The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) consolidated their bilateral trade ties through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed during the conclusion of the Dubai Chamber Trade Mission visit to the Indian city of Surat which lasted from April 17 to 20.
H.E. Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, who led the delegation of 11 Dubai businessmen, and H.E. Rohit Mehta, President, Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, signed the MoU which emphasised on promoting bilateral trade between the cities of Dubai and Surat, especially in diamond and textile businesses.
Besides consolidating economic relations between Dubai and Surat, the agreement sets the framework for the development of joint ventures and technology transfers and investment, exchange of trade enquiries and delegations. It also fosters a spirit of better coordination between the business communities of both countries in general and their respective members in particular.
H.E. Al Ghurair said, “The Dubai Chamber Trade Mission to Surat was very fruitful as seen through the signing of the MoU which clarified our unified commitment to increase trade and investment between the two cities while taking our bilateral ties to the next level.”
Earlier, during a dinner hosted by Dubai Chamber in Mumbai, Al Ghurair said the objective of the Dubai Chamber Trade Mission, organised in association with the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is to explore new lucrative markets for Dubai–based businesses and to support them to expand and get an in-depth insight of the potential business opportunities in India.
Al Ghurair added that India is the top most trade partner for Dubai while Surat is recognised as the commercial capital of the Indian state of Gujarat and a diamond capital of the world. A recent City Mayors Foundation study revealed that Surat ranks as the world’s fourth fastest developing cities in the world therefore there is tremendous scope for bilateral cooperation between Dubai and Surat, he said.
The Mumbai dinner, held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, was attended by over 25 Government and Chamber officials as well as business leaders and included H.E. Mohammed Yousuf Al Awadhi, UAE Consul General in Mumbai, Mr. Arvind Pradhan, Director General, Indian Merchant's Chamber and Mr. Mehulbhai Shah, Vice-President, Bharat Diamond Bourse.
Dubai Chamber officials also held a meeting with H.E. Rohit Mehta in the presence of H.E. Mohammed Yousuf Al Awadhi, UAE Consul General, on the second day of the visit.
In his opening remarks, Al Ghurair stressed on the most promising sectors of Surat which he said included diamonds, gold trading and manufacturing and textiles which are important for Dubai traders in light of the emirate’s strategic location serving as a major transit route for these products and goods going to all parts of the world.
The Chairman of Dubai Chamber added that the trade mission, which came in line with Dubai Chamber’s initiative of exploring new and emerging markets while building bridges of cooperation for its members, aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of Dubai businesses in lucrative markets of the world.
Al Ghurair stated that Dubai’s cooperation with Surat in the area of diamonds is immensely important as the emirate’s total imports of diamonds during January-September 2011 amounted to AED 48.9 billion while exports of gold from Dubai reached AED 45 billion and re-exports of diamonds valued at AED 52.3 billion during the same period.
He called for the establishment of joint ventures between Dubai and Surat businesses stating that the working in conjunction is a guaranteed success formula for these two flourishing cities. The emirate’s competitive business environment and geographic location can play an important role in the accomplishment of the partnership, he said.
Al Ghurair lauded the Indian businesses’ contribution to the economic development of Dubai as he said that currently there are over 22,000 Indian companies registered with Dubai Chamber and operating across various economic sectors in the emirate which clearly shows the deep-rooted trade ties existing between Dubai and India which is the number one trading partner of the emirate.
During their visit to Surat, Al Ghurair urged the delegates to highlight the advanced trade, infrastructural and logistics facilities offered by Dubai to its international investors looking to establish business in the emirate while also seeking to reach out to the regional and African markets.
In his presentation, Mr. Kamal Dayani, Industries Commissioner, Government of Gujarat, informed about Dubai’s status as a major centre for trade, transport, tourism and financial services stating that UAE’s investments in India are concentrated in energy – 19.1%; services - 9.3%; programming – 7.8%; construction – 6.8% and tourism and hospitality, adding that the UAE's direct investments in India were estimated at about $1.9 billion during the period 2000-2011.
He pointed out that the main exports between India and the UAE include precious metals, food items, textiles and machinery products, while India's imports from the UAE, include precious metals, chemicals, wood, petroleum and petroleum products.
Mr. Dayani, stated that more than 60% of the total investments are likely to be made in Gujarat, indicating that the new vision of the state include the investment of $222 billion in several sectors including roads, ports, airports, railways, urban infrastructure and transportation, water supply and tourism, pointing out that the market for jewellery and precious stones of India is estimated at about $27.5 billion in 2011 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth of up to 15% or to $55.3 billion by the year 2016.
Also, India's volume of exports of gems and jewellery has grown with a CAGR of 20.25% in last five years while over 70% of total gems and jewellery exports of India come from the state of Gujarat, where Surat is located and the city is the largest diamond processing cluster in the world, Mr. Dayani said.
The Dubai Chamber Trade Mission to Surat, India, was headed by H.E. Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman, Dubai Chamber, and included 11 Dubai-based businessmen interested in enhancing their business ties in the mutual areas of diamonds, gold and textiles.