The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a GDP of about $350 billion and a high GDP per capita, but it is a commodity-based economy, with hydrocarbons accounting for 40% of total exports and 38% of its GDP. In its drive towards diversifying its economy and reduce its dependence on oil revenues, the UAE programmed for tourism, financial and construction sectors to receive most of its investments. Meanwhile, manufacturing activity accounted for 42% of output growth, transport and communication for 23%, wholesale and retail trade for 16.5% and catering and hospitality for 15.5% whilst construction and agriculture contracted these last 2 years. All of these activities are manned by active populations which according to all governments agencies and local media are made of more than 85% of expatriate population with 71% mostly Indian. The UAE and India to enjoy stronger trade and cultural ties further have to come together in a range of agreements .

Arabian  came up on Monday, 13 March 2017 with this article by Hamad Buamim, thus providing an idea as it were from the inside to show where the UAE’s heart lies hence the subject of the proposed article on tying ever more closer relationships with India. Like all countries of the GCC, the UAE has some difficulty in accepting to apply some sort of minimal fair ‘Equal Opportunity’ treatment to all their residents, if only to sedenterise them better. It must however be said on this chapter, the UAE have prominently shown the way, by being at the forefront of the other members of the GCCs.

Why the UAE is forging closer ties with India

[ . . . ] The UAE and India have enjoyed strong trade and cultural ties that date back more than a century. This unique relationship has strengthened in recent decades amid an increase in bilateral trade and investment. Non-oil trade between India and Dubai has accounted for the largest volume of trade, amounting to $19bn in the first nine months of 2016, and solidifying India’s position as the emirate’s second-largest trading partner.

The Indian business community in the UAE has contributed significantly to bilateral relations and trade. In fact, 29 percent of all new companies that registered with Dubai Chamber last year were Indian, bringing the total number of Indian members to over 36,000. At the same time, India remains one of the top export markets for Dubai Chamber members, with exports and re-exports to the country growing steadily in recent years to reach $1.7bn by the end of 2016.

Yet, we see huge potential within India’s fast-growing economy that has yet to be explored. The two countries share many synergies, especially within the areas of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and metals.

The world’s fifth-largest economy has renewed its focus on foreign trade, while it has also outpaced China in exports of locally made retail and lifestyle products. At the same time, it has stepped up efforts to strengthen its economic cooperation with the UAE in the areas of agriculture, food security, energy, defence, technology and healthcare.

India has put forth a clear roadmap to fuel future economic growth that places a major emphasis on expanding its infrastructure and boosting foreign direct investment. The country is building several cluster cities and recently opened its first international finance services centre in Ahmedabad. New policies are also focussed on turning India into a manufacturing hub for pharmaceutical and medical products under the “Make In India” initiative.

There are also exciting new technologies that India is embracing, such as blockchain, which has now been successfully tested by the country’s central bank.   Smart city concepts are also gaining momentum and the adoption of innovative solutions stands to make the country a major hotspot for smart city developments.

As a country that has excelled in rapidly expanding its infrastructure and economy, I believe that the UAE can offer the right level of expertise and investment needed to meet growing demand within India and help turn the country’s ambitions into a reality. [ . . . ]