UAE is India’s third largest trading partner worth $60 billion, after China and the US
GN Bureau | August 17, 2015
Inviting investors from oil-rich UAE, prime minister Narendra Modi said today India has an immediate investment opportunity of $1 trillion and the government will take urgent steps to address concerns of the businessmen.
Modi said India has huge investment opportunities for investors from the UAE in sectors like infrastructure, energy and real estate and urged them to come to invest in India and together make the 21st century ‘Asia’s Century’.
However, the investors told the prime minister that they need steps like single window clearance and cited cumbersome and complex processes for doing business in India. Modi assured that these problems will be resolved.
In their meeting with the prime minister, the businessmen also said that the government needs to be a strategic partner to create a conducive business environment for the investors who need safety of their investments.
The issue assumes significance as a number of investors, including some from the Middle-East region, have in the past faced problems due to taxation and policy related issues.
UAE is India’s third largest trading partner in 2014-15 after China and the US with around $60 billion worth transaction. The UAE was the second largest export destination for India ($33 billion for 2014-15). For the UAE, India was the largest trading partner for the year 2013 (over $36 billion in non-oil trade).
Modi said he needs investments to build infrastructure for India’s growth and “there is immediate potential for investments totalling $1 trillion in India.”
Stating that he is well aware of the fact that $1 trillion is a big number, Modi said such investments can very well come to India as it has now got a decisive and stable government.
The prime minister said all major global institutions such as IMF, World Bank and Moody’s agree that India is the world’s fastest growing economy and it has huge development potential.
“On one hand India is growing fast and on the other hand, the world is looking at Asia. But is Asia complete without UAE? I can clearly see that the UAE should be at the centre of mainstream of things in Asia. UAE’s power and India’s potential can make it Asia’s century,” he said.
Modi said he has been told about some problems being faced by investors from the UAE and he wants to assure them that the government is solving those problems.
“I will send my Commerce Minister to try and find solutions to the problems faced by some UAE investors,” he said.
Talking about no Indian Prime Minister having visited the UAE in the last 34 years, Modi said, “We have lost 34 years. I want to erase the deficit of these 34 years. I want all of you to come to India and make 21st Century Asia’s century.”
Modi said there are 700 flights between India and UAE, but it took 34 years for an Indian Prime Minister to visit.
“I promise this will not happen again,” he said.
Those present in the meeting included members of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, top government officials and Indian origin industrialists including Yusuff Ali, B R Shetty, Ravi Pillai and PNC Menon who have set up businesses in Masdar.
Listing out investment areas, Modi said, “we want technology, speed and quality construction when it comes to housing. Low-cost housing is very important for us.
“It is now commonly believed that India is one of the fastest growing economies. There are several opportunities of development in India.
“I feel India is a land of many opportunities… 125 crore people of India are not a market but they are a source of great strength.”
“In the agriculture sector we need cold storage network and warehousing network where UAE businesses have another advantage. Infrastructure development and real estate offer tremendous opportunities for UAE businesses in India.
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