'UAE, India bilateral trade likely to exceed $75 bn'

Trade and investment between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is likely to exceed $75 billion in 2013, India's ambassador to the UAE M.K. Lokesh said Thursday.

"Trade and investments will continue to be the engine that will drive the bilateral relations. Bilateral trade, which reached the level of $75 billion last year, is expected to increase further during the current year," the ambassador said in a statement to Dubai-based newspaper The Gulf News.

"Since the formation of the UAE, India's interests in the country have multiplied. Currently, the UAE is India's largest trading partner, a major oil supplier and a significant investor," Lokesh said in his Independence Day message.

The bilateral relationship between the two countries will get a boost by the visit of India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later this year, which is in the pipeline, Lokesh said. He, however, added that details of the visit are not available as yet.

As the second fastest growing economy in the world, India is one of the most attractive destinations for foreign direct investments (FDI) in Asia. With a cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow of $2.3 billion to India, the UAE ranks 10th among the top investing countries.

Indian companies also invest in the UAE. Major Indian companies have made sizeable investments in principal sectors of the UAE economy including construction, power, health and wellness, engineering, consulting and infrastructure.