IIFT to leverage Dubai opportunities
From left: Ajay Mathur, president of Dubai Alumni Chapter, IIFT; T.P Seetharam; Dr Surajit Mitra andDr Jaydeep Mukherjee, faculty, IIFT, at 3rd International Trade Conclave organised by IIFT in Dubai.
Dubai - The trade patterns in the emerging economies have experienced significant transition due to the economic crisis.
By Sandhya DMello (Senior Reporter)
Published: Mon 21 Sep 2015, 12:00 AM
Last updated: Mon 21 Sep 2015, 4:40 PM
Dubai has become the new financial capital of the world and the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, or IIFT, wants to leverage this opportunity that Dubai presents, said Dr Surajit Mitra, director and vice-chancellor of IIFT in his opening remarks at IIFT's third International Trade Conclave, inaugurated by the Ambassador of India to the UAE T.P Seetharam on Saturday.
This year the conclave was of special importance in the light of the momentum generated by the visit of Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, to the UAE in August 2015. The event was held under the theme 'GCC Trade and Investment Flows: Implications for the Indian Economy.'
Mitra highlighted that the trade patterns in the emerging economies have experienced significant transition due to the economic crisis. India's trade with North America and Europe has gone down, whilst it has risen with Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. He said that 75 per cent of India's trade with the UAE is energy related and there is ample scope for trade diversification between the two countries. He expressed hope that the GCC-India Free Trade agreement will happen soon benefitting both countries.
Seetharam said: "A high level delegation headed by the Commerce Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman, is visiting the UAE on October 6 and is scheduled to meet Shaikh Hamid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, managing director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. In the upcoming India-Africa Business Summit, the UAE has been invited as a special delegate and will play an important role in the trade and investments." The panel discussion which followed the inaugural session was attended by more than a hundred delegates from the trade and business world of Dubai, cutting across all sectors.
The discussion was led by the panel consisting of Dr Ashraf Ali Mahate, head of Export Market Intelligence, Dubai Exports; Thomas Kuruvilla, managing partner, Arthur D. Little Middle East; Sharad Singhvi, vice president, HR, Petrofac; Prabhat Sangwan, vice-president, Olam Middle East; Djamal Djouri, CEO, Al-Ghurair Resources; and Thomas Pagonis, shipping manager, Al Ghurair Resources.
"The bilateral trade between India and the GCC during 2014-15 is estimated at $59.15 billion, a significant increase from a mere $5.55 billion in 2000-01. Apart from merchandise trade, the GCC countries have discovered opportunities in developing service sectors like retail, finance and telecommunication. It is not just growing trade and finance between GCC and India but also to reinvigorate Indian diaspora settled in GCC countries. They are a major source of remittances. Thus, the GCC as a collective entity has tremendous significance for India," added Mitra.
The Management Development Programme, or MDP, division at IIFT in consultation with the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Government of India and other industry associations, is committed on carrying out different training programmes in coming months with three broad objectives: focus on business environment in India; business practices and the nuances of doing business with India.
As a first step towards this initiative, IIFT jointly with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, or DGFT, Government of India, has recently launched an online certificate programme in export import business under the Niryat Bandhu Scheme to reach out to the new and potential exporters. This online programme is also expected to serve the government's twin objective of 'Digital India' and 'Skill India'.
Asked if India would be the next investment destination since it remains most insulated among other Bric countries, the IIFT director and vice-chancellor, said: "The Indian economy is now in a very important transitional phase. In the past couple of years, the Indian economy faced the twin challenges of a sharp decline in global demand and at the same time, domestic structural constraints and inflationary pressures, which set a weak growth spiral in motion. Growth has started to pick up in India, boosted by the performance of the manufacturing and services sector. Manufacturing in particular, offers tremendous potential for growth as India is abundant in natural resources, which can significantly reduce input costs."