The relations between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) have become symbiotic as economic trade and investment is significantly growing between the two countries. Companies and investors from the UAE are showing increasing interest in investing in the world’s largest democracy as bilateral trade is expected to reach a value of USD100 billion by 2020.
This was the crux of the ‘Destination India’ meeting which was organised recently by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) UAE (Dubai) chapter.
Starting on an optimistic note, Vipul, Consul-General of India in Dubai, said, “Bilateral trade is very good between the two countries. It's more than USD50 billion and our leadership has set a target of 60 per cent growth in the next five years. We hope it will be worth USD100 billion.”
He added, “We are equally interested in the investment side and hope to get more and more investments from the UAE. A target of approximately USD75 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."
The Consul-General of India said, "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.”
There are many UAE investors who 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.
Even the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has predicted earlier this year that trade between India and the UAE is set to hit USD100 billion by 2020, up from the current USD60 billion.
Reflecting on the role of banks in promotion of bilateral trade, 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. “
He added, “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.”
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.”