DUBAI – November 8, 2017: The UAE Ministry of Economy plans to reaffirm its commitment to supporting the diversification and reinforcement of partnerships between the UAE and India as both the countries undergo new phases of economic growth, says the ministry’s Asst. Undersecretary of Foreign Trade Affairs H.E. Juma Mohammed Al Kait.
While delivering his keynote address at the UAE – India Economic Forum 2017, which kicked off in Dubai on Wednesday, HE Al Kait said that the UAE and India are aspiring for a new economic era. “The UAE is marching towards post-oil period supported by innovation, knowledge and entrepreneurship; meanwhile India is working on the establishment of a local common market, demonetization and activating the economic roles of women, among others.”
“India and UAE have built solid foundations as economic partners. A number of commercial and economic agreements between both the countries cover economic, trade and technical cooperation; avoidance of double taxation; and protection and promotion of investments. In the aviation sector, over 1,000 direct flights connect the UAE to the main cities of India every week,” he added.
According to HE Al Kait, the Forum looks forward to further partnerships between both the countries in sectors like industrial, travel and tourism, agriculture, renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water, space and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The third edition of the annual UIEF, organized to explore bilateral economic and commercial relations between the two countries to the next level, will conclude on November 9, 2017. The Forum also conferred Qadat Al Tagheer Awards to prominent business leaders. The event is organized by UMS Conferences, part of UMS Group.
Commenting on the third edition of the UIEF, Alpana Roy, Executive Vice President at UMS Group, said, “The UIEF is organized at a time, when India and the UAE are shaping strategic ties across an array of shared interests with key stakeholders from both the nations as they engage in strategic discussions and catalyze economic growth. Today both the countries are pursuing economic and industrial policies and strategies that will further strengthen the bilateral trade and investments.
“India and UAE have re-energised their bilateral trade relations, which have been boosted by the frequent visits of both countries’ leaders in a short span of two years to discuss the future of trade and investments. India is the second largest trade partner for the UAE. Recent developments have further strengthened the relationship, opening a universe of opportunities. With both governments showing clarity in their vision to gain the most from this partnership, the previously ambitious goal of reaching US$ 100 billion in trade by 2020 now seems achievable,” she added.
“The UIEF brings together the governments of the two countries, something that the forum has been successfully doing for the past two years. The Forum has now reached the next level with another set of key ministers from both sides, along with businessmen and investors who have been fueling the economy of their respective countries. Our belief in the economic prowess of the two countries has been confirmed by the support and encouragement we have received time and again through the backing and endorsements of key government bodies from both India and UAE. The presence of sovereign wealth funds, large corporates and industries at this gathering has been only getting stronger over the past two years.”
The UIEF brings together over 350 delegates from the UAE and India. Mohammad Azharuddin, Indian politician and former captain of Indian cricket team; H.E. Jamal Al Jarwan, Secretary General of the UAE International Investors Council; H.E. Fahad Obaid Al Taffaq, Director of Economic and Trade Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ashish Kumar Chauhan, Managing Director & CEO of Bombay Stock Exchange, to name few.
The Qadat Al Tagheer Awards were conferred upon Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO of Dubai Duty Free (Retail CEO of the Year); Dr. BR Shetty, Founder & Chairman of NMC Healthcare (Indian CEO of the Year); Abhishek Sharma, CEO of Foundation Holdings (Emerging Indian CEO); PNC Menon, Chairman & Founder of Sobha Group (Excellence in Construction); Dr. Raza Siddiqui, Group CEO – Arabian Healthcare Group (Excellence in Healthcare); Kamal Vachani (Group Director Al Maya Group (Excellence in India-UAE Trade Promotion); Ambuj Khare, ProEd Education Consultancy (Emerging Education Brand); Amber Fernandes, Landmark Group (Retail Brand of the Year); Mouza Al Mehairi, Abu Dhabi Global Market (International Financial Centre of the Year); Arun Anirudhan, Abu Dhabi Ports (Excellence in Transport & Logistics); Harmeek Singh, Plan B (Best Emerging Emirati Brand); and Deepak Babani, Eros Group (Excellence in the Retail Sector).
The list of speakers at the UIEF 2017 includes H.E. Saeed Al Shamsi, Deputy Director of Economic and Trade Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; H.E. Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of Knowledge and Human Development Authority – Dubai; Dr. Ohan Balian, Chief Economist at Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Adel Al Wahabi, Chief Financial Officer, Abu Dhabi Ports; Mustafa Khdair, Head of Commercial, Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD); Bindu Chettur, President, Indian Business & Professional Council; Dr. Rathin Roy, Director & CEO of National Institute of Public Finance & Policy in India; and Farrell Sheridan, Head of Strategic Development – Registration Authority, Abu Dhabi Global Market.
The UIEF focuses on the bilateral benefits of the increased collaboration in investment, trade, infrastructure, ports, banking, finance, and tourism between the UAE and India. The summit promises to provide exclusive insights into critical topics such as defense and security, tourism, banking and finance, renewable energy, and space technology. Building on decades of rich cultural and historical bonds between India and the Middle East, the combined partnership between India and the UAE has developed from its initial days of trade in timber, spices and ivory to one in which bilateral trade has grown over $59 billion in the past few years.
The key industry sectors taking part in the Forum include infrastructure, real estate; roads, highways & ports, manufacturing, banking & finance, eCommerce, hospitality, healthcare, tourism & travel, defence & security, space technology, sustainable utilities and renewables, media & entertainment, education and free zones.
The UAE and India share a common vision of progress and prosperity. The UAE investments in India have jumped by US$ 1 billion in the past one year alone, and the UAE is the second largest export destination for India, with US$ 30 billion for the year 2015–16. The total foreign direct investment inflows from UAE to India stand at US$ 4.03 billion ending March 2016. The UAE has been actively pursuing its plan to re-energise the Free Trade Agreement between the GCC and India. The Indian union cabinet gave the green signal to proceed with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the UAE to procure a US$-74-billion long-term investment in the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).