The Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, HE Nasser Ahmed Al-sowaidi, stressed the keenness of the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to build long-term strategic relations with India based on close cooperation in all areas, by exploring the possibilities of cooperation in the fields of science, knowledge, science and technology, industry, tourism and other economic activities.This came in a word delivered on his behalf by his behalf by HE Mohammed Thani Murshid Al Rumaithi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, at the end of the activities of the Abu Dhabi Investment Forum in Mumbai, India last Thursday.The high-level delegation from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to the Forum included, Mohammed Omar Abdullah, Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development, Muhammad Thani Al Rumaithi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mohammed Hassan Al Qamzi CEO of ZonesCorp, Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balochi, Executive Vice President of Industrial Zones at ADPC, Saeed Fadel Al Mazroui, CEO of Emirates Aluminum and Shadi Malak, Executive Director-Commercial of Etihad Rail HE Nasser Al-sowaidi extended his thanks and appreciation to all participants in Abu Dhabi Investment forum, which took place in Mumbai, to confirm the solid economic relations that are based on historical, social and cultural ties between UAE and India, and the constant interaction between the two countries.Indian expatriates’ community in UAE is reportedly the largest among other communities, where UAE hosts more than 1.7 million Indian expatriate, Al-sowaidi said. HE highly valued the contribution of the Indian community to UAE's growth, through development of infrastructure, economic activities and sharing of technical expertise.Nasser Al-sowaidi added that the traditionally close and friendly UAE- Indian relations developed into a strong partnership in economic and commercial fields; with both countries turning into strategic partners, especially in the two-way non-oil merchandise trade.The UAE-Indian non-oil trade, was valued at US$ 43.5 billion in Fiscal Year (2009-2010), whereas in the first half alone of the FY (2010-2011), the value of non-oil trade between the two countries stood at US$ 26.4 billion, Abu Dhabi DED Chairman said.Al- sowaidi added that UAE was the 6th largest source of crude oil imports to India in 2009-2010, which amounted to 11.6 million metric tons of crude oil.
In his speech, Al–sowaidi said: UAE’s investments in India are concentrated mainly in five sectors: Energy (19.1%), Services (9.3%), programming (7.8%), Construction (6.8%), and Tourism and Hotels (5.6%) , however, the value of Indian investments in the UAE amounted to US$ 5.2 billion, which accounted for 7% of FDI inflows to UAE in 2007. The Indian investments in UAE concentrate in construction and contracting which acquires about US$ 1.5 billion in total and manufacturing activity with a total value of US$ 156 million.The UAE offers various trade and investment incentives and advantages for Indian and international companies, such its strategic geographical location close to European and emerging Asian markets, the highly-competitive free zones that provide advanced services to investors, Al-sowaidi stated. He also said that incentives included 100% transfer of capital and profits, diverse industries and non-oil sector activities, cheap energy sources, zero profit tax, no personal income taxes, and other advantages and incentives that made the UAE’s business and work environment one of the most competitive worldwide.
In his address to Abu Dhabi Investment Forum, Nasser Al-sowaidi emphasized that despite the significant decline in global FDI levels over the past two years due to the world financial crisis, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was the second most attractive hub for FDI in the Middle East in 2010, with total investments amounting to about US$ 2.7 Billion, as stated in the “Financial Times report on “FDI prospects -2011”.
Al-sowaidi said that the remarkable improvement in Abu Dhabi’s capacity to connect manufacturers and consumers with international markets, would guarantee a more flourishing and positive economic future for the Emirate.India, with its booming economy, emerges as a leading force in technological and scientific advancement; specifically in fields of information technology, pharmaceuticals and bio-technology. These fields can provide an excellent opportunity for constructive cooperation between the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and India. Al-sowaidi said, adding that UAE and India could work on joint ventures, particularly in the field of IT and computer industries, in order to meet the needs of local and regional market, taking advantage of the Indian experience in this area on the one hand; and the great benefits offered by Abu Dhabi for investors on the other.Al-sowaidi indicated that other areas of potential mutual cooperation include technology transfer, and research and development, as both India and UAE focus on furtherance of knowledge-based industries.Small and medium enterprises, comprise a prospective base for broad cooperation between Abu Dhabi and India, especially that India possesses outstanding expertise in the field of SMEs, whereas the economic policy of Abu Dhabi focuses on this context to encourage young citizens to invest and take lead in these project Al–sowaidi elaborated.In view of the economic and political instability, and regional responses to economic change in Western Europe and elsewhere, friendly nations should come even closer through strategic partnerships, Nasser Al-sowaidi said in his speech. Al-sowaidi said that time had come for strengthening ties between the UAE and India, to enable moving forwards and tapping new dimensions and spheres of cooperation, with emphasis on sustainable development, renewable energy, technology transfer, boosting trade activities and widening investment opportunities between India and Abu Dhabi, as well as other areas of mutual concern.The Chairman of the Department of Economic Development expressed his thanks and appreciation to all participants, wishing them a successful Forum.In turn, HE Mohammed Sultan Abdullah Al Owais, UAE Ambassador to India, delivered a speech during the Forum, and expressed his thanks to the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and institutional investors in both countries for organizing this event, which formed an important step in building long-term strategic partnerships between the two countries
He said, Today we witness this meeting which has been eagerly awaited by the economic and business communities in UAE and India, to promote interaction between business leaders from both sides, at a time when the world experiencing financial crisis, in light of faltering European economies, and the increasing deflationary trends witnessed by economies.
The Ambassador said that emerging economies such as India, showed signs of strong growth, contrary to global trends, because India had followed sound policies and development strategies of its own, which suit its needs and capacities at the same time integrated rapidly in the global system.
The economy of the United Arab Emirates today stands among the fastest growing economies in the Arab world. UAE has launched massive investments in all sectors of the economy, in addition to the establishment of modern and advanced infrastructure for the benefit of its citizens and the benefit of businesses and companies. This provides and huge opportunities for Indian companies to invest in the UAE, and take advantage of a large regional market, as well as having access to growing markets in Africa. Al Owais said
The ambassador said that the forum was an ideal opportunity for experts and specialists to benefit from the variety of investment opportunities offered by UAE for private companies in India, pointing out that interaction between partners was always an important factor for achieving the desired goals, as was sought by this forum.
HE Mohammed Sultan Abdullah Al Owais, in his speech, highlighted some numbers that might be interesting. He noted that UAE trade with India, which amounted to $ 6.71 billion in 2011 to 2010, placing UAE as the first partner with India, for the third year in a row, ahead of China and the United States.Al Owais pointed out that the total volume of bilateral trade between India and the Arab world for the year 2010-2011 totaled $ 144.02 billion, representing 23.2% of the total volume of Indian trade of. Saudi Arabia came in second place with 17.8%.
UAE ambassador to India said that trade between India and the UAE accounted for about 46.59% of the total trade between India and the Arab world. UAE was ranked tenth big in investor in India, while India stood as the third big investor in UAE.The Indian community is the largest community in UAE, with 1.75 million people, representing 42.5% of the workforce in the country 'the ambassador said. He pointing out that the number of weekly flights between the UAE and India, reached 500 flights, running 65% of them (304 flights a week), run by UAE national airlines.HE UAE Ambassador to India said that the forum represented a new approach to further strengthen mutual relations strong, and would pave the way for more interaction. He expected that it would have fruitful results, drawing attention to focusing on important sector of in UAE, which include great areas of joint cooperation between the UAE and India, particularly the renewable energy sector.Al Owais said that the capital of the UAE, become the headquarters of the International Agency for Renewable Energies (IRENA), IRENA, and that the Government of Abu Dhabi had built the entirely solar powered zero carbon - zero waste Masdar City, which and would be home to approximately 50,000 people. The ambassador added that this in itself represented a great opportunity for the UAE and Indian companies for investment, and most importantly to create and develop institutional links between the UAE and India to exchange ideas and knowledge and develop and promote joint scientific research.HE Mohammed Al Owais concluded his word by saying, This forum marks an activation of capabilities, and we are confident it will provide opportunities for financial institutions, banking and industries, to further mutual cooperation. No doubt that the exchange of views and ideas will contribute to the adoption of useful insights and better understanding between the State of UAE and India, Al Owais said.The activities of the forum, included a session entitled Abu Dhabi and India: the establishment of long-term partnership, which probed and highlighted the great potential enjoyed by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and India, and the opportunity to create business partnerships for the benefit to both sides, with focus on the future orientations of the Government of Abu Dhabi, based on its 2030 Economic Vision.The second session was devoted to issues of finance and banking in light of the sound monetary policy adopted by UAE, which represents an ideal platform for foreign investors and Indian companies to play an important role in financing projects in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.The forum dedicated the third session to issues related to industry and associated with investments of Abu Dhabi in infrastructure, energy resources on which Abu Dhabi counts on as engines of economic diversification and determinants of the economic vision 2030, which will make the emirate more attractive to industrial investments from all over the world..The fourth session of the Forum reviewed of infrastructure and development projects for the transportation sector in Abu Dhabi, which provide a field for Indian companies to investment in and benefit from the opportunities and incentives offered by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.The Forum's fifth and last session concentrated on the energy sector and the requirements for both Abu Dhabi and India to take advantage of the expertise and partnerships related to this vital sector, in the light of the capabilities enjoyed by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi's in oil and natural energy resources and how to meet the needs of India's energy, which prompts the private sector to play a vital role in this partnership.