UAE, Indian businesses pledge $1bn investments

The two-day India-United Arab Emirates Partnership Summit concluded in Dubai today, with more than 20 investors and businessmen from the two countries pledging to launch investments worth of US$ 1 billion over the coming period.

Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development , said, the ministry 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 percent now to 25 percent 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."

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 percent.

"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 AED2.5 billion 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."

Indian Ambassador to the UAE 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.

Sudesh Aggarwal, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Summit and Board Member of Business Leaders Forum, 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 $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.

The IUPS recognised 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.