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Fri 21 Aug 2015 09:05 AM

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Dubai's DIFC on Mumbai mission to forge closer Indian ties

Dubai International Financial Centre to send delegation to India's commercial capital on four-day visit next week

Dubai's DIFC on Mumbai mission to forge closer Indian ties

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is sending a delegation to Mumbai, India's commercial capital, on a four-day visit next week in a bid to forge even closer trade links.

Bilateral trade between India and the UAE crossed $59 billion for the financial year 2014-2015, with Indian exports to the UAE, India’s top export destination, valued at $33 billion.

UAE-based non-resident Indians (NRIs) account for $15 billion in annual remittances, own more than 40,000 UAE companies and hold investments in the country worth an estimated $55 billion, including as much as $18 billion in real estate.

DIFC’s visit to Mumbai is seen as a critical step in the implementation of the centre’s ambitious 2024 growth plan, complementing the Modi administration’s own foreign and economic policy agenda.

Under the strategy, DIFC aims to increase its assets under management to $250 billion from $10.4 billion today, host 1,000 financial services firms, up from its current tally of 365, more than double its workforce to 50,000, and grow its balance sheet from $65 billion to $400 billion. 

The delegation, which arrives in Mumbai next Monday, follows on from this week's historic visit to the UAE by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Dubai needs little introduction to India, but the continued evolution of DIFC is opening the door to new markets and fresh opportunities for the Indian economy and its burgeoning private sector," said Arif Amiri, deputy CEO of the DIFC Authority.

UAE investments in India stand at around $8 billion, of which $3 billion is foreign direct investment and the balance portfolio investment.

A statement said DIFC representatives will promote to Indian investors and the wider Indian financial sector the stability, efficiency and world-class regulation offered by an advanced business ecosystem located at the heart of the MEASA region, a vast economic area with an estimated combined GDP of $7.9 trillion.

"The scale of our growth strategy shows that the opportunities for India are vast," added Amiri. "We are confident that this visit will open up new areas of potential collaboration between the financial capitals of Dubai and Mumbai."

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