The United Arab Emirates and India are discussing alternative payment channels for non-oil trade. “We are still in early-stage talks with India on the dirham-rupee trade,” Thani Al-Zeyoudi, UAE’s minister of state for foreign trade, told Bloomberg TV in Davos, Switzerland. Another area he highlighted in a separate interview on Friday was the role of cryptocurrencies in commerce.
“Cryptocurrencies will play an important role in the future for UAE trade,” said Al-Zeyoudi. The UAE, and especially Dubai, is working to lure the world’s biggest firms with its crypto-friendly policies.
“The most important thing is that we provide global governance when it comes to cryptocurrencies and crypto companies. We started to attract some companies to the country in order to build together the right management and legal system needed.”
The UAE seeks to increase its trade with key partners and signed multiple economic agreements last year with countries such as India, Indonesia, Turkey, Israel and Ukraine. Al-Zeyoudi said the UAE expects to complete similar agreements with Cambodia and Georgia in the coming months. Al-Zeyoudi said the economic deals will increase the UAE’s gross domestic product by 3.4% to 3.8% by 2030.
OPEC’s third-largest producer has long had a dollar-pegged currency, and most of the trade in the Gulf is in the US currency. Total bilateral trade between the UAE and India was about $64 billion in 2021, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.