Sheikha Lubna urges India to boost investment in UAE
The UAE urged India yesterday to boost its investments in the Emirates to take advantage of the country's strategic location, absence of taxes, cheap labour and massive energy resources.
The UAE Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi made the call at the opening of the Second Arab-Indian Partnership Conference in New Delhi. She is visiting India along with more than 40 UAE officials and businessmen.
Sheikha Lubna said India is already a major trading partner and a key investor in the UAE, with an estimated flow of around $2.5 billion (Dh9.2bn) in 2007, nearly seven per cent of the total foreign direct investment in the UAE during that year.
She said the UAE economy had remained strong despite the global fiscal crisis, and said it offered massive investment opportunities in the non-oil sector.
"Indian and international companies can capitalise on the UAE's exceptional geographic location to tap European and Asian markets, highly-competitive Free Zones; world-class services, the possibility of transferring capital and profit at a 100 per cent rate, and highly productive industries and non-petroleum sectors, which contribute more than 63 per cent of national GDP," she said.
"In addition, the availability and ease of access to raw materials, low-cost energy sources, business-friendly regulatory reforms, zero-taxes on profits and personal income, the country's emergence as an R&D and alternative energy hub, political stability and an integrated infrastructure were among the features that helped the UAE create one of the most competitive business environments in the world," she told the conference in a speech, sent by the Ministry to Emirates Business.
Sheikha Lubna said the UAE is committed to enhancing commercial ties with India , adding that the country is already India's top trading partner and among the 10 largest foreign investors. Her figures showed the UAE's non-oil trade with India surpassed $32bn in 2008, accounting for around 15 per cent of the Emirates' total foreign trade.
She said there were more than 105 Indian companies registered in the UAE. She said products such as pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, base metals, jewellery and coins make up more than two-thirds of total exports, 7.85 per cent of non-hydrocarbon exports and 93 per cent of total re-exports.
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