UAE-India Forum to explore investment opportunities

The event being hosted by Khaleej Times will happen at Conrad Hotel in Dubai today


Joydeep Sengupta

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Published: Tue 15 Mar 2022, 12:35 AM

Last updated: Tue 15 Mar 2022, 12:36 AM

The UAE-India Investment Forum, which is hosted by Khaleej Times at Conrad Hotel in Dubai today, aims to herald a new beginning in the flourishing economic ties between the two countries.

The UAE Ministry of Economy and the Consulate General of India, Dubai, have endorsed the marquee event.

The forum will be an ideal meeting ground to discuss new opportunities, the potential to attract investors across sectors, sovereign wealth funds, large corporations, and industries.

Some of the topics that will be discussed at the event include the strategic importance of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa); the start-up ecosystem; bilateral food security; information technology; and healthcare partnerships, among others. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Dr Ahmed Abdul Rahman Albanna, the UAE’s Ambassador to India; Sunjay Sudhir, Indian Ambassador to the UAE; Dr Aman Puri, Consul-General of India, Dubai; and top business leaders will speak at the forum.

“Cepa opens doors to countless opportunities for both trade and investment. We expect bilateral trade to reach $100 (Dh367) billion in the next five years. The agreement is futuristic, comprehensive, and ambitious with a holistic coverage of a wide range of sectors and commitments including over hundred sub-sectors in services, intellectual property rights (IPR), government procurement, digital trade, telecom,” Ambassador Sudhir said.


“It’s the fastest free trade agreement to have been negotiated between any two countries, and took a mere 88 days, a reflection of the trust and confidence our nation’s place in each other. The stage is set for a new era of prosperity between UAE and India. This agreement is, simply put, a paradigm shift,” he added.

“It’s indeed a matter of pride to be a part of the strategic relationship between India and the UAE cementing with much larger trade deals and pacts. We’re going to be participating to further enhance the untapped potential of the great nations,” said Nikhil Nanda, Managing Director (MD) at Svendgaard.

“The UAE-India Investment Forum 2022 comes at an important time as both nations look to ratify the recently signed historic trade agreement. India and the UAE enjoy highly complementary economies and there’s much we can offer one another as we embark on a new era of cooperation and collaboration. The agreement offers enormous benefits for people in both countries across a broad spectrum of industries. Now we need to put the promise of this new agreement into practice and equip businesses with the tools to drive a new era of prosperity. Platforms such as this are the best place to start,” said Shaima Sharif Alaydarous, Director, Trade Negotiations and International Organisations Department, the UAE’s Ministry of Economy

The event comes close on the heels of the UAE, India signing the CEPA on February 18, and is likely to come into effect from Labour Day (May 1) this year.

It will open a comprehensive array of gains for India in sectors such as plastics, furniture, agricultural and food products. It is estimated that 1 million jobs will be created due to the trade pact between the UAE and India.

The UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner.

This trade agreement will allow both countries to deepen economic ties by removing barriers to trade, increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, and creating opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises. Exporters will enjoy tariff removal or reduction, simplified customs procedures, access to government contracts, and new opportunities for professional services.

In a significant gain for India and as a first in the CEPA agreement, the UAE has agreed to automatic registration and market authorisation for India in medicines in case of their regulatory approval in developed countries such as the USA, the European Union (EU), the UK and Japan.

The agreement also has a permanent safeguard mechanism which can be resorted to in a situation of a sudden surge in imports along with strict rules of origin, which will prevent products from other countries through the CEPA route.

The UAE-India Investment Forum is sponsored by, FICCI, InvestIndia, Virenxia, CARS24, Allana and Bank of Baroda. Top industry speakers include Udaan co-founder Sujeeth Kumar, who will be part of the Indian Start-up Ecosystem and alongside’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Neeraj Gupta.

Priya Rawat, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Invest India, and Rajeev Kumar, vice-chairman of Niti Aayog in India, will be moderating the discussion around the CEPA agreement.

Sanjeev Kumar, chairman and managing director and director (Projects), TCIL, Government of India, will discuss infrastructure projects for both countries.

Sriranga Sampathkumar, Vice President (VP) and General Manager (GM), Middle East and Africa, Infosys; and Shivendra Singh, VP and head responsible for the Global Trade Development at NASSCOM, will spearhead discussions representing the information technology (IT) sector, and how it will unlock growth opportunities and drive innovations for firms in both regions.

The Energy Innovation Ecosystem panel will have Binu Parthan, head of regions at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Nawal Alhanaee, director of the Future Energy Department at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure; and Martin Nagell, CEO’s advisor at Masdar.

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