The UAE on Monday raised the issue of India’s high gold import duty affecting its exports to the country even as the two nations agreed on a wide range of steps to boost their economic ties.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with the UAE leadership, both in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, after which a raft of announcements were made to strengthen economic, defence and security cooperation between the two countries.
On the last day of his two-day visit to the UAE, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today met Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed AI Nahyan and agreed to elevate the India-UAE relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
When asked whether the issue of gold import duty was raised during the bilateral meetings, Foreign Secretary S Jaishanakar said, “It was mentioned”. He, however, did not elaborate further.
The UAE has been pitching for lowering of customs duty by India on gold, which has been hiked considerably in the recent past to check high gold imports.
As per estimates, the UAE’s gold exports to India fell to USD 4.1 billion in the last fiscal, from USD 10.4 billion in financial year 2011-12.
India’s overall gold imports also fell during the same period from USD 56.5 billion to USD 34.4 billion.
However, gold imports jumped 62.2 per cent to USD 2.96 billion in July this year, after falling by 37 per cent in the previous month.
India is the largest importer of gold in the world, which mainly caters to the demand of the jewellery industry.