UAE traders are among the most optimistic about the outlook for exports, despite a downbeat global economic backdrop.
The Emirates trailed only India and Saudi Arabia in the HSBC Trade Confidence Index, released yesterday.
"It's very significant and very encouraging that two of the top three countries in the index are in the region," said Tim Reid, the head of commercial banking at HSBC in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Confidence globally ebbed by 1 point in the past six months, showed the results of the survey of 6,390 exports in 21 countries.
The data adds to existing evidence that has pointed towards a slowdown in global trade as China's cooling economy and euro-zone woes squeeze demand.
In the UAE, 61 per cent of traders anticipated growth in their cross-border business over the next six months, with 31 per cent expecting trade volumes to stay at current levels.
One reason for the positivity may be a rise in trade within the region helping to offset slowing links with other markets, such as the euro zone. Trade with other countries in the region has nearly doubled in the past six months, according to the survey.
Globally, the report showed trade flows in the coming two decades would be driven by faster-growing emerging markets.