Need for reactivating India-UAE Joint Business Council: President Patil

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ABU DHABI - Calling upon members of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to develop joint ventures with Indian public and private sector companies, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Tuesday said there was a need for reactivating the India-UAE Joint Business Council and increase the frequency of exchange of delegations between the two apex commerce and industry chambers.

Patil said: “India has already started negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and we are hopeful of finalizing it in the near future.”

She said that with an annual bilateral trade turnover of over 43 billion dollars, India and the UAE are leading trade partners for each other.

“Considerable potential exists between the two countries for further enhancing the present level of trade and economic cooperation. The UAE has become a gateway for our trade with the rest of the region. Our trade relations are more or less balanced and encompass diverse products. There is an element of complementarity in our trade,” said Patil.

“These strong fundamentals should be taken advantage of, so as to substantially increase our trade volume. Trade exhibitions are excellent ways of showcasing each other’s potential areas for increasing trade and investment. There are large infrastructural projects being undertaken in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the transport, communication and energy sectors. There are many competent companies in India, both in the private and public sectors, which are successfully executing such projects abroad,” she added.

Patil further said India shares historical, trade and civilization links and cultural affinity with the entire Arab world and especially with the United Arab Emirates.

“The Gulf region as a whole, is important for India not only because of geographical proximity and for meeting our energy needs, but also because of the large Indian Community, which is contributing to the growth of economic and business activities in the region, while acting as a bridge between us,” said Patil.

“The recent opening of the Sheikh Khalifa Special Economic Zone in Abu Dhabi will serve to enhance Indian economic presence in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi,” she added.

The President also called upon members of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to promote investments from the UAE to India, especially in the area of infrastructure, which will be mutually beneficial to both countries.

“India has emerged as the fourth largest economy in the world on Purchasing Power Parity basis. It is a trillion dollar economy, which is vibrant and expanding. India’s growth in the four years preceding the onset of the global financial crisis was around 9 percent,” said Patil.

“During the global economic crisis it came down to less than 7 percent. It is now expected to grow 8.5 percent in the current financial year and 9 percent in 2011-12. The strong fundamentals of our economy combined with a young population will continue to generate huge demand in every economic sector in India and especially in the area of infrastructure,” she concluded. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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