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India-UAE Partnership Summit Concludes With US$1 Billion Pledge For Investment
(31 October 2017)
Business Leaders Forum urges greater collaboration amongst Indian states and UAE investors to realise investment projects


 The two-day India-UAE Partnership Summit (IUPS) concluded with a US$1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) fund-raising by the NRI-Emirati Investor’s Group, established by the Business Leaders Forum (BLF), organizers of the IUPS.

The NRI-Emirati Investors Group includes more than 20 top NRI businessmen in UAE.

Mr Nitin Gadkari, India’s Union Minister for Roads, Highways, Transport, Maritime and Water Resources, invited UAE investors to take up projects from a selection of hundreds of new development projects under the Sagarmala and Bharatmala initiatives.

The International Monetary Fund says, the current initiatives will help India to raise its GDP growth rate to 8.1 per cent by 2020, from the current 7.2 per cent.

“We are currently constructing 28 kilometres of road per day, up from 2 kilometres per day three years ago and our target is to reach 40 kilometres of road construction per day in the next few years,” Nitin Gadkari told the IUPS delegates through a video message. He also invited UAE investors to participate in the Ganga rejuvenation programme worth about 2.5 billion dirhams, as well as in the ports and inland waterways development.

“India in currently undergoing a major economic development and reform programme – which needs foreign participation, especially from our Emirati and NRI investors. We consider the UAE as a major development and strategic partner in our development and we want them to benefit from the opportunities that India is offering.”

UAE Minister for Infrastructure Dr Abdullah Al Nuaimi, said, his department is seeking greater collaboration in the UAE’s railway and maritime development. “We are going to invest US$60 billion in maritime sector to raise its contribution from 5 per cent now to 25 per cent to the UAE’s GDP in the next ten years. We need India’s expertise in our journey and that’s where our strategic partnership will be more meaningful.”

Indian Ambassador Navdeep Singh Suri, called the two-day a success, adding, “Indian Government has made significant reforms to attract foreign investment – that will be reflected in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report due to be released on November 1. It will show a significant jump in our rankings and I take this opportunity to tell the investors that we are now more than ready for greater foreign investment and partnership in our development efforts.”

The two-day summit also saw participation from four Indian states, including Telengana, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh – who have offered a number of viable economic projects for UAE investment.

Indian Consul General Vipul, says, “It’s heartening to see that the Indian states are now competing against each other to attract foreign direct investment (FDI), which will help the Business Leaders Forum to help identify investment projects for the Emirati-NRI investors to choose from.

“We see this a great way forward to channel private investment into India, while the government entities to engage the big-ticket infrastructure projects.”

Sudesh Aggarwal, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of IUPS and Board Member of BLF, has strongly urged the Indian states to come up with viable and specific projects for investment on invitation only. “As we demonstrated in our ability to raise investible funds to the tune of US$1 billion funds – I can safely say, capital is not the issue for investment. The ball is now in the court of the Indian states to come up with more viable projects.

“Kindly come up with economically viable projects and how much money is needed, how much equity you are putting on the table for investors to benefit from.”

The IUPS recognized the significant role of Indian and Emirati business leaders in strengthening the trade and investment relationship between the two countries. It awarded Emaar Properties and DP World for their investments in India and NMC Group and Lulu International Group for their investments in both countries.

Sripriyaa Kumaria, Secretary-General of the BLF, said, “This is our first major initiative – and we want to deepen our engagement with all stakeholders, including Emirati investors, Indian states and other government and private sector bodies to facilitate greater investment flow, especially through the NRI-Emirati investors Group.”

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