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India pips China to become UAE's largest trade partner

world Updated: May 26, 2010 11:33 IST

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India became the UAE's largest trading partner in 2009, ousting China from the top position and accounting for nearly 15 per cent of the country’s total commercial exchanges, a new study has revealed.

"India was the top trading partner of the UAE last year after overtaking China for the first time, accounting for nearly 15 per cent of the country's total commercial exchange," an Emirates Industrial Bank (EIB) study has said.

The UAE's non-oil trade hit a new peak of more than 692 billion dirhams, indicating there was growth in the country's non-hydrocarbon sectors, the study said.

The report showed that two-way trade between the UAE and India climbed to a record high of about 118 billion dirhams, nearly 15 per cent of the UAE's commercial activity.

It was followed by China, the US, Germany and Japan, the report said.

Indian figures also showed the UAE was the second-largest exporter to the sub-continent last year, with shipments totalling about USD 17 billion (62.44 billion dirhams).

Figures released by the Indian Department of Commerce showed that the surge in the UAE's exports to India turned it into the second largest exporter to the country after Saudi Arabia.

The increase in the UAE's imports from India also boosted the UAE's share of imports from India to a record 10.8 per cent of the South Asian country's total exports of nearly USD
153 billion.

"There has been a noticeable shift in the trade of the UAE and other members of the GCC with the West, as the balance is gradually tilting towards Asia," the report said.

"This shift is extremely imports for the Gulf's future economy, including the monetary and fiscal policy, as well as the exchange rates and the Gulf single currency," it added.

"As for 2010, the UAE's trade is expected to maintain its growth, particularly after most of the effects of the global crisis have been tackled. This will have a positive impact on the overall economy this year," the report said.

The EIB study showed the UAE's non-oil trade swelled by about 10.6 percent to a new peak of nearly 692.9 billion dirhams in 2009 from about 626.1 billion dirhams in 2008.

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