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Sat 5 Sep 2015 12:59 AM

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Dubai's DIFC says aiming to host 100 Indian firms by 2025

Officials currently in talks with 10 leading banks from Indian regarding setting up in Dubai's financial hub

Dubai's DIFC says aiming to host 100 Indian firms by 2025

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) aims to increase the number of Indian firms to more than 100 in the next 10 years, officials said as they concluded a week of talks with leading business decision makers from the south Asian country.

DIFC has seen exponential growth from only one Indian institution in 2007 to over 20 Indian banks and financial institutions at present. Discussions are ongoing with 10 leading Indian banks regarding setting up in Dubai's financial hub.

Indian institutions now make up the third largest community of financial firms at the financial centre. Furthermore, more than a quarter of the current workforce employed in DIFC is of Indian origin.

The drive to attract more businesses follows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the UAE to strengthen the relationship with the Gulf countries and seek investment to boost Indian economy.

Senior DIFC officials held over 40 meetings with high-level government authorities, private and public sector companies and current clients, a statement said.

As part of their visit, the DIFC delegation conducted a series of presentations and discussions with leading industries and business professionals and met with the UAE Embassy in India to discuss key areas of mutual interest including trade and investments as well as collaboration on business and finance best practices.

Currently DIFC is home to 10 leading Indian banks and is in discussions with another 10 regarding future setup plans. In addition DIFC has received notable interest from Indian wealth and fund management organisations as well as key players in the insurance and reinsurance market, the statement added.

Arif Amiri, deputy CEO, DIFC Authority said: With an ambitious 2024 growth strategy, we envisage a key role for Indian banks, insurers, law firms and wealth managers as we seek to expand our services and become a top global financial hub.

“After the US and UK, Indian financial firms and banks have the largest presence at DIFC with more full banking licenses than banks from any other country.”

In a recent announcement, the New India Assurance Company Ltd (NIA), a government of India-owned insurance company announced the opening of its regional hub in the DIFC, which will act as company’s administrative control headquarters across the GCC. 

Earlier this year Bank of India, the third largest public sector bank from India opened its office in the DIFC.

Accounting for 30 percent of the UAE population, non-resident Indians have set up more than 40,000 Indian companies in the UAE and have contributed to an estimated $55 billion in Indian investments, with as much as $18 billion of this total being invested in real estate across the country.

The UAE’s investments in India currently stand at around $8 billion.

Trade and investment ties between India and the UAE will continue to grow following a pledge made by Prime Minister Modi and UAE government officials to increase bilateral trade by 60 percent over the next five years.

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