The Union Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Textiles Shri Piyush Goyal chaired an interaction with the captains of Indian industry and heads of Export Promotion Councils in Mumbai today, to discuss certain opportunities for Indian businesses to expand their global footprint by leveraging the business platforms and infrastructure offered by UAE.
DP World, a leading smart logistics provider owned fully by the Government of UAE, presented the market expansion opportunities it offers to Indian businesses and exporters. The firm is setting up India Mart Traders Market, a dedicated market for Indian businesses which would enable traders and manufacturers to trade with the UAE local market and regional market.
The potential offered by Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), one of the world’s leading free trade zones, was also presented to the Indian industry.
Speaking about the immediate UAE opportunity presented by DP World and the Government of UAE, Shri Goyal said “We are looking for this to become a $10 billion opportunity for India and to also showcase Brand India on the global stage.”
Industry representatives welcomed the initiative and offered their ideas and suggestions to leverage its potential.
Shri Goyal added that our goal is to become the No. 1 Trading Partner of UAE. The Minister said, “UAE is a gateway to Gulf Cooperation Council and all of Africa”.
The Minister welcomed Group Chairman & CEO, DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem for coming up with solutions such as provision of low-cost finance for Indian businesses.
Shri Goyal said that the goodwill built by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Crown Prince H.H. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan are helping us have bigger ambitions.
The Minister thanked the exporters for participating in the deliberations to create a roadmap for expanding Indian exports not only to UAE but also using UAE as a springboard, to expand exports to GCC and other markets in Africa and elsewhere.
The Union Minister shared the highly favourable outcomes which can be expected from the India-UAE Free Trade Agreement, which is in the advanced stages of negotiation and finalization. “There is a lot of good news coming up, across several sectors, as we negotiate and finalize the FTA with the UAE.”
The Minister shared three examples reflecting India-UAE friendship. “For the first time ever, UAE allotted land for India to set up a temple. This is remarkable as UAE is celebrating 50th year of its formation and India is celebrating its 75th year of Independence. Secondly, UAE has committed $100 Billion for investment and infrastructure creation in India. And thirdly, the UAE-India FTA will be India’s fastest-negotiated FTA and the fastest-negotiated Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) ever between two nations, which also gives the maximum opportunity to India.”
Addressing the exporters and industry, Group Chairman & CEO DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, spoke about the UAE market and the opportunities available there for Indian products. “The Jebel Ali Economic Zone has hundreds of warehouses suitable for any trader who would like to see and feel the market. The time is right for India to seize the opportunity in the world market. There is a huge shortage everywhere, which India can fill.”
DP World official, Mr. Abdulla Al Hashmi presented to the industry the potential offered by the twin projects India Mart Traders Market and Jebel Ali Free Zone. “We want to support Made in India products, to enable them to be exported to the world.”
During the discussions, Sharad Kumar Saraf, Immediate Past President opined that FIEO decision to open India Mart Traders Market is timely and very important.
Naresh Bhasin, Regional Chairman, Council of Leather Exports stated that besides touch-and-feel, speed-to-market is an important aspect which customers are looking at. Capital cost is cheaper in the UAE and setting up India Mart Traders Market in Dubai will be very attractive for the leather industry, he added.
Amit Sarda, Member, Retailers Association of India (RAI) stated that the setting up of India Mart facility by DP World will further India’s goals of Made in India and Made for the World. “As MSMEs and start-ups drive up business, we need to talk about providing access to India Mart to them as well.” He said that in addition to providing warehousing facility, the Mart should also have a packaging facility.
B. Thiagarajan, Chairman, CII Western Region and Managing Director, Blue Star Ltd. said: “India-UAE bilateral relationship has led to tremendous growth in the past few years and led to creation of a framework for strategic partnerships. The interaction today is an example of the opportunities and relations that may emerge as a result of the strong bilateral relationship.”
Representatives of The Plastic Export Promotion Council, Engineering Export Promotion Council India, Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Tea Board India, The Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council, Spices Board, Retailers Association of India, Apparel Export Promotion Council, The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India and others were present on the occasion. Apart from those present in person, more than 100 companies joined the conference virtually.