UAE, India trade to hit $100 billion by 2020
A lot of UAE investors are focusing on infrastructure in India
Economic trade and investment between the UAE and India are growing as there has been strong interest from companies and investors from the UAE to invest in the Southeast Asian country, with bilateral trade projected to reach $100 billion by 2020, according to speakers at a 'Destination India' summit organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) UAE (Dubai) chapter on Saturday.
Vipul, Consul-General of India in Dubai, said bilateral trade is "very good between the two countries. It's more than $50 billion and our leadership has set a target of 60 per cent growth in the next five years. We hope it will be worth $100 billion. We are equally interested in the investment side and hope to get more and more investments from the UAE. A target of approximately $75 billion was set for a joint investment fund when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the UAE. Things are moving in that direction and we're making good progress on that front."
Vipul sees a lot of UAE investors are focusing on infrastructure as India is growing at a fast pace in addition to other industries such as agriculture, power, oil and gas among others.
During the Indian prime minister's visit to the UAE, an announcement was made to set up a $75 billion joint fund to invest in infrastructure projects.
The Confederation of Indian Industry also forecast earlier this year that trade between India and the UAE is set to hit $100 billion by 2020, up from the current $60 billion.
"Our countries now have a comprehensive strategic partnership and this provides the foundation to expand ties in the coming years in a range of sectors. A primary aim of our side has been to encourage the UAE to substantially enhance its investments in India, especially in the infrastructure sector," he added.
Pankaj Mundra, chairman of ICAI UAE (Dubai) chapter, said bilateral trade between the UAE and India can be increased further as the number of banks in the UAE has increased, hence, facilitating and financing the trade in a better and quicker way.
"We only had the Bank of Baroda earlier, but now we have more than 10 banks in the Dubai International Financial Centre to fund this UAE-India trade. Being chartered accountants, we can play a crucial role in terms of bringing multinational and Emirati firms to India in sectors such as manufacturing, services, banking, etc., as our members hold key positions like CEOs or CFOs with companies. The ICAI's 2,500 members are working with 1,300 companies and they play a major role in decision-making about investments. We can advise clients to invest in India," he added.
One company a day
Highlighting closer ties between the UAE and India, Gautam Sashittal, CEO of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), said at least one Indian company approaches the free zone on every working day.
"Out of 14,000 companies in the DMCC, over 2,000 are from India, making up about 14 per cent of the total. In addition, our DMCC Tea Centre handles 45 million kilos of tea a year, out of which four million kilos originate from India - so, it is a substantial interface between Dubai and India. Today, Dubai has become the largest re-exporter of tea."
Similarly, he pointed out that almost a third of the global trade in Indian rupee futures happens on the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, which is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets in the region. "In addition, we also facilitate and regulate the gold and diamond trade in Dubai, which between them account for $75 billion annually. Almost a third of this trade is with India," he noted.
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