UAE Explores Non-Oil Trade in Indian Rupees, Sees Major Role for Crypto

2023-01-23 15:49:12 Exim News

The United Arab Emirates and India are discussing ways to boost non-oil commerce in rupees as the Gulf country looks to strengthen ties with its second-largest trade partner.

“We are still in early-stage discussions with India on this dirham-rupee trade,” Thani al-Zeyoudi, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade, told Bloomberg Television in Davos, Switzerland.

Another area he spotlighted in a separate interview on Friday 20 Jan  is the role of cryptocurrencies in commerce.

The UAE has been seeking to step up trade with crucial partners and last year signed multiple economic pacts with countries including India, Indonesia, Turkiye, Israel and Ukraine. In the coming months, the UAE expects to finalise similar agreements with Cambodia and Georgia, al-Zeyoudi said.

The economic agreements are set to boost the UAE’s gross domestic product by 3.4% to 3.8% by 2030, he said.

Opec’s third-biggest producer has long maintained a currency peg to the dollar and most trade in the Gulf is settled in the US currency. Total bilateral trade between the UAE and India was nearly $64bn in 2021, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Oil sales in the Indian currency are “not under consideration,” al-Zeyoudi said. “This is only going to be focusing on non-oil trade.”

The UAE and neighbouring Gulf countries look relatively resilient to the risk of a global recession this year, mainly due to massive oil bounties they collected in 2022 and measures they have taken since the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UAE is “very immune” if a recession in the world economy materialises in 2023, al-Zeyoudi said. “We did excellently last year, and we’re going to have an excellent performance this year as well.”

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