Senior officials from the Emirate of Abu Dhabi stated that India is one of the key countries that the Government of Abu Dhabi attaches great importance to in terms of economic, investment and trade relations in view of its privileged position regionally and internationally, not to mention the historical relations that bind the two countries and that have their impact on many development projects, not only in the UAE but in all of GCC countries.
During the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi-Mumbai Investment Forum 2011 which kicked off last Thursday in Mumbai, India, Abu Dhabi officials emphasized that this forum comes at a time when investment relations between the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and India witness significant developments, as the investment opportunities between both countries are increasing with a steady growth in trade relations.
HE Muhammad Thani Al Rumaithi, President of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Chamber and Head of Abu Dhabi delegation to the Forum, highlighted the need to escalate the level of economic and investment cooperation between the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and India into a strategic partnership. This can be achieved if Indian-based companies start investing in the industrial sector in the emirate, and playing an active role in the economic development plans and projects so as to serve the objectives of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.
“This Forum is an excellent opportunity to enhance cooperation between the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and India in the fields of trade and investment, and to establish partnerships between Abu Dhabi-based corporations and Indian counterparts, pointing out that the UAE and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi maintain close relations with the Republic of India, as India is one of the largest UAE trading partners.”
“The Economic delegation of Abu Dhabi will invite Indian companies and industrial enterprises to set up production and industrial units in Abu Dhabi, and to take advantage of the specialized economic zones, the Sheikh Khalifa Industrial Zone Kizad and Masdar’s facilities and services for companies and investors from India, particularly in the area of communications, IT and renewable energy.” added Al Rumaithi.
He noted that setting up production and industrial units by Indian industrial corporations in Abu Dhabi will facilitate access to the regional markets, which are one of the largest markets for Indian products, hence, these competitive products will bring about maximum benefits from the strategic location of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
“The projects to be set up and implemented in Abu Dhabi and the specialized industrial zones will provide great opportunities to increase Indian investments in the emirate and for Indian companies to enhance their cooperation with our national companies to participate in the implementation of the projects planned for the emirate in the coming years.” he added.
Mr. Rashid Al Baloushi, Deputy Chief Executive at Abu Dhabi Securities Market ADX, expressed his pleasure with ADX’s participation in this prominent economic event which brings together economic figures and businessmen under one roof in order to foster closer and constructive cooperation and coordination between the participants.
He also expressed his hope that this Forum organized by DED will contribute to boost cooperation between the UAE and India, to enhance the capital markets to higher levels of economic prosperity, and to be a platform where businessmen and investors can identify investment opportunities, services and privileges provided by the economic bodies and organizations in the United Arab Emirates in an attractive investment environment.
“Lately, the UAE economy has achieved significant positive progress in all business sectors as a whole. It has been able to adapt to global economic conditions caused by the global financial crisis. This is due to several reasons including, for example, the stable financial situation that distinguishes the UAE from other countries, thanks to the policy of economic diversification pursued by the UAE wise government.”
“ADX, just like all other capital markets, has been affected by the financial crisis due to the withdrawal of liquidity, which led to a decline in the general index by about 9%. On the other side, trading in stocks declined by about 20%. Nevertheless and despite of all these conditions, ADX stock prices are still attracting investors, with a total return on many stocks amounting to 10% compared with other investment channels, which is unavailable in many global markets.” added Al Baloushi.
In his presentation to the Forum, Mr. Al Baloushi cited that the profits of ADX’s listed companies are growing steadily, supported by the latest expectations for Abu Dhabi’s GDP to grow at around 7% by 2015, which will obviously lead to increase in the value of companies participating in the economic development.
He explained that despite these difficult circumstances caused by the global financial crisis, the return on the stocks on ADX amounted to about 3.5% by the end of 2010. By comparing between the second quarter of 2011 and the same period of 2010, we find that the total profits of all ADX’s listed companies have risen by 28% out of which the share of the banking sector is 41%.
As for the investments of the Indian community in Abu Dhabi, Al Baloushi said: There are 11,374 Indian investors holding shares worth of AED 156 million. Their trading value in 2011 exceeded AED 300 million with a net investment of about AED 4 million.”
He added that by the end of 16 October, 2011, the number of investors listed on ADX reached 902,722 investors who traded by about 13 billion shares valued at AED 21 billion.
Speaking about the development of the internal procedures of ADX, Mr. Al Baloushi said that ADX has applied the best international standards, thus boosting investors’ confidence in the capital markets, instilling transparency and disclosure, delivering information to everyone simultaneously and creating an attractive investment environment in terms of legislations, as ADX announced on 28 April this year the application of payment for delivery mechanism.
“ADX systems are being developed and updated regularly and so far 90% of the internal processes are electronic. Furthermore, ADX was able to attract companies from other markets to list with it, such as the Sudanese Telecommunications Company (Sudatel) and Qatar Telecom (Qtel). ADX has also applied business continuity management system that quickly responds to any emergency.
At the end of his presentation, Mr. Rashed Al Baloushi, Deputy Chief Executive at ADX, called on businessmen and investors participating in the Forum to take advantage of the integrated services provided by ADX which endeavors continuously to find ways to allow the diversification of listed companies, as well as attract more investors from overseas, strengthen relations with the rest of the capital markets locally, regionally and internationally and enhance the capacity of the market to meet the needs of clients and investors.
He concluded: ADX’s mission is to lead the development of the capital market in the UAE and the region through a well-regulated marketplace in a lawful environment that ensures integrity, transparency and disclosure in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.
For his part, HE Saeed Fadhel Al Mazrooei, EMAL’s President and CEO, said: “As one of the largest producers of aluminium globally, EMAL is in a continual process of cultivating new markets to align with its Phase Two production capacity which is estimated to be around 1.3 million metric tonnes by the end of 2014. Growth in the non-oil and gas sector is an important element of Abu Dhabi’s 2030 Vision, and EMAL is one of the largest industrial projects leading the diversification of the UAE’s economy. The UAE and India have enjoyed strong historical ties and we hope to continue building mutually-beneficial collaborative relationships with Indian companies.”
Engineer Abdur Rahman Al Janahi, Director of Planning Network at Etihad Rail said: “Etihad Rail is delighted to be a part of the Abu Dhabi-Mumbai Investment Forum, which looks to explore the growing trade and investment opportunities between India and Abu Dhabi. It is an honour to be at such a Forum in a country with extensive railway experience and expertise like India. We have appointed Indian-based company PCM Strescon to oversee a key part of the first phase of our railway – the provision and manufacturing of the railway sleepers. Etihad Rail is building a landmark project that will sustain the growth of the UAE economy and bring about many social, economic and environmental benefits to the country and the region. When complete, the USD 11 billion Etihad Rail network will span 1,200km across the Emirates and will form a vital part of the GCC Railway network.”