China way ahead of India in trade with UAE

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Dubai, Oct 22 (UNI) China's exports to the UAE this year are tipped to cross 20 billion dollars which is more than the total India-UAE non-oil trade turnover of 18 billion dollars in 2006-07.

China is the biggest exporter of goods to the UAE though for India UAE is the second top export destination after the US.

India-UAE trade has taken off well from a modest 180 million dollars a year in the 1970s but China has cashed in on emerging opportunities better, trade figures show.

For the period April 2006-February 2007, India's exports to UAE was only 10.6 billion dollars and imports 0.73 billion dollars.

Compared to that Chinese exports to the UAE are expected to cross 20 billion dollars in 2007, up from 11.4 billion dollars last year, according to Gao Yusheng, China's ambassador to the UAE.

''During the first seven months of 2007, Chinese exports to the UAE were valued at 9.2 billion dollars,'' Gao told Gulf News. China is the single largest exporter to the UAE, he said.

Gao said nearly 70 per cent of Chinese exports to the UAE is transit trade as Chinese businessmen use Dubai's free ports for the strategic and tax advantages they provide in re-exportation of goods.

''The emirate is a free port... from here Chinese goods are re-exported to Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Middle East countries, as well as to countries in Africa, which are so much closer from here,'' said Gao, adding that around 1,50,000 Chinese nationals lived and worked in the UAE.

Chinese exports to the UAE comprise mainly of electronic goods, food items and heavy and light machinery, said Gao. China imports primarily crude oil and petrochemicals from the UAE, he added.

Gao said UAE is a major financial hub and the centre for trade and tourism in the West Asia and the Gulf region and because of its robust economic policy and all-round stability, it's attracting Chinese businessmen. Last year, trade between UAE and China was valued around 14.4 billion dollars, he said.

UAE is the second largest destination for India's exports after the US.

Many Indian companies have contributed to the growth of a number of sectors in the region, like power generation and transmission, highways, telecommunication, water and other infrastructure development.

The presence of warehouses of the different Indian companies in UAE has also resulted in an increase in the trade not only with UAE but also with India's trade with other Gulf countries through re-exports, according the Indian Embassy, Abu Dhabi.

UNI

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