Brief on Trade Between India and Dubai & Northern Emirates
India and the Northern Emirates have enjoyed historical relations and have been dynamic partners in the trade and economic fields. India-UAE trade, valued at US$ 180 million per annum in the 1970s, is today in excess of US$ 44 billion making the UAE one of India’s leading trade partners. Of the bilateral trade approximately 80% accounted from Dubai alone.
Latest statistics released by Dubai Customs revealed that the emirate’s foreign trade crossed US$ 272.3bn between January – September 2013 compared to US$ 249.93bn in the same period in 2012. In this period Dubai’s imports reached US$ 166.08bn while exports & re-exports rose to US$ 108.63bn.
India ranked first among Dubai’s total non-oil foreign trade partners with trade volumes worth US$ US$ 30.22bn and was followed by China and USA. Gold represented the largest share of Dubai’s imports and exports followed by cellular & wired communication devices, diamonds, cars, and jewellery in terms of imports and raw aluminum, petroleum oils, jewellery, cigars, cigarettes and tobacco alternatives in term of exports.
Major leading Indian companies and banks in Dubai & the Northern Emirates include Essar Group, L & T, HCL Info systems, Hinduja Group, Indian oil Corporation, Reliance Industries, Danube, Bank of Baroda, State bank of India, Indian Overseas bank ,Union bank of India, HDFC bank, Axis bank, Canara bank etc. While Dubai itself is a major investment destination, it also has an important and growing presence in India. Dubai Ports World operates ports Mumbai, Chennai, Mundra (Gujarat) and Cochin.
Indian Trade Organizations in Dubai and Northern Emirates
Indian Trade & Exhibition Centre
Hon’ble President of India Smt. Pratibha Patil inaugurated the India Trade & Exhibition Centre (ITEC) on 25th November 2010. ITEC set up under the aegis of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and with the support of the Ministry of Commerce; Govt. of India was established to promote two way trade, tourism and investment between India – UAE, India – GCC and India – MENA countries. ITEC leases office and space to Indian enterprises for exhibition. It also aims to organize meetings, conferences, and seminars for Indian business & professional community and visiting Indian delegations.
Indian Business & Professional Council
Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) Dubai and Sharjah are representative organization of Indian Businessmen and Professionals in UAE. IBPC acts as a networking forum Indian businessmen and professionals in Dubai and Northern Emirates. It helps and supports fresh Indian business ventures to enter the market with the help of its professional relationship with organizations like Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry , authorities of various free zones , trade promotion agencies etc.
Indus Trade Center
The Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO), the apex body of Indian export promotion organizations established the Indus Trade Center in Sharjah free zone in 2008. It aims at promoting trade between India – UAE and other MENA regions. This offshore hub encourages SME exporters to set up value added facilities like displaying their products, processing, finishing, assembling, packaging and having their own overseas marketing office.
Indian Business Leaders Forum
Indian Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) to be based in Dubai is a consortium of senior and young Indian business leaders in UAE. IBLF aims to promote trade and investment with India and other GCC and MENA countries, promote business between the Indian owned firms in the region and take part in social projects.
Dubai and Northern Emirates investments in India
- On 2 February 2011, the Dubai based Tecom and Kerala government joint venture Smart City project in Kochi was revived and on 8 October 2011 the work towards the completion of the first phase of project was started. The project will set up over 246 acres in Kochi, of which 133 acres will have special economic zone status.
- On 11 February 2011 the Dubai Ports World developed the first International Container Trans-shipment Terminal at Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal in Vallarpadam Cochin on 11 February 2011.
- On 24 July 2011 Dubai Ports World inaugurated a pilot solar power system at Nhava Sheva (Mumbai) that will allow the terminal to harness solar energy for its energy requirements and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- On 6 October 2011 Arabtec – Raheja venture (63% owned by Dubai-based Arabtec and the rest by Raheja Developers Ltd), together have won a contract worth $204.19 mn to build three residential apartments in Gurgaon and Delhi in the next 4 years.
- On 24 November 2011 Dnata announced its first foray into the Indian market with the official launch of its travel services operation in the country in partnership with Hogg Robinson Group (HRG). Their offices are located in Delhi and Mumbai.
Indian investments in Dubai and Northern Emirates
- On 17 December 2010, Ashok Leyland launched its $25 million assembly facility in Ras Al Khaimah for manufacturing buses and lorries in UAE. This is the first automobile plant in UAE.
- In March 2011 IDBI Bank, Dubai signed an in-principle agreement with Meydan Group for syndication of debt of US$ 120mn for the Emirates infrastructure project.
- HCL Infosystems, India expanded its distribution business in Middle East by acquiring a 20% stake in Dubai based Techmart Telecom Distribution FZCO, the Nokia distributor for Gulf and Africa.
- On 11 November 2011 JK Cement announced an investment of US$14.97 mn to set up a white cement plant in Fujairah Free Trade Zone.
Recent events and visits
- India – RAK Economic Partnership Seminar: The Consulate in association with Indian Business & Professional Council, RAK organized a seminar on India – RAK Economic Partnership on 6 February 2013. The seminar showcased the presence of Indian Businesses in Ras Al Khaimah and to know about the various sector for bilateral growth.
- Gulfood:The 18th edition of Gulfood, the world’s largest exhibition in food and hospitality sector was held from 25 – 28 February 2013. The Indian pavilion consisting of around 80 companies was coordinated by Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).
- Arabian Travel Mart:The 20th edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) was held from 6-9 May, 2013 at Dubai. More than 50 participants from India, highlighting the diverse heritage, nature, culture and wellness tourism, participated through the India Pavilion at ATM-2013.
- Plastivision Arabia:The All India Plastics Manufacturers Association in association with Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry organized a trade fair, Plastivision Arabia in Sharjah from 14-17 May 2013. More than 50 Indian companies participated in the exhibition.
- Indian Trade Fair:Indian Trade Fair Dubai 2013 (ITF DUBAI 2013) was held from 3–5 September, 2013 with the support of Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Around 100 exhibitors including Khadi Gramodyog, National Small Industries Corporation, Larsen & Toubro, Department of Tourism, Jet Airways, Goa Tourism, Real Estate Companies etc. had put up stalls.
- Indian Pharma Companies & Dubiotech Meeting: The Consulate in association with Dubiotech organized a seminar – India – UAE Synergies in Pharma Sector on 29 September 2013. The seminar was focused to showcase strengths of the Indian Pharma industry and the benefits offered to the Indian Pharma companies if they get established at Dubiotech.
- GITEX:The 33nd edition of GITEX – the largest ICT exhibition of the region was held in Dubai from 20-24 October, 2013. The Indian Pavilion consisted of around 80 ICT companies. The Indian participation was led by the Electronics & Computer Software Export Promotions Council (ESC) and Department of Telecommunication (TEPC).
- GITEX:The Middle East & Africa Seafood Exhibition (SEAFEX) was held in Dubai from 17-19 November 2013. The Marine Products Export development Authority (MPEDA) participated in the exhibition and put up a stall with value added seafood items sourced from registered processing plants across the country.
- Sharjah-India Roundtable Conference: The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in partnership with the Indian Business & Professional Council (IBPC), Dubai hosted a Sharjah -India Roundtable Conference on 11 December, 2013 at Dubai. The roundtable in addition to highlighting the strong bilateral commercial ties between India and UAE, discussed ways to enhance Indian investments in four key sectors of potential growth like travel & tourism, environment, healthcare, and transport & logistics, in the emirate of Sharjah.