India-UAE trade relations

India emerges as the UAE’s largest trading partner with significant growth in exports over the last five years
The Community By The Community report
Published on November 18, 2014
trade zone

India is the UAE’s largest trading partner. Based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics, UAE imports from India were valued at over $20 billion (Dh73 billion) in 2013. Non-oil exports in the same year totalled more than $7.6 billion (Dh28 billion), while re-exports amounted to nearly $8.7 billion (Dh32 billion).

Imports from India have been worth more than $16.3 billion (Dh60 billion) every year for the last five years. These statistics show how the dynamic of Indo-Emirati relations have accelerated recently, and highlight the significant role of the two nations in global matters.

The UAE is the largest market for Indian exports, followed by the US. Data from the 2012-2013 fiscal year indicates that exports to the UAE totalled $35.9 billion (Dh131.9 billion), while exports to the US were valued at $34.7 billion (Dh127.5 billion).

Data from the same period shows Emirati imports from India surpassing $35 billion (Dh128.6 billion), making the country India’s second largest import source following China, whose exports to India soared to over $57 billion (Dh209.4 billion).

According to the website for the Embassy of UAE in New Delhi, Indian exports to the Emirates mainly include gems and jewellery, vegetables, fruit, spices, engineering goods, tea, meat and its preparations, rice, textiles and apparel and chemicals. Conversely, Indian imports from UAE include crude and petroleum products, gold and silver, pearls, precious and semiprecious stones, metal ores/metal scrap, electronic goods and transport equipment.

In addition, Foreign Direct Invest (FDI) from the UAE to India has risen significantly in recent years. Emirati investment is valued at over $5 billion (Dh18.4 billion), with many UAE-based companies represented. These companies include DP World, Emaar Group, Al Nakheel, ETA Star Group, SS Lootah Group, Emirates Techno Casting FZE, RAK Investment Authority, Damas Jewellery and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB).

This goes the other way as well, with India being the third largest investor in the UAE. Several prominent Indian businesses have operations in Free Trade Zones (FTZ’s) across the country. Such areas include Jebel Ali FTZ, Sharjah Airport, Hamariya Free Zones and Abu Dhabi Industrial City. This comes as no surprise, considering the fact that Indian expatriates make up a significant percentage of the country’s population.

Billions of dollars flow between the two each year, and with the recent rise in transactions, both see major monetary benefits while showing the rest of the world that strong economic ties can solidify friendly diplomatic relations.

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