Indian IT exports to Middle East to grow 30 percent (Gulf Business Capsule)

April 27th, 2008 - 6:07 pm ICT by admin  

Dubai, April 27 (IANS) Exports of Indian IT products to the Middle East are expected to cross the $1.30-billion mark this year - an increase of 30 percent compared to $1 billion in 2007, according to a senior official here. Indian IT exports are growing at more than 30 percent annually and are expected to cross $50 billion this year and touch $100 billion by 2012, according to Kamal Vachani, regional director of the Electronics and Computer Software Exports Promotion Council of India (ESC) for the Middle East and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“IT exports from India to the Middle East, particularly to the UAE, have increased substantially in recent years,” the Gulf News quoted Vachani as saying.

“We see huge potential for further growth as ESC is devising new strategies to expand its market share in the region.”

ESC expects a 15 percent growth in exports to UAE.

According to Vachani, the Indian software industry has moved away from direct marketing to end-users in order to provide solutions to a host of operational areas in manufacturing and services.

“These are areas which are directly relevant to the Middle East and the neighbouring countries,” he said.


UAE firm bags $2.7-billion Russian skyscraper project

Arabtec Constuction, a subsidiary of UAE-based real estate and construction major Arabtec Holding, has won a 10-billion dirham ($2.7 billion) Russian contract to build a 400-metre skyscraper in St. Petersburg.

Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of the Russian national gas company Gazprom, and the office of the mayor of St. Petersburg have issued a letter of award to Arabtec Construction, for the construction of the 400-metre Okhta Centre.

The project consists of the construction of a 400-metre tower and five other buildings over a common podium including ancillary works to be completed over 43 months, according to an Arabtec Construction statement.

This is the first stage of the planned complex of Okhta Centre to be owned jointly by Gazprom Neft and the city of St. Petersburg.

The project will include office space plus leisure and entertainment facilities as well as a library and a sports centre.

“We are pleased and proud to be selected for the implementation of this giant project and we are certain that this selection has been done on the basis of our extensive experience and successful record of implementation of similar projects,” Riad Kamal, CEO of Arabtec, said in the statement.


Gulf, EFTA finalise free trade agreement

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) have reached an agreement to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two sides.

Negotiations for the FTA between the GCC and the EFTA have been finalised, the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) quoted GCC secretary general Abdul Rahman Al-Atiyya as saying.

The negotiations were completed in Geneva after five rounds of talks. The agreement will improve economic cooperation, increase the trade of goods, and offer further investment opportunities between the two regions.

EFTA comprises the four European states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland while GCC comprises Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

GCC is also holding talks with the European Union (EU) this year as well as Iran and Korea, aimed at further trade-related treaties, the KUNA report said.

A GCC-Singapore Free Trade Agreement was finalised earlier this year.

India’s Commerce & Industry Minister Kamal Nath, who was recently on an official visit to the UAE, had also said that India expected to make substantial progress this year in having an FTA with the GCC.

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