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DIFC Seeks Stronger Ties With India

by Lorys Charalambous, Lowtax.net, Cyprus
20 August, 2015

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a free zone in the United Arab Emirates, is seeking to promote itself as a gateway for Indian investors to access markets in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, it said recently.

The free zone said it will send a delegation to Mumbai, India, over August 24-27, 2015, to meet decision makers across the Indian business community, including representatives of the banking, legal, wealth management, and asset management sectors.

"The continued evolution of DIFC is opening the door to new markets and fresh opportunities for the Indian economy and its burgeoning private sector," said Arif Amiri, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the DIFC Authority.

Bilateral trade between India and the UAE crossed USD59bn for the financial year 2014-2015, with Indian exports to the UAE, India's top export destination, valued at USD33bn, the DIFC said.

Indian financial firms have the largest presence at the DIFC after those from the US and the UK. In addition, more full banking licences have been issued to Indian banks than to banks from any other country represented at the Centre (eight). At least 20 leading Indian banks have launched operations at the DIFC, including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Punjab National Bank, Union Bank of India, and Axis Bank. A growing number of Indian financial services firms have also moved to the free zone in recent years.

The DIFC offers firms zero percent income tax guaranteed for 50 years, 100 percent foreign ownership, no exchange controls, and a legal system based on English common law.

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