India remains UAE’s top trade partner: Minister

India has remained the largest commercial partner of the UAE, accounting for more than 21 per cent of the country’s total trade in 2011, the UAE Minister of Foreign Trade was reported on Sunday as saying.

Sheikha Lubna bin Khaled Al Qassimi said bilateral trade between the UAE and India hit an all time high of around Dh194.1 billion in 2011, a whopping 23 times its level of Dh8.5 billion in 1999. India’s exports accounted for more than half the exchange.

Quoted by the semi official daily Alittihad, Sheikh Lubna said the UAE maintained its position as one of the largest commercial centres in the world, with its trade peaking at Dh1.4 trillion in 2012. She expected the exchange to swell further by around 18 per cent to nearly Dh1.65 trillion in 2013.

“India is now the most important trade partner of the UAE given the strong interest by the two countries to strengthen their economic and commercial links,” she said.

Her figures showed the UAE’s exports to India stood at around Dh36.2 billion in 2011, almost 120 times the Dh303 million worth of exports in 1999. The UAE’s re-exports to India also rocketed by 59 times during that period to reach Dh52.8 billion in 2011, allowing the subcontinent to control about 25 per cent of the UAE’s total re-xports.

The UAE’s imports from India climbed to their highest level of around Dh105 billion in 2011, an increase of nearly 26.4 per cent over 2010, Sheikha Lubna said.

“This means India was the top exporter to the UAE and on the top of the pyramid of markets for the UAE products,,” she said.

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