Dubai, Jan 27: India remained the top trading partner for gold here as the total trade for the yellow metal through the entrepot was 19.03 billion dollar in 2007, an increase of 29 per cent from 2006, according to a statement by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC).
In 2006 Dubai's gold trade was estimated at 14.75 billion dollar, up from 10.73 billion dollar in 2005. Dubai's other top trading partners for gold are Switzerland, Malaysia, Australia, South Africa, Italy, the UK, Turkey, the US and Saudi Arabia, while the geographical reach of the business extended to 101 countries. ''Historically, gold has always been seen as a source of lasting value, and this is particularly true of the countries in West Asia and the Indian Subcontinent,'' said Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC.
Dubai remained an important global centre for the gold trade, with the emirate registering year-on-year growth during the last five years, he said adding that it was a clear evidence of the confidence the trade has in the strong economic policies of the Dubai Government.
A total of 559 tonnes of gold was imported into Dubai in 2007, up by 14 per cent from 489 tonnes in 2006. Exports from Dubai increased marginally to 287 tonnes compared to 274 tonnes in 2006. Gold price averaged 696 dollar per ounce in 2007, up from 604 dollar per ounce in 2006.
In the fourth quarter of 2007 gold trade grew by 34 per cent to nearly 5 billion dollar from 3.74 billion dollar in the same period in 2006. In the same period Dubai imported 107 tonnes and exported 77 tonnes of gold.
''Ongoing investor demand from across the world and global concerns about currency and inflation underline the nature of gold as a safe investment,''said Ian MacDonald, Executive Director for Gold and Precious Metals, DMCC.
''Dubai's gold trade has also benefited considerably from the tight supply and strong demand fundamentals of the metal. Despite continuously rising prices, there has been almost 30 per cent increase in the emirate's gold trade in 2007. We look forward to further growing the volumes and strengthening Dubai's role as an important hub for international gold trade.'' he added.