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As trade zooms, India, UAE could set up effective data sharing mechanism to prevent frauds

Effective data sharing framework need of the hour

Audit collaborations between India and UAE are crucial in addressing areas of mutual interest including protection of public funds and the fight against fraud and corruption, Speaking exclusively to India Narrative on the sidelines of the G20-Supreme Audit Institutions’ (SAI) summit in Goa, Saif Al Dhaheri, financial auditor, UAE SAI said that with India and UAE can leverage each other’s strengths as economic and trade ties between the two partners deepen.  

UAE is one of the guest countries that India has invited for the G20 deliberations.

“India and UAE have always shared a very close relationship. For centuries we have had a deep cultural relationship. But after the formation of the UAE, trade has increased– trade has become more meaningful,” Dhaheri said.

UAE, united in 1971, comprises seven emirates – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.

While India and the UAE signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) last year, the two have now decided to push non oil trade. Non-oil trade between the two partners currently stands as $48 billion. However, the target is to touch $100 billion by 2030. This does not include oil.

India is UAE’s second-largest trading partner. And UAE is India’s third biggest trade partner.

Bilateral trade between India and UAE surged from $180 million per year in the 1970s to over $72 billion in 2021.

The UAE SAI official pointed out that the Indian rupee is a common currency in the UAE, home to about 3.5 million Indians—about 30 per cent of its total population.

“Indian rupee is found in almost every foreign exchange place, it is one of the easiest currencies to exchange in UAE,” he said. “UAE has a huge Indian population and that is important..we have a very steady relation,” he pointed out.

In order to internationalise the Indian currency, the Reserve Bank of India has already given its nod to various banks from 18 countries to open Special Vostro Rupee Accounts (SVRAs) to facilitate transactions in rupees.

For India and UAE, expanding cooperation in the area of the blue economy will be crucial as well. While India has a 7.5 thousand kilometres coastline, UAE’s stretches for 1318 km.

Dhaheri said that the contours of the blue economy are still evolving. “It is dynamic and quite new but will be the thrust in the coming years and greater collaboration in this area will be important,” he noted. “Exchange of knowledge and audit collaboration will be critical as we deepen our ties,” he said, adding that the Comptroller and Auditor General of India—the SAI of India is advanced.

“There is a lot to learn from each other. Better collaboration and enhanced knowledge sharing will therefore be crucial,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is expected to start a liner service from December this year. The liner will start from Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Islamic Port. It will then call on Jebel Ali in South West Dubai, Mundra and Nhava Sheva in India, Djibouti in Africa. That apart, it will also touch several ports in Italy, Spain and Malta. The first sailing is planned for December 19, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) earlier said.

Also read: Will UAE resolve the rupee-ruble payments problem as India-Russia trade zooms?