The Indian Business Community in the UAE Is an Important Partner in the Nation's Development, Says HE Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman



UAE-India trade is on the increase, Dr Omar tells the Indian Business & Professional Council

The Indian business community in the UAE has been an integral partner in the growth story of the nation, HE Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre, told members of the Indian Business & Professional Council on Sunday.

“The development and success of the UAE and Dubai wouldn’t be what it is without the committed, dynamic and entrepreneurial contribution of the Indian community,” Dr Omar told the lunch meeting.

Not only is the Indian community in the UAE a significant partner in growth, but so too does trade between the UAE and India engage a significant share of the UAE economy, he said. UAE exports to India have grown at a faster pace than overall growth in UAE exports, while imports from India have increased by a factor of 30 between 1990 and 2008, reaching US$13.7 billion by the third quarter of that year.

“The potential of both the Middle East and India has yet to be reached in full, but I believe that the Indian community here in Dubai and the UAE can be a catalyst to help our regions realise their full possibilities,” Dr Omar said.

“The infrastructure and business environment in Dubai and the UAE offers a fertile trade and financial hub from which Indian businesses have flourished and expanded into the entire region, while the entrepreneurial spirit of the Indian expatriate community, as well as its links with the Indian economy, offer multiple opportunities for both sides to work together toward the betterment of all,” Dr Omar said.

“In fact, some of Dubai’s biggest brands and commercial enterprises were founded by members of the Indian community in Dubai and have played an important role in contributing to the rise of Dubai as not just a regional, but also a global centre of trade, commerce, finance, education, healthcare, transportation and tourism,” he added.
Bilateral investment also is substantial, with India courting GCC capital and Indians representing the third largest source of investment into the Middle East, after the United States and the United Kingdom.

Commenting on the enduring strength of Dubai’s economy, Dr Omar pointed to a new study of Indian and Pakistani schools by the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority that showed a 2% increase in enrolment numbers for the 2009 academic year, which began in April.

“Given that these communities represent a large portion of the Dubai expatriate population, this is another sign that, despite the empty talk of sceptics, there is a continuing flow of real data showing the stability of the expatriate population,” Dr Omar said. “We are confident that similar results will be found in other expatriate schools with the start of their new academic year in the fall.”

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