dubai.

Dubai, UAE: Dubai Chamber member companies’ exports and re-exports to West Africa surged 42% in first five months of 2021 to reach a record $387 million, fuelled by a recovery in trade activity, recent analysis shows.

The analysis was released by Dubai Chamber as it prepares to host the 6th Global Business Forum Africa in Dubai this October in cooperation with Expo 2020 Dubai. The data revealed that 3,201 Certificates of Origin for West Africa-bound shipments were issued between January and May 2021, marking a year-over-year increase of 20 percent.

Export markets targeted by member companies were more balanced and diversified when compared to previous years, which is a clear sign that Dubai-based exporters are expanding to new markets.

Nigeria was the largest West African export market for member companies, accounting for a 32% share of the value of exports and re-exports to the region, followed by Ghana (17%), Ivory Coast and Guinea with 12% each, Senegal (8%), and Mali (4%).

Product categories of exports to the region were also diversified. Plastics accounted for 31% of exports, followed by electrical machinery/electronics (14%), machinery/mechanical appliances (13%) and aluminium (6%).

The latest estimates by the International Trade Center (ITC), indicate that there is potential for UAE traders to double their exports and re-exports to the Western Africa markets, currently valued at $2.1 billion.

In terms of markets, Nigeria is currently the largest market for member exports, yet it still has an estimated annual gap of $544 million worth of exports that could be captured in the near term by UAE traders. Senegal comes second with an untapped export potential of $397 million, followed by Ghana with $365 million.

The commodities with the highest untapped potential for export and re-export companies in the West Africa region include polyethylene, sugar cane and rice, trigger batteries, polypropylene, textiles from yarn and milk powder, pure copper wires and other products.

Through its network of representative offices, Dubai Chamber supports businesses exploring promising African markets. These offices – located in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Kenya – identify market opportunities for Dubai Chamber member companies and support African businesses that are keen to enter the Dubai market.

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