A New Era in India-UAE Relations: First Oil Transaction in Rupees

The historic transaction between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) involving the first-ever rupee payment for the purchase of crude oil represents a significant shift in international trade dynamics, particularly in the context of India’s economic strategies and global trade relations. Here’s a more detailed exploration of this event:

Background and Context

  • Bilateral Trade Agreements: The decision to use the Indian rupee for trade payments with the UAE is part of a larger strategy by India to strengthen its economic ties and diversify its trade partners. This move aligns with India’s efforts to mitigate the risks associated with reliance on dominant global currencies like the US dollar.

The Transaction Details

  • Indian Oil Corporation’s Role: The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), India’s primary oil refiner, was at the forefront of this landmark transaction. The IOC successfully executed the payment in rupees for a million barrels of oil purchased from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
  • Trade Volume and Value: The exact financial specifics of this transaction have not been publicly disclosed in detail. However, it is part of the larger bilateral trade between India and the UAE, which amounted to $84.5 billion in the financial year 2022/23.

Strategic Implications

  • Reducing Dependency on the Dollar: This initiative aims to reduce the dependency on the US dollar for international trade transactions, which can offer economic benefits like reducing exchange rate risks and transaction costs.
  • Strengthening Economic Sovereignty: By using its own currency for such significant international transactions, India is taking a step towards enhancing its economic sovereignty and reducing its vulnerability to global financial fluctuations.

Future Prospects

  • Expansion to Other Countries: India intends to replicate this arrangement with other countries. This is a strategic move to strengthen its trade relations and enhance its export potential, especially in the face of a sluggish global trade environment.
  • Real-Time Payment Link: During PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE, the two countries agreed to establish a real-time payment link. This technological advancement is expected to further simplify cross-border monetary transactions.

Additional Considerations

  • Global Trade Trends: This event is indicative of a growing trend where countries are increasingly looking to use their local currencies for international trade, aiming to reduce reliance on dominant global currencies.
  • Economic Stability: The use of local currencies in international trade could contribute to greater economic stability for the participating countries, especially in times of global economic uncertainty.



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