The India-UAE Partnership Summit kicked off in Dubai with a call from Indian and UAE officials to build new economic partnerships that can drive the two countries strategic’ development plans.
The summit, held at Dubai Chambers’ headquarters, was inaugurated by Hon. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India. During his keynote remarks, the minister noted that the UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has given a natural boost to key sectors such as food and agriculture products, as well as gems and jewellery.
“India and the UAE are both pursuing dynamic trade and investment policies. India hopes to see its exports touch US$1 trillion in the near to medium term. Our growing bilateral trade will play an integral role in the UAE’s efforts to double the size of its economy by 2033. The destinies of the UAE and India have been inextricably intertwined for centuries. A closer collaboration, trust and the spirit of entrepreneurship will create limitless opportunities for our economies, our industries, our cities, and our people, now and for generations to come. This is the vision that CEPA aims to turn into reality,” Hon. Goyal said.
He also highlighted the various cooperation prospects, which include the rupee-dirham trade, the virtual trade corridor, the food corridor and leveraging UAE and India’s startup ecosystems. Sectors such as textiles, green energy (wind, solar and hydro), connectivity infrastructure such as airports, ports and roads, as well as waste management, were also outlined as key areas of opportunity.
Addressing participants, Mohammad Ali Rashed Lootah, President & CEO of Dubai Chambers, revealed that the number of Indian companies that joined Dubai Chamber of Commerce in 2022 exceeded 11,000, bringing the total number of Indian companies registered with the Chamber to more than 83,000. He noted that the membership growth reflects the strength of economic, investment and trade links between the two countries and the importance of economic partnerships in promoting future bilateral relations. Dubai Chamber of Commerce is one of three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers.
Lootah added: “Our international offices, including our office in India, work in line with the Dubai Global initiative announced by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, to cement the emirate’s position as a business and investment hub that attracts international investment and supports the expansion of local businesses to overseas markets.”
Organised by the International Business Linkage Forum (IBLF) in partnership with Dubai International Chamber – one of the three chambers operating under Dubai Chambers – the Summit put the spotlight on the state of UAE-India economic ties and examined high-potential bilateral business opportunities in manufacturing and start-ups, agritech and food processing, healthcare, fintech and investment.
For his part, Mr. Rajiv Podar, Chairman IBLF said: “The bilateral trade is all set to touch US$88 billion in 2022-23. Traditionally food and energy securities has been the prime focus between the UAE and India, however CEPA focuses also on the SME sector opening a flood of opportunities across the sectors.”
Dinesh Joshi, President IBLF and Chairman of SatyaGiri Group of Companies, said: “The visionary leadership of India and the UAE has reinforced our existing relations which will have a long-lasting impact in the coming times. The signing of the CEPA in 88 days shows the commitment from both nations. The India UAE Partnership Summit aims to bring the stakeholders from both sides to develop strong synergies.”
The summit, which aims to enhance mutual understanding and expand trade links between the UAE and India, also saw the participation of several other high-level speakers including: HE Sunjay Sudhir, Indian Ambassador to the UAE; Essa Abdulla Al Ghurair, Chairman of Essa Al Ghurair Investment; and HE Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, Former Ambassador of UAE to India. Discussions focused on opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, emerging enterprises, agro-industries, food and financial technologies.