UAE Inc gung-ho about Modi visit
Dubai - Industry leaders hope there will be more clarity on investment protection deal.
Implementation of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (Bippa) between the UAE and India is expected to gain more headway during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi here next week.
The deal was signed in December 2013 to ensure protection of cross-border investments by India and the UAE. It was aimed at accelerating investments and giving a fresh impetus to stalled joint venture projects.
The UAE can contribute substantially to India's funding requirements, especially in infrastructure which requires $1 trillion over the next few years, according to captains of the UAE business community.
The UAE, especially Dubai, is also well positioned to become India's gateway to the larger Middle East and Africa region, they added.
India is committed to implementing the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement signed with the UAE to encourage further investment flow into the country, India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told reporters during her visit to the UAE in November 2014.
"The clouds of recession and fluctuation in the Indian economy in the last two years slowed down the implementation of Bippa. But the new government and its promising vision will add impetus to this again," Dr B.R. Shetty, chairman of NMC Healthcare, told Khaleej Times.
Yusuffali M.A., managing director of Lulu Group, said: "India has always been a key partner in UAE's trade and economy. This visit will definitely take it to the next level. I will try to facilitate business level meetings to project various investment opportunities in India, especially in infrastructure development, sustainable energy and IT."
"The UAE is looking at new markets for investments. Infrastructure, sustainable energy and tourism will be the best options for UAE investment. This trip by the Indian premier will pave the way for it," Yusuffali added.
UAE's investments in India are estimated to be around $8 billion, of which more than $3 billion is in the form of foreign direct investment while the remaining is portfolio investment, as of January 2015.
UAE companies that have invested in India include Emaar Properties, DP World, Abu Dhabi's National Petroleum Construction Company, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa), Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, KEF Holdings, Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority, Etihad Airways, Abraaj Group and Drake and Scull International.
Ram Buxani, president of the ITL group, said: "The Bippa is a document to encourage both sides to move further towards strengthening relations. I am sure our Prime Minister's visit will pave the way for further improvement in already excellent relations."
Kamal Vachani, director of Al Maya Group, said: "We are excited about the first visit of Indian Prime Minister Modi.
"Both the countries already enjoy great trade relations as India is among the UAE's top three trading partners," said Vachani, who is also the regional director of Computer Software Export Promotion Council and president of the Dubai Chapter of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin.
Dr.Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty, better known as B R Shetty, is Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi based New Medical Centre Group of Companies and UAE Exchange.