Non-oil trade in the UAE rose 14 per cent in 2010, reaching $205 billion by the end of the year, according to Sheikha Lubna Al-Qasimi, the foreign trade minister of the UAE.
She noted that non-oil trade now accounts for 70 per cent of the region's total GDP, with foreign trade now considered one of the key sectors in the emirates' economy.
Speaking at the World Ports and Trade Summit, currently being held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, Sheikha Al-Qasimi said that she expected trade with Asia to experience major growth in 2011.
The summit is due to run until Wednesday March 30th and is being attended by important decision makers, business leaders, experts and dignitaries from across the surrounding regions.
Sheikha Al-Qasimi added that the UAE currently boasts some of the leading global container ports and benefit from being just hours from European and Asian markets.
"The global ports community was able to score a major victory last year, when it was able to survive the ten per cent drop in container volume recorded in 2009," she said.