Senior officials from Dubai’s Economic Zones World (EZW) at the India Club, the oldest Indian business and cultural organization here, discussed expansion of commercial ties with India and opening of new avenues of cooperation and investments in many key sectors.

Economic Zones World Chairman, Mr Hisham Al Shirawi said that the Indian business community in Dubai has been an important contributor of the domestic economy and played a vital role in the process of nation-building for decades.

He was invited to the annual Member Networking Centre Lunch as Chief Guest Speaker where he talked to a group of 200 businessmen and community leaders.

Economic Zones World is home to 693 Indian companies with 679 companies based in Jafza while the rest are in Ducamz and Textile City.

Last year, there were 65,303 Indians working in the Jebel Ali Free Zone.

India is Dubai’s largest trading partner. According to Dubai World’s Statistics Department, the non-oil trade between Dubai and India in 2010 reached a record 183 billion dirhams, twice the figures achieved in 2009.

Imports from the country were valued at 88 billion dirhams, 16 per cent of Dubai’s total imports, while exports and re-exports stood at 43 billion dirhams and 52 billion dirhams respectively.

Non-oil trade between Jafza and India was valued at AED 12.77 billion in 2010, registering a jump of 25% compared to 2009 figures.

“Dubai and Jafza’s business friendly policies and its highly developed and sophisticated infrastructure, and logistics framework have attracted Indian companies since the free zone’s inception 26 years ago.

“Our meeting with this established Indian organization is yet another step towards strengthening the existing relations with the country,” Mr Al Shirawi was quoted as saying in the statement.

According to him, EZW and India Club’s joint efforts will strengthen trade relations, facilitating and opening channels for other Indian companies looking to do business in the region.

The India Club Board of Trustees includes 20 major companies such as Air India, Jumbo Electronics, K M Brothers, and Regal Traders among others.