UAE’s creative goods industry on a growth curve

The global export of creative goods – defined by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development as the creation, production and distribution of goods and services that use creativity and intellectual capital as key inputs such as jewellery, advertising materials, chandeliers, bags and others – grew to approximately $538 billion in 2015, acquiring 3.3% of the world’s total export of merchandise for the same year.

The UAE ranks ninth in the global list of total recorded exports and re-exports of creative goods, valued at $16.1 billion accounting for 3% of the world’s total exports of creative goods. Meanwhile, the total value of foreign trade of creative industries was $30.7 billion in 2015, reflecting a 7% increase in the UAE’s non-oil trade activities.

The figures were revealed in a recent study issued by the Department of Industry and Trade Information Analysis at the Ministry of Economy. The report was prepared by economic researcher Ahmed Annaba and supervised by Dr Mattar Ahmad Al Ali, as part of the Ministry of Economy’s efforts to identify, analyse and disseminate essential data and information, with regards to the national economy including non-oil foreign trade.

Among the Arab countries, the UAE accounts for more than 75% of the total value of Arab exports of creative goods. According to the World Trade Centre, the value of Arab countries’ exports for 2015 is estimated to be close to $21 billion.

While calculating the contribution of creative exports and the total exports of the top 10 countries, the UAE is ranked first with a contribution of over 10% of its total non-oil exports and re-exports during 2015 surpassing Italy (8.2%), India (8%) and China (7.5%).

On the other hand, in 2015 the UAE’s imports of creative industries commodities remained geographically concentrated in India with 17.4%, followed by Malaysia at 12.3%, China 11.5%, France 10% and Italy at 8.9%. The top 10 countries account for 79% of the UAE’s total imports of creative goods.

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