Defence, renewables, infrastructure in focus

Defence, renewables, infrastructure in focus
Mulk Holdings chairman Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk.

Dubai - "There is absolutely no doubt that this visit will boost the UAE-India trade and investment appetite."

By Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Wed 10 Feb 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 11 Feb 2016, 1:09 PM

Renewable energy projects hold huge investment potential in India and can attract non-resident Indian (NRI) businessmen as well as local entrepreneurs. Mulk Holdings chairman Nawab Shaji Ul Mulk, who is part of the high-profile UAE delegation to India, said renewable energy projects may grab a significant share of the $75 billion infrastructure fund likely to be active this year.
"There is absolutely no doubt that this visit will boost the UAE-India trade and investment appetite. The $75 billion infrastructure commitment of the UAE will have a multiple effect and encourage private sector to make further investment in India," Mulk told Khaleej Times before leaving to New Delhi on Wednesday.His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is leading the UAE delegation comprising seven ministers, government officials, 20 Emirati entrepreneurs and 40 NRI businessmen based in the UAE. The two sides are expected to sign at least 16 agreements for the development of energy, information technology, aerospace and railways, among others, during the three-day visit ending on Friday.
Mulk said India, with a current electricity grid capacity of less than 300 gigawatts, aims to increase its solar installations from below 5,000 megawatts now to 100,000 megawatts by 2022 - more than double the present solar capacity of China and Germany - the two biggest solar nations."We at Mulk Holdings have a fair amount of investments in India in both the manufacturing and renewable energy sectors. We are following the UAE renewable energy initiative very closely as India today has the most active solar programme," he said.
The Mulk Holdings founder said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has championed solar power and helped launch a global solar alliance at the Paris climate summit to mobilise an attention-grabbing $1 trillion of funds worldwide by 2030.
"India has already committed $5 billion investment to generate 5,000 solar energy and will have the potential to attract $100 billion funds by 2022 to increase its solar power generation capacity to 100,000 megawatts," he said.
Mulk Holdings, through its energy arm Mulk Renewable Energy, has a 10-megawatt solar power station in Bangalore.The $75 billion infrastructure fund should be functional as soon as the agreements are inked and a clear road map is agreed between the two nations, he added."During the visit of our Prime Minister to the UAE in August last year, the priority sectors were identified and agreed as defence equipment manufacturing, infrastructure and renewable energy. I believe the government will stay on course with this plan," Mulk said.
About the development on issues raised during Modi's visit to the UAE last year, he said the two nations made significant progress at a very fast pace."In less than six months, 12 out of 16 agreements have already been agreed up on and we are targeting to ink all the 16 agreements. This undoubtedly shows the serious intent of both the leaders to take action on all issues discussed during the last year visit," he said.
To a question about the challenges that can affect the UAE-India trade and investment in coming years, he said: "I do not see any major challenges as it is a very comprehensive and well thought out investment programme backed by various other agreements that should act as strong shield to obstacles if any. The challenge, if any, would be the execution level challenges which any mega scale project can expect."
About the role of the Indian business group accompanying the UAE delegation, he said the Indian business community residing in the UAE has been playing a major role in bilateral trade.
"This is visionary thinking and a most amazing initiative by Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed to invite prominent Indian business leaders to accompany him to India. We as an Indian business community group are meeting our counterparts in India and I am sure there will be major opportunities of cooperation and investment potential both in India and the UAE," Mulk said.

More news from UAE