Patil urges investors to be part of India’s growth

DUBAI — Investors from the UAE can take part in the growth story of India, which is currently one of the hottest destinations in the world for foreign direct investments, Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil said on Thursday.

By Issac John

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Published: Fri 26 Nov 2010, 11:23 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 11:34 AM

The Indian President also called for the reactivation of the Indian-UAE Joint Business Council and the India-UAE Joint of Commission for Economic, Technical and Scientific Co-operation to fully tap the growth potential of the two-way trade which has grown to $43 billion at present.

In her address to members of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Raffles Hotel, the visiting head of one of the fastest growing global economies, said India’s ambitious expansion drive in infrastructure, energy and industrial sectors presented myriad opportunities for investment.

India, which is also the world’s fourth largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, “extends to all of you a hand of partnership, and invites you to participate with us in the new phase of rapid development and prosperity on which we have embarked,” said President Patil, who is in the UAE on the first leg of a two-nation tour of the Middle East.

While urging the investor community from the UAE to participate in the remarkable growth story of her country, President Patil said Indian companies, on their part, would be able to bring in their technology, manpower as well as capital to partner in the development programme of the UAE.

“India is a large and growing market with healthy micro-economic fundamentals and robust banking and financial institutions. This makes India one of the most attractive FDI locations in the world,” she said. The large presence of business, trade and investment leaders at the event itself was a testimony to the keen interest from both sides to expand India-UAE economic and trade ties, President Patil pointed out.

Declaring that trade and investment would be the cornerstone of India-UAE partnership in the evolving global scenario, President Patil said India has been a dynamic partner of the UAE in the trade and economic fields. “For thousands of years, our ancestors sailed across the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean to exchange goods, ideas and experiences. This interaction over several millennia has left an indelible mark on our history, providing us a fertile ground for accentuating our traditional links in the modern context.”

Tracing the history of the booming bilateral trade, she said the real turning point was when Dubai positioned itself as a regional trading hub by the early 1990s when the economic liberalisation process started in India. “The UAE, a long standing commercial and business hub in the region, has also emerged as the third major re-export centre in the world after Singapore and Hong Kong, which is clearly reflected in our growing trade. India-UAE trade, valued at $180 million per annum in the 1970s, is today in excess of $43 billion making the UAE one of India’s leading trading partners.”

President Patil believe that both nations, through their prudent policies before, as well as the stimulus measures after the global economic crisis, could successfully weather the financial crisis, and are now contributing to the stability of the global economy. She said India has come out as one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is poised to register a gross domestic product, or GDP, growth rate of over nine percent in the coming years.

“Our exports are recording impressive growth since November-December 2009, and we have seen a substantial rise in corporate earnings and profit margins. Capital flows and business sentiments have improved tremendously.”

She praised the persistent efforts of the trading community in both the countries for the current strong trade ties. “The visionary policies of the rulers of Dubai in building excellent infrastructure, have transformed this city into a throbbing metropolis and a great hub for international commerce and trade. There is potential for the current level of Indo-UAE trade to be boosted considerably in the coming years. For this we would need to take several measures,” she said.

Apart from the reactivation of institutional arrangements like the India-UAE Joint Business Council and the India-UAE Joint Commission for Economic, Technical and Scientific Co-operation, both countries should increase their participation in specialized trade fairs and exhibitions, she said.

“Immense potential also lies for a mutually beneficial partnership in the energy sector and also in the agriculture and food processing sectors. India is one of the leading producers of fruits, despite this only two percent our trade is in this area. Both countries must consider more co-operation between their respective oil-industry sectors for establishing a long term relationship in the field of petro-chemical industries, not only in India and the UAE, but in third countries also,” she said.

She maintained that the large presence of Indian business companies in the UAE could act as a springboard to elevate economic partnership to new levels. “While trade has been the bedrock of our economic partnership, strengthening of the flow of Foreign Direct Investment between the two countries, can be another significant pillar of our relationship.”

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