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.
In 2011 India continued to remain the biggest trading partner for Dubai accounting for 19% of Dubai foreign trade amounting to US$ 37.3 bn in 2011. Dubai’s imports from India touched US$ 27.77bn, its exports to India amounting to US$ 9.80 bn and re-exports reaching US$ 18.79 bn.Major Indian exports included gems & jewellery, petroleum products, machinery, instruments. Major imports included gold, precious stones & gems, machinery and electronics.
Dubai has traditionally been a popular base for many enterprising Indian businessmen and traders. In turn, they have contributed significantly to the economic fabric of Dubai. As on 31st December, 2011 Dubai Chamber of Commerce has aound 21,000 Indian companies registered with them. Sharjah Chamber has 9600, Ajman Chamber 2600 and Ras Al Khaimah over 1700 Indian companies registered with them. The Jebel Ali Free Zone has around 700 Indian companies.
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
- Gulfood: The 17th edition of Gulfood, was held from 19-22 February 2012. Over more than 300 Indian companies’ participated in the exhibition under the aegis APEDA, Tea Board, Spices Board, Cashew Export Promotion Council, Indian Oilseed and Produce Export Promotion Council (IOPEPC).
- Arabian Travel Market Exhibition: The 18th edition of Arabian Travel Market Exhibition was held from 2-5 May 2011. More than 50 public sector and private Indian companies participated in the exhibition, notably India Tourism, Cleartrip, Make my trip, Thomas Cook, Taj group.
- Automechanika Middle East: The 9th edition of Automechanika Middle East exhibition was held in Dubai from 7-9 June,2011. Over 20 Indian companies participated in this event under the umbrella of Engineering export promotion Council (EEPC).
- Mango Promotion festival: The Agricultural & Processed Food products export Development Authority (APEDA) organized a 5 day Mango Promotion festival in UAE from 29 June – 2 July 2011.
- Seafood Expo: The 5th Seafood Expo Dubai was held between 27-29 September 2011. The Indian participation was led by the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).
- Global Arab Business meeting: The 2nd Global Arab Business Meet (GABM) hosted by the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah H.H Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi was held from 9-10 October 2011. The Hon’ble Minister for Urban development Shri Kamal Nath attended the GABM and met the ruler and the UAE Foreign Trade Minister Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi.
- GITEX: The 31st edition of GITEX from 9-13 October 2011, over 60 Indian ICT companies under the aegis of Telecom Equipment & Services Export Promotion Council and Electronics and computer software export promotion council participated in the event.
- Dubai Air Show: The 12th edition of the Dubai Air show was held from 13- 18 November 2011.The Hon’ble Minister of State Defense, Shri Pallam Raju attended the event.