MoS Shri. E. Ahmed
Speaking at the conference, the Minister stressed the importance of strengthening relations with the Arab world. He also revealed the Indian plans to invest US$ 1 trillion, in upgrading the infrastructure and airports in the next 5 years.
MoFT H.E Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi
India – UAE trade
In her address, the Minister pointed out that India is the top trade partner of the UAE. She said that the non-oil bilateral trade touched Dhs.162 billion in 2011, and this number will increase to Dhs.246 billion if the Free Zones trade is included. She added that the size of bilateral trade will increase to Dhs.386 billion in the coming few years. She also said that UAE will strive to maintain its strong relations with India, with the bilateral trade growing 300% in the last 5 years. The main trading items between the two are jewellery, equipments, food and chemical products. Forty big Indian companies, in addition to all major Indian banks have a presence in the UAE.
There are 500 flights between the UAE and different Indian cities, in a week. She said that Emirati investments of around US$7 billion from companies like DP World, Emaar, Nakheel, ETA Star, S.S. Lootah Group, R.A.K Investment Authority, Damas Jewellery and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank were operating in India. Efforts are also made to explore opportunities, in the fields of energy, services, technology, contracts and tourism.
Indo – Arab trade
Speaking on the Indo – Arab bilateral trade, the Minister said that it touched US$ 144 billion in 2011 and the major trading sectors were infrastructure, manufacturing, oil & gas, engineering, mining, mineral based industries, tourism and hospitality, healthcare, financial services, agricultural & food processing and education. She said that capital flows from the GCC to India amounted to around US$ 2.6 billion from April 2000 to January 2012, while India’s foreign direct investment contribution to the GCC for the same period was at $ 2.4 billion. Power, services and construction account for the majority of inflows from the GCC to India.
On the other hand, software development and engineering services, tourism, readymade garments, chemical products and agricultural and allied services are the greatest investment attractions for Indian companies. She estimated that India – Middle East trade would grow by 34 % to emerge as one of the world’s fastest growing trade corridors by 2013.
Mr. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, during the opening ceremony of the conference, stressed the importance of improving mutual cooperation of two sides, in the fields of trade, investment and establishment of joint projects. He also stressed that the economic power is shifting from west to the east, of which India is important.
Mr. Mohammed Thani Murshid Al Rumaithi, Chairman, Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry affirmed that the conference showcased the importance of mutual cooperation in the Indo-Arab ties.