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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Free trade agreement will help boost UAE-India economic ties


Dubai: A free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the UAE would help increase bilateral trade flow between the two countries, a top Non-Resident Indian businessman said.
"An agreement will not only help boost trade, but also give UAE investors greater access to growing Indian markets," Sudhesh K. Aggarwal, President of Indian Business Leaders Forum (IBLF), Chairman of Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) Sharjah and Chairman and Managing Director of Giant Group of Industries, told Gulf News in an exclusive interview.
India-UAE bilateral trade rose from only $180 million in the 1970s to a whopping $43 billion per annum in 2009-2010, making the UAE India's largest trading partner. This is made up of $23.97 billion worth of exports and $19.49 billion worth of imports from the UAE.
India's trade with the UAE represents about 9.1 per cent of India's total trade valued at $467.12 billion in 2009-2010.
About 13.41 per cent of India's total exports land in the UAE — that serves the GCC, Iran, Iraq and parts of the Central Asian countries.
"Similarly, a FTA will help the UAE attract more Indian investment in the UAE's key economic areas. It will also help the large NRI investors who have been contributing to the UAE economy for decades," he said.
Non-Resident Indian (NRIs) make up the biggest community in the UAE, outnumbering all other nationalities. They are estimated to own nearly half of the UAE's registered companies that are currently active.
Aggarwal spoke at length about the FTA, trade and investment and his organisation's moves to strengthen the relations between the two countries.
Gulf News: What are the latest developments as far as the FTA between UAE and India is concerned? What is the role of the Indian business community in this regard?