A Two-Pronged Growth

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change, with Subramanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs in India.
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change, with Subramanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs in India.

The UAE and India partnership today stands at a far greater height than just being a diplomatic one. The relations encompass growth at both policy-making and public levels

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By Rhonita Patnaik

Published: Tue 28 Jun 2022, 10:31 AM

The UAE’s commitment investments of $100 billion in India in manufacturing, infrastructure and services could take the bilateral trade between India and the UAE to about $100 billion by 2030, registering significant growth from trade volumes worth $180 million in the 1970s, and reinforcing the strong potential for business between the two countries, according to a KPMG report.

India is the third-largest trading partner of the UAE, whereas the UAE stands as the third largest trading partner for India, as of 2019. Petroleum products and gems and jewellery account for the majority of trade between India and the UAE (2016-2020).

Farhan Syed, Partner, Head of Advisory for KPMG Middle East and South Asia (MESA) and Lower Gulf, said: “As both nations aim to strengthen ties in the coming years, there are several opportunities across various sectors to boost bilateral trade and investment. The India-UAE CEPA will help deepen economic ties between the two nations and potentially boost non-oil trade to the $100 billion goal in five years.”

Measures such as further facilitation of visa rules, increased trade and investment promotion activities and improved ease of doing business with other GCC nations are seen by the business community as policy opportunities to strengthen India-UAE ties in the coming years.

The India-UAE Startup Bridge

The ‘India-UAE Startup Bridge’ brings the CEPA vision to reality. The bridge will act as a one-stop platform where information regarding the Indian and UAE startup ecosystem will be easily accessible to entrepreneurs and stakeholders from both countries.

The bridge consolidates the close relationship that the two countries have had over the past few years.

The Startup Bridge will facilitate:

Capacity Building of Incubators: The Indian startup ecosystem, with over 750 incubators spread across the country, has one of the strongest startup support infrastructures globally. The bridge will facilitate joint training sessions for incubators in India and the UAE. These sessions will focus on helping incubators in the UAE develop training modules and understand the kind of handholding startups will require at an early stage.

Incubation Opportunity for Startups: The vast network of Indian incubators and their expertise will provide the UAE-based startups a great opportunity to work with Indian startups and the enablers of the aspirational ecosystem.

Investment Funds: The bridge will also focus on bringing the investment houses from the UAE in working closely with Indian venture capital and private equity houses, some of whom are present with us today. The Indian startup ecosystem has been a fertile investment ground for UAE based investors and will work jointly towards continue this investment partnership.

Masterclass: A series of masterclasses, which show the India and the UAE opportunity to the startups from both nations, focus on fundraising support and the details necessary to take startups and turn them into unicorns. These masterclasses, taken by experts from both ecosystems, will be a key knowledge repository and act as the guiding stone for any startup wanting to understand the art of growing and scaling startups across different regions.

Energy Partnerships

In May this year, India’s Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Abu Dhabi Chemicals Derivatives Company RSC Ltd (TA’ZIZ) signed the formal shareholder agreement for a new chemical production facility that is set to unlock new revenue streams, and create opportunities for local manufacturers.

The agreement was signed by senior executives during a visit by Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance. The joint venture will construct and operate a facility to produce Chlor-Alkali, Ethylene Dichloride (EDC) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) with a total investment of over $2 billion (Dh7.34 billion).

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Managing Director, and Group CEO of ADNOC, said: “Reliance is a valued strategic partner and our collaboration at TA’ZIZ underscores the important role of industrial and energy cooperation as a means of strengthening the deep-rooted and friendly ties between the UAE and India.”

According to Ambani, “This joint venture is a testimony to the strong and growing ties between India and the UAE and will be a benchmark for more such projects built on strengths of the two nations. I am looking forward to implementing the project at an accelerated pace, taking a step further in enhancing lives of our people in the region.”

In addition, there were talks to explore potential opportunities for collaboration in renewable energy and green hydrogen, both of which are key priorities for the UAE and India.

Actioning Climate Change Efforts

The UAE will host COP28 at Expo City Dubai in 2023. Facts are well-documented on the nation’s efforts to fight climate change via the UAE Net Zero Strategy 2050.

The UAE supports green infrastructure and clean energy projects worldwide, and has invested in renewable energy ventures worth around $16.8 billion in 70 countries with a focus on developing nations, according to the Ministry website.

On his visit to India in May, Dr. Al Jaber held a series of high-level meetings with government and business leaders in India, focused on opportunities within the energy transition and industrial growth.

Following that, the UAE and India agreed to expand bilateral cooperation towards accelerated climate action and implementation of the Paris Agreement. This includes public-private partnerships across renewable power deployment, agriculture efficiency, green hydrogen, sustainable finance and carbon market development.

The UAE’s expanded cooperation with India in the area of climate aims to support India’s ambition to achieve 450 gigawatts of renewable energy installed capacity by 2030 and aligns with the UAE’s ambitions to expand its low and zero-carbon energy capabilities.

UAE Entities in India

DP World: UAE-based and world leader in global supply chain solutions, DP World has opened a new technology centre in Bengaluru, India. The office is the company’s second technology centre to be opened in India this year, following Hyderabad in May, while a third, at Gurugram, is set to open in the coming months. DP World’s presence in the Indian technology market has grown rapidly. At the beginning of 2021, the company had just 50 employees. This number has already grown to more than 450 with the opening of the first two offices. The global port operator, owned by the Dubai government, has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NSDC International Ltd, to develop a Skill India International Centre at Varanasi to skill Indian youth for pursuing overseas employment opportunities in logistics, port operations and allied services.

Emaar Properties: Builder of the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa, Emaar India has commercial and residential projects lined up across India including Gurugram, Indore, Jaipur and Mohali, according to its official website.

With proven competencies across a myriad of portfolios – commercial, residential, retail, hospitality and leisure, Emaar is a well-recognised name, known for its iconic assets in Dubai and other international markets and Emaar India carries its global legacy with formidable projects.

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