According to H.E. Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimi, Minister of State, United Arab Emirates (UAE), the UAE is ready to take the bilateral relationship with India to a new strategic level. The Minister was addressing the India – UAE Business Meet being organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in cooperation with the Government of India and the Government of the UAE in New Delhi.
According to the Minister, the people-to-people (P2P) connections between India and the UAE began several decades before the official government to government (G2G) engagement began. Today, there are over 1000 flights a week between India and UAE – which demonstrates the strong P2P connect.
The Minister was of the view that the strong P2P connections created a solid base for the expansion of bilateral economic ties. She pointed out that some of the leading businessmen from UAE were of Indian origin.
The Minister stated that the UAE was keen to invest in India especially in the opportunities emerging out of the various initiatives announced by the Government of India e.g. Make in India and Digital India among others. She also said that her country would be keen to invest in the infrastructure sector in India.
To step up bilateral economic relations, she also announced that an India – UAE Business Council was being launched later in the day.
In his address, Mr. Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India stated that the visit of the Prime Minister of India to the UAE last month led to several significant announcement being made. Key among them was the setting up of the UAE-India Infrastructure Investment Fund and the commitment made by the two sides to step up bilateral trade by 60% over the next five years.
Mr. Wadhwa mentioned that the India-UAE 11th Joint Commission Meeting for Economic and Technical Cooperation had just concluded its meeting yesterday in which the UAE team reiterates their commitment undertake extensive investments in India.
Addressing the participants, Ms. Shobana Kamineni, Vice President, CII stated that India and UAE need to step up their cooperation in the services sector. She highlighted the case of healthcare in which she stated that the two countries could cooperate in in areas such as disease prevention, joint research on lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes, low cost delivery of healthcare as well as quality and cost efficiency of pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
She also stated that healthcare providers from both countries can leverage their strengths and set up hospitals in third countries in the greater region of MEWANA (Middle East, West Asia and North Africa).
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII stated that the two countries could work together in areas such as the energy sector, SME development, education, space, defence manufacturing and nuclear energy among others will go a long way in strengthening bilateral economic relations.
The Business Meet also featured presentations by senior representatives from the Government of India on Make in India, UAE – India Infrastructure Fund, Electronics, Highways, Ports, Railways, Construction and the Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor