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India – UAE Trade Relations


India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) enjoy strong bonds of friendship founded on Millennia old cultural, religious and economic intercourse between the two regions. People – to- people contacts and barter trade between two regions have existed for centuries. The relationship flourished since the creation of the UAE Federation in 1971 and trade has played a major role in the strengthening the bilateral relationship.

Bilateral Trade

According to Government of India figures, in FY 2015-16, trade between India and UAE crossed US$ 49bn, with Indian exports worth US$ 30bn to the UAE and US$ 19bn worth of UAE’s exports to India, thus making UAE India’s one of the top trading partner. Indian businessmen and traders have contributed significantly to the economic fabric of UAE. Indian professionals also occupy important positions in various banks, private companies and business establishments in the country. The unskilled and semi skilled workers from India are a dominant force in the construction industry. The contribution of Indians to the growth of UAE is acknowledged by the rulers and the people of UAE.

Investments from Dubai & Northern Emirates in India

Dubai Ports World: While Dubai itself is a major investment destination, it also has an important and growing presence in India. Dubai Ports (DP) World operates at: Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal Private Limited, Chennai Container Terminal Private Limited and India Gateway Terminal at Cochin. The Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal in Vallarpadam, developed and operated by Dubai Ports World is the first International Container Trans-shipment Terminal in India. On 1 November 2012, DP World won the contract to build and operate a single berth terminal facility at Nhava Sheva, Mumbai. The US$ 200mn worth facility expected to be operational in 2015 will have an annual handling capacity of 800,000 TEUs.

RAK ceramics: RAK ceramics, a USD 1bn global conglomerate with global production of tiles exceeding 3,60,000 sq.m and 1200 pieces of Sanitary ware per day from its 10 state of art plants in UAE has 1 plant each in Bangladesh, China, India, Iran and Sudan.In India, RAK Ceramics has the largest vitrified tile manufacturing plant in Samalkot in Andhra Pradesh with a per day manufacturing capacity of 30, 000sq. m of vitrified tiles and 1500 sanitary ware.

Emaar MGF: Emaar MGF Land Limited is a joint venture between Dubai based Emaar Properties and MGF developments of India. The company commenced operation in India in February, 2005 and is into real estate development with a pan – India presence and operations spanning all key segments of the India real estate industry, namely residential, commercial, retail and hospitality sectors. At present, its focus is on the development of residential projects in Delhi and elsewhere in NCR, Mohali, Hyderabad, Chennai and other key Indian Cities.

TECOM: TECOM investment was established in the year 2005 to build, manage and develop the business parks vertical under Dubai Holding. TECOM business Parks comprises of 10 business parks under five industry clusters across the information and communication technology (ICT), media, education, sciences, as well as manufacturing and logistics sectors. TECOM investment has conceptualized Smart City to develop knowledge industry townships globally. SmartCity Malta and Smart City Kochi are their first two international developments. SmartCity Kochi is a JV between Smart City Dubai and Government of Kerala with 84% and 16% respectively. SmartCity Kochi is a home to knowledge based companies that aim to serve the Indian Continent.

Major Indian Companies in Dubai & Northern Emirates

Many leading Indian companies and banks have an important presence in Dubai. For example, L & T, HCL Infosystems, Nagarjuna Construction Company Limited, Hinduja Group, Danube, Sobha Group, Indian Oil Corporation, Reliance Industries, Essar Group, Bank of Baroda, State Bank of India, IDBI Bank, Union Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab National Bank, Indusind Bank, Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, HDFC, ICICI, Axis Bank, Andhra Bank, Canara Bank, Corporation Bank etc. RAKFTZ is home to a large number of Indian companies operating in diverse sectors including Pioneer Cement (USD 105 million investment), JBF RAK Polyester Chips and Films (USD 100 million), Eternity Technologies of Al Dobowi Group manufacturing industrial batteries (USD 55 million), Ashok Leyland Bus/Truck Assembly (USD 50 million), Mahindra Emirates Vehicle Armoury (USD 25 million), Dabur India Herbal Products(USD 25 million), RAK Steel Products (USD 25 million), Bosco Aluminium Products (USD 10 million), etc.

Delegation visits from India

Visit of Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan to Dubai

The Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas visited UAE from 11th to 15th May, 2018. He was in Dubai from 13th evening onwards. On the morning of 14th the Minister held a roundtable meeting with the leading players in the food processing sector in UAE. The meeting was followed by a roadshow on ‘E&P opportunities in India’ which was held at the Westin Hotel. Another roadshow was held in the afternoon for 9th City Gas Distribution (CGD) bidding round which was organized by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board. Hereafter a press conference was held at the same venue where the Minister interacted with the local media. 

Visit of team of officers from Maharashtra to Dubai from 14th – 18th Feb, 2018

Senior officers – Mr. Vikas Kharage, Secretary (Forests), Revenue and Forest Department; Mr. N. Vasudevan, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Mangrove Cell; and Mr. Virendra Tiwari, Chief Conservator of Forests (Mantralaya), Revenue and Forest Department visited Dubai during 14-18 Feb, 2018. The Forest Department of Government of Maharashtra is planning to establish a world class facility in Mumbai for showcasing the coastal and marine biodiversity of the state. This facility is planned to be modelled after the Garden Glow and major tourist attractions in Dubai, which are well known for their creative use of high end technology.

In this regard the senior officers held a meeting with the officials of Dubai Municipality on 15.02.2018. Mr. Muna Obaid Al Daheri, Head of Dubai Safari park briefed the delegation on the experiences of Dubai Municipality in setting up Dubai Safari and Mr. Mohammed Hassan Al Fardan, Specialist in the Public Parks and Horticulture Department gave a presentation on the public parks and other leisure facilities in Dubai.

The Maharashtra delegation also gave a presentation on the Coastal and Marine Diversity Centre in Arioli, Navi Mumbai. The delegation also conducted a number of visits to various facilities in Dubai such as the Dubai Safari, Dubai Frame, Dubai Garden Glow and Dubai Dolphinarium.

Visit of delegation led by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh to Dubai on 8th Feb, 2018

A delegation led by Hon’ble CM of AP Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu visited Dubai on 8th Feb ahead of the 24th Edition of the ‘Partnership Summit’ to be held between 24-26 February, 2018 in Visakhapatnam. The Summit is a flagship event of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India held in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Government of Andhra Pradesh. An interactive session, in this context, was organized in Dubai on 8th February, 2018 where the Chief Minister made a presentation on the opportunities in Andhra Pradesh and interacted with the delegates and also invited them for the Partnership Summit.

The delegation accompanied by Ambassador Navdeep Suri had a meeting with HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and Chairman of the Emirates Group. Mr. J Krishna Kishore, CEO of Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) and His Highness signed a MoU in the presence of the CM of Andhra Pradesh and Ambassador for cooperation in the field of aviation MRO and setting up an aviation academy in Andhra Pradesh. The delegation also held separate meetings with Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General of Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZA), HE Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World and senior members of Phoenix Group, Sharaf Group and Danube. 

Visit of delegation from Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt. of India to UAE

Mr. Binoy Kumar, Special Secretary and Mr. Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Joint Secretary (WANA) from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India, visited UAE during 9-10th January, 2018. The delegation accompanied by the Ambassador Navdeep Suri had a meeting with Her Excellency Reem Al-Hashimi, Minister of State and Managing Director for the Dubai World Expo 2020. During the meeting matters related to India’s participation in Expo 2020 were discussed. The Expo 2020 team also gave a detailed presentation about the event which was followed by a tour of the Expo site.

The delegation also had a meeting with H.E. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO and Mr. Yuvraj Narayan, CFO of DP World along with other senior officials. The delegation also met Mr. Sharafuddin Sharaf, Vice Chairman Sharaf Group; Mr. Shyam Kapur, Vice President Sharaf Group and had a separate meeting with Mr. Saifee Rupawala, CEO of Lulu Group International and Mr. Saleem COO of Lulu Group International. During the meetings they had discussions on matters related to logistics sector in India. 

Visit of CM Haryana to Dubai: Chief Minister of Haryana Shri Manohar Lal Khattar paid a visit to Dubai from December 5-7, 2017 with the primary aim of showcasing investment opportunities available in the State in various sectors. A high-level delegation including the Minister of Industries of Haryana as well as senior officials accompanied the CM on the visit. The CM met the Indian community in a function organized by the Consulate where he engaged in an interactive session and answered various queries related to business and developmental initiatives of the State. The CM also held meetings with a number of leading businessmen namely Sharaf Group, DP World, Emaar Group, NMC Healthcare, Al Maya Group, Lulu Group, etc and invited them to invest in the state. He also addressed a roadshow organized by Business Leaders Forum on investment opportunities in the State.

Visit of delegation led by Mr. Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh to UAE from 21st 24th Oct, 2017: A high-level delegation led by Mr. Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, India visited Dubai from 21-22 October 2017 to invite investment from UAE in Andhra Pradesh in general and new capital of AP, ‘Amaravati’ in particular. The delegation interacted with the nonresident Telugu community and members of the Business Leaders Forum (BLF) on 21st. On 22nd the Chief Minister had one on one meetings with Mr. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World; H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Cabinet Member and UAE Minister of Economy; Mr. Gaith Al Gaith, CEO, Flydubai and Mr. Adnan Kazim, Divisional SVP Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimization & Aero Political Affairs; Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Head of Air Transport, Dubai Civil Aviation Authority; H.E. Mohammad Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs & Future and Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, UAE Minister of State for Happiness.

Visit of delegation from Ministry of Food Processing Industry to UAE from 6th-7th Aug, 2017: A high-level delegation led by Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, Government of India visited Dubai. The visit was a part of preparation for India’s largest international event in food processing and allied sectors ‘World Food India 2017’ to be held in New Delhi from 03-05 Nov, 2017. The Minister met the UAE Minister of Climate Change & Environment, H.E. Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, several business leaders and also conducted a Road Show at the Indian Consulate, Dubai. The Minister of State also had meetings with the members of Dubai Exports and officials from the Department of Economic Development, Dubai.

CII delegation: CII brought a delegation of 11 CEOs lead by Ms. Shobana Kamineni (President CII) during 13th – 15th May, 2017. On 14th May they visited Abu Dhabi and had meetings with the Ambassador of India, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and ADIA. On 15th May they had meetings in Dubai with the Minister of Economy, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Business Leaders Forum (BLF).

Exhibitions & Events:

Buyer Seller Meet (BSM) by Council for Leather Exports (CLE): CLE, under Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Govt of India, in association with the Consulate General of India, Dubai  & India Trade & Exhibition Centre m.e. organized the 3rd Edition of Exhibition on Indian Leather Products & Footwear (Including Non Leather Footwear) on 11th & 12th December 2017 at Hyatt Regency Deira, Dubai. The event was inaugurated by Consul General Vipul. With representation from top 37 leather companies from all over India, the 2 day event focused on showcasing India’s finest leather & leather products ranging from Finished Leather, Leather & Non Leather Footwear, Footwear Components, Leather Garments, and Leather Goods & Accessories etc. The exhibition attracted a visit of approximately 225 buyers.

India – UAE Partnership Summit:  The event was held from 30th – 31st October, 2017 at Armani, Burj Khalifa, Dubai. Some of the notable speakers at the Summit were H.E. Mohammed Sharaf, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation; H.E. Abdullah al Nuaimi, Minister of State for Infrastructure Development; H.E. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy and Mr. Haseeb Drabu, Hon’ble Finance Minister of Jammu & Kashmir. The event was organised by Business Leaders Forum (BLF) in collaboration with UAE-Ministry of Economy, Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of India, Dubai. The summit focused mainly on Investment – Implementation. Uttar Pradesh & Telangana were the focus states for the event. The representatives of these states highlighted investment opportunities in their states. Representatives from Manipur and Finance Minister of Jammu & Kashmir also invited the investors to invest in their states. http://www.iups.ae/pressrelease.htmlhttp://www.iups.ae/press-releases/index.html

Country Focus Briefing: The Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) in cooperation with Consulate General of India, Dubai organized Country Focus Briefing on 10th Sep, 2017. The event consisted of a special address by Mr.  Subhash Desai, Cabinet Minister of Industries – Govt. of Maharashtra, speeches by Mr. Vipul, Consul General of India in Dubai and Mr. Vishal Choradia, Chairman – Maharashtra Khadi & Village Industries Board. A presentation on Investment Opportunities in India was given by Mr. Rahul Srivastava, Consul – CGI Dubai and Ms. Bidisha Ganguly, Chief Economist – Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) presented on India’s New Economy Overview. The event was also attended by Mr. Sharafuddin Sharaf, Vice Chairman of Sharaf Group; Mr. Firat Unlu, Lead India Analyst, The Economist Intelligence Unit, senior Dubai Chamber officials and members, as well as representatives from the emirate’s business community.

Road Show: Indian Leather Buyer Seller Meet, 11th Sep 2017: The Council of Leather Exports (CLE) under the support of Indian Consulate and India Trade & Exhibition Centre (ITEC) conducted a Road Show at the Consulate auditorium. This was as a prelude to the upcoming Buyer Seller Meet (BSM) by CLE which is scheduled for December 2017 in Dubai. CLE was represented by their Chairman, Vice Chairman and Executive Director who gave a brief about the features and strengths of the leather industry in India to the businessmen who attended the event. The Consul General was the Chief Guest for the event and the CEO for Shoemart – Landmark Group was the guest of honour.

Seminar on VAT: A workshop on Value Added Tax (VAT) was organized by Tally Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and Consulate General of India, Dubai on 1st July, 2017. More than 200 business owners attended the seminar held at the Consulate Auditorium. The purpose of the seminar was to make the Indian SME businesses aware about the new tax structure which is due to be implemented later this year.

1st International AYUSH Conference & Exhibition 2017:

Science India Forum (SIF) in association with the Consulate General of India, Dubai and with support from the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and Vigyan Bharti organized the 1st International AYUSH Conference & Exhibition 2017 from 9-11 November at Dubai World Trade Centre. Sri Shripad Naik, Minister of AYUSH, Govt. of India and Vaidya Rajesh Kumar Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH attended the Conference. The theme of the Conference was ‘Lifestyle Diseases – Prevention & Management through AYUSH’. The Conference was inaugurated jointly by HE Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Tolerance and Sri Shripad Naik. Ambassador Navdeep Suri addressed the inaugural session of the Conference while Consul General Vipul addressed the valedictory session. Many seminars on technical issues related to AYUSH were held during the Conference. The Conference was attended by over 800 AYUSH practitioners from 16 countries. About 100 papers and 70 posters were presented during the Conference and more than 15000 people visited the Exhibition. Her Excellency Ohoud Bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing visited the Exhibition on Day 3. 44 exhibitors exhibited their products during the Exhibition.

Sri Shripad Naik and Vaidya Rajesh Kumar Kotecha also held meetings with HE Dr. Amin Hussain Al Amiri, Asst. Undersecretary of Ministry of Health, Her Excellency Ohoud Bint Khalfan Al Roumi and Dr. Ramadan Al Blooshi, CEO – Dubai Healthcare City Authority Regulation on the sidelines of the Conference. Many issues including establishing AYUSH chair in one of the universities in Dubai, starting a manufacturing facility of AYUSH medicines in Dubai, recognition of Ayurveda and AYUSH pharmacopoeia in UAE and having a centre of examination for TCAM in India were discussed during these meetings. Dr. BR Shetty, Founder and Non Executive Chairman of NMC Healthcare announced his intent to start medical facility totally based on AYUSH system in UAE and other GCC countries during the Conference.