EDITOR’S PAGE 05
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NATURAL PARTNERS Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently claimed that India would continue to be the fastest growing large economy in the world, and could well become the second largest economy on the planet by 2030. Of course, the outlook in the UAE is also particularly bright, so surely it is natural that these two countries will become strong economic partners. The Gulf region and India have something of a history when it comes to trading. In fact, when it was the pearl industry and other commodities that dominated the GCC’s economy, before the discovery of oil, the Arabian Gulf and India were strong trading partners. Today, with Dubai in particular looked upon as a regional hub as far a business is concerned, the non-resident Indian (NRI) population in the UAE has swelled to around 3.3 million, with Indians across all aspects of industry and commerce contributing heavily to the growth of the nation. Some of the UAE’s most respected companies, for instance, are NRI businesses, such as Lulu International, NMC Healthcare, and Aster. Moreover, these three companies have recently announced major multi-million investment projects in India. The UAE and India have approximately $50 billion in bilateral trade, and at the end of 2018 both countries even signed a currency swap agreement, which allows rupee and dirhams for business, instead of the dollar.
With one of the most ancient and revered cultures in the world, India has a rather obvious influence on the UAE, not least the Bollywood theme park in Dubai, which is the first of its kind and celebrates the Mumbai film industry across five themed zones. It is not all one-way traffic though. There has been an increase of investments from the UAE to India, an excellent case-in-point being the announcement that DP World will be part of a $3 billion joint-investment fund with India’s National Infrastructure and Investment Fund, which will invest in ports, inland waterways, river terminals, freight corridors, cold storage, and warehousing. This age-old partnership between India and the Arabian Gulf, it seems, it set to continue for some time to come!
Rod Millington Editor