18th biggest dollar volume trading country in the world is …. The envelope please.

There are approximately 195 countries in the world, although different numbers may pop up depending on the political agenda of the source. Surprisingly, the 42-year old United Arab Emirates, a country the size of the State of Maine in the US, was the 18th largest dollar volume trading country in the world in 2012.

The total value of the UAE’s merchandise trade grew to $520 billion in 2012, positioning it ahead of significantly larger countries such as India, Brazil and Australia. The total value of imports alone was $220 billion last year, ranking it as the world’s 23rd biggest importer.

The UAE is the US’s largest trading partner among Arab and Middle Eastern countries. US exports to the UAE reached $22.5 billion in 2012, moving it ahead of neighboring India, the world’s 2nd most populous country behind China.

For comparison, Japan is a fraction smaller than the State of California in the US and hundreds (thousands?) of years older. Its international trading volume ranks #4 behind, in order, China, US, and Germany. The UK and France are nipping at Japan’s heels.

The UAE has emerged as a key international trade hub between East and West thanks to its open economy, attractive business environment, and continued economic growth. Higher oil prices have also benefited the UAE economy in recent years which, in turn, helps both investment and trade.

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