UAE-India bilateral trade setting new heights

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Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (L) talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a welcome ceremony at The Presidential Palace in New Delhi in this file photo. Photo - Raveendran/AFP/Getty Images

India-UAE bilateral trade is expected to reach USD 103.6 billion by 2025, according to financial services firm HSBC.

At the HSBC Trade Connections UAE & India conference held in Dubai recently, the bank said that by 2013, the India-Middle East corridor is expected to grow by 34 percent, placing it among the fastest growing global trade corridors.

India is currently ranked as one of the UAE’s top 10 trade corridors, along with China, US, and Japan.

?Trade between Indian and the UAE has never been bigger. In the past 12 months the growth has really been astronomical and today we are going to be exploring the reasons for that, the challenges we face and how we can all benefit,? Consular General Sanjay Verma told reporters.

Abdulfattah Sharaf, the CEO of HSBC in the UAE and a speaker at the event, said: ?India is a very important market for us and we?re very keen to show our customers the best ways to capitalise on the huge increase in trade.?


UAE-India trade, valued at $180 million per annum in the 1970s, today stands at around $44 billion, making India UAE’s largest trading partner. The bilateral trade is likely to exceed US$ 50 billion during 2010-2011.

According to HSBC, India will be the Middle East’s largest trading partner this year, with trade expanding by 140 percent over the period. The growth will be both supply chain and commodity driven.

India?s exports to the UAE are well diversified with a large basket.

India’s major export items to the UAE include petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems & jewellery, minerals, food items, and engineering & machinery products and chemicals.

India?s major import items from UAE include petroleum and petroleum products, precious metals, stones, gems & jewellery, minerals, chemicals, wood & wood products.

UAE was the fifth largest import source of crude oil for India in 2009-10 with an import of 11.60 metric tons of crude oil.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from UAE to India is estimated to be US$ 1.8 billion. UAE is the tenth biggest investor in India in terms of FDI. UAE?s investments in India are concentrated mainly in five sectors: Energy (19.1%); Services (9.3%); Programming (7.8%); Construction (6.8%); and Tourism and Hotels (5.6%). Prominent UAE companies such as DP World, Emmar, RAK etc have invested significantly in various sectors of Indian economy.

India’s trade with the UAE represents about 9.1 per cent of India’s total trade valued at $467.12 billion in 2009-2010.

About 13.41 per cent of India’s total exports land in the UAE ? that serves the GCC, Iran, Iraq and parts of the Central Asian countries.


The traditionally close and friendly UAE-India bilateral relationship has evolved into a significant partnership in both economic and commercial spheres. Indians have emerged as important investors within the UAE and India as an important export destination for UAE-manufactured goods.

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) make up the biggest community in the UAE, outnumbering all other nationalities. They are estimated to own nearly half of the UAE’s registered companies that are currently active.

It is estimated there are around 1.7 million Indians reside in the UAE, constituting the largest expatriate community in the country.


“India and the UAE have shared trade links throughout the centuries. Trade, which was dominated by traditional items such as dates and fishes, underwent a sharp change after the discovery of oil in the UAE. With the emergence of the UAE as a unified entity in 1971, exports from India?started growing gradually over the years,” Indian Ambassador to the UAE, M. K. Lokesh, said in his statement.

The growing India-UAE economic and commercial relations contribute to the stability and strength of a rapidly diversifying and deepening bilateral relationship between the two countries. Both sides are striving to further strengthen these ties for mutual benefits, the ambassador added.

Sources: Arabian Business, TradeIndia, IndiaTimes,, KhaleejTimes, GulfNews

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