India can help UAE bring down healthcare costs: Minister
UAE businessmen have shown considerable interest in investing in India
India has a “significant potential” to reduce the UAE’s healthcare costs with its competitively priced medicines, and also improve the supply of paramedical staff and doctors, said Union Minister Piyush Goyal — who is on a visit to the UAE.
“India can add value to the healthcare system in the UAE. India has over the years developed extremely competitively priced medicines, which can serve the people,” said Goyal.
As many people from the UAE also come to India seeking medical care, he said, adding that the South Asian country will not only be able to provide facilities and improve medicines, but also provide more technical personnel, paramedical staff and doctors to the UAE.
“We will also be able to provide world-class, quality healthcare facilities for UAE nationals and visitors who come to India for any medical assistance,” the minister said at a Press briefing at the Indian consulate in Dubai on Saturday.
Indian medicines are one of the cheapest globally. And as per Medbelle, a London-based digital healthcare provider, it is among the five cheapest countries in the world for medicines, with prices that are 73.82 percent less than the global median.
At the height of the pandemic in April 2020, India had sent bulk supplies of supply hydroxychloroquine to the UAE and other affected countries such as the US, Spain and the UK, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to mention a few.
Indian doctors and nursing staff also form a big chunk of the healthcare sector of the UAE and have won kudos from the UAE government for their crucial role in helping the country fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Minister who is in charge of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food &Public Distribution of Textile in India, also spoke about how India and the UAE have ‘tremendous potential’ for mutual trade and investment.
Both countries started formal negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Development Agreement to tap global opportunities together, and the UAE has stated that it wants to be part of India’s $1-trillion exports target.
India is the UAE’s third largest trading partner with $60 billion, after China and the US. The UAE is the second largest export destination of India (after the US) with a value of nearly $29 billion for the year 2019-20.
For the UAE, India is the second largest trading partner for 2019 with an amount of around $41.43 billion (non-oil trade), as per figures released by the Indian missions in the country.
UAE businessmen keen to invest in India
Goyal said the response he has received from the UAE businessmen that he met during his current trip has been “truly fabulous”.
“The excitement I see and the potential that is demonstrated by all interested parties — persons who are importing goods and services from India to businessmen who I met at the inaugural event (of the Indian pavilion at Expo 2020) and at the dinner last night…everybody seems to love India,” said Goyal.
He said the businessmen have shown considerable interest in investing in India’s gems and jewellery, food processing industry, and infrastructure development projects.
“They are very keen to look at the asset monetisation programme. They are extremely keen to partner with India on promoting tourism. I think, we have to do a lot more work back home in India, to encourage Indian businesses to engage with the UAE businessmen.”
With the UAE committing to invest $75 billion from its sovereign funds, in addition to other business initiatives, the minister said India is poised to hit its export targets.
“Investment is one big area which you can expect to work together in a big way. Over the years, the UAE has developed capabilities in industries where low-cost energy can help India develop quality products at very attractive prices. And therefore, I believe this is a natural partnership that should benefit both countries; provide opportunities for people of both countries; provide huge employment opportunities, particularly in sectors which are labor-intense like textiles, footwear, food processing.”
The minister said the UAE and India are also teaming up to address climate change challenges and manufacture equipment for solar batteries.
Naming the Indian sectors that can contribute and complement the UAE’s economic growth, Goyal said Indian leather accessories, footwear, pharmaceuticals and healthcare have huge potential, as well as the technological sector like providing software and IT services.
India will bid for Expo 'at appropriate time'
India will consider hosting the Expo, said Union Minister Piyush Goyal, adding that it will be high on his agenda as soon as he returns.
“Certainly, we would like to see an Expo of this size and scale, and even larger, in the future in India. And I suggest, as soon as I get back, this is going to be high on my agenda, so that we can pitch for it at an appropriate time,” the minister told the media on Saturday.
Goyal inaugurated the Dh257-million India pavilion on Friday, when the six-month Expo 2020 Dubai opened to the public for the first time.
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