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
“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.
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
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.”