Modi to promote India's potential on UAE visit
An employee uses tongs to move glasses from a moulding machine at a factory in Uttar Pradesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants India's companies to use their homeland as a manufacturing base.
Dubai - Premier to focus on 'Make in India' campaign in 2-day UAE visit.
By Abdul Basit
Published: Sun 16 Aug 2015, 12:00 AM
Last updated: Mon 17 Aug 2015, 9:24 AM
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to promote the 'Make in India' initiative during his two-day UAE visit, starting from Sunday, top businessmen told Khaleej Times.
The prime minister launched this programme on September 25, 2014, with the aim to encourage companies to manufacture their products in India. The major objective of the initiative is to focus on 25 sectors of the economy for job creation and skill enhancement.
Modi will seek to enhance cooperation in both energy and trade. He will talk to investors on why India is an attractive destination in which to invest, according to a recent statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office.
The new government's call for entrepreneurs to manufacture in India is an avenue for UAE investors to make their presence felt in the country, Dr B.R. Shetty, chairman of NMC Healthcare, said. This will give them new opportunities to explore, he added.
"The new government, led by Modi, has launched many business-friendly initiatives in India like the 'Make in India' campaign. We are positive that the new leadership will support enterprising initiatives. This visit of the Prime Minister shall open up new avenues for NRI [non-resident Indian] businessmen to explore and succeed, while adding value to their motherland," Dr Shetty added.
The Expo 2020 in Dubai will also act as a catalyst for entrepreneurs from India to contribute to the UAE, he said. "I am sure that the new leadership of India and the visionary rulers of the UAE will together open up endless possibilities for the business fraternity."
Shetty believes Modi's visit to the UAE will further strengthen the strong trade relations between the two nations.
"We can expect increase in investments in both countries. Along with trade, aspects like security, technology and bilateral issues will also be focused upon, improving the process and its positive impact in the future," he said.
Yusuffali M.A., managing director of Lulu Group, said India's image is changing world over and it is fast becoming a major destination for foreign direct investments. "The recently announced 'Make in India' campaign is also making waves in the global market. I am sure the UAE will also be very interested in being part of this forward looking Indian economy," Yusuffali said.
With regard to investments into India, he said the UAE is looking at new markets. "I have always tried to showcase the opportunities. I think infrastructure, sustainable energy and tourism will be the best options for UAE investments. Hopefully, this trip by the Indian PM will pave the way," he added.
Ram Buxani, president of the ITL group, said: "With limited human resource of its own in the UAE, India can develop each and every sector here. Similarly, the UAE can find India a proper treasury to invest."
Adeeb Ahamed, CEO of Lulu International Exchange, said Modi's visit will help strengthen bilateral ties and enhance areas of cooperation between India and the UAE.
"The UAE is India's third largest trading partner, valued at around $60 billion, after China and the US. I am confident that this visit will bolster investments on both sides and increase trade as well. It will also be a great opportunity for the prime minister to invite regional companies to take part in the 'Make in India' initiative, which is one of the Indian government's flagship programmes," Ahamed added.
Looking at the huge untapped potential of the UAE sovereign wealth funds, which is estimated at over $800 billion, it will not be a hard task for the Indian leader to lure more FDI into the world's fastest growing economy.
The Indian Prime Minister has visited 25 countries since getting elected to lead the world's largest democracy and the third largest Asian economy in 2014. His visits have already generated $19.78 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow from 12 countries in the financial year 2014-'15.
Business leaders said there is huge potential in a lot of sectors in both countries for further growth. Pharmaceuticals, real estate, education, hospitality and technology are some sectors where there is potential for investment, Dr Shetty said.
He said concepts like medical tourism and India's technological prowess have found acceptance in the UAE.
"Meanwhile, businessmen in India are interested in the UAE's real estate, hospitality and retail sectors. So, this visit by India's enterprising leader can give a boost to all the sectors," he added.
Yusuffali said: "The UAE today is one of the most robust and fast growing economies in the region and has a huge appetite for investments in retail, hospitality and manufacturing sectors."
He said: "Everyday, one sees world renowned brands making a beeline for the UAE, the major reason being the pro-development approach of the government. World-class infrastructure facilities, easy availability of latest technological platforms, best travel connectivity coupled with easy rules and regulations make the UAE the best bet for Indian investors. Our long historical relationship with the UAE and the presence of a large Indian diaspora here will always be an asset for Indian investors."