India-UAE Business Council launched to boost bilateral trade and investment

NewsDrum Desk
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Dubai, Feb 19 (PTI) Marking the first anniversary of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), the two sides have launched the UAE chapter of their joint business chamber to bolster economic ties and facilitate enhancing bilateral trade and investment.

India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) inked a CEPA on February 18 last year to boost trade ties following a virtual summit between Prime Minister Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The UAE India Business Council - UAE Chapter (UIBC-UC) was launched on Saturday by Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, in the presence of Ambassador of India to the UAE, Sunjay Sudhir, Consul General of India in Dubai Aman Puri and founding members of the UBIC-UC.

The two nations aim to increase bilateral trade to USD 100 billion and attract USD 75 billion in investment from the UAE to India.

The UIBC-UC is poised to play a crucial role in supporting both governments in achieving these objectives and maximising the potential of the UAE-India relationship.

By leveraging the strong bond between the two nations, the council brings together key partners and stakeholders from both nations and will serve as a valuable source of policy guidance, fostering innovative collaboration between Emirati and Indian businesses.

Speaking on this occasion, Minister Zeyoudi highlighted that the establishment of the UAE Chapter of the UAE India Business Council marks a significant moment in the deepening of the relationship between the United Arab Emirates and India.

He also mentioned that the Council will play a critical role in supporting the two governments in their joint mission to boost bilateral trade and investment. He expressed confidence that it will catalyse innovative collaboration between our two great nations.

Ambassador Sudhir said, "The launch today marks a significant milestone in the strengthening of the relationship between the United Arab Emirates and India." The UIBC-UC will serve as the counterpart organisation to the UIBC India Chapter, which was established in New Delhi on September 3, 2015, by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Sushma Swaraj, then Minister of External Affairs of India.

The UAE India Business Council - UAE Chapter (UIBC-UC) has been set up with the approval of UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.

The UIBC-UC will operate under the supervision of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce & Industry and has been registered as a legal and financial entity with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce. The council will have its office in Abu Dhabi and will be a pan UAE body focussing on promoting trade and investment relations between the UAE and India. Membership to UIBC-UC will be by invitation only, and institutional members will be invited over time.

Faizal Kottikollon, Chairman, of KEF Holdings, who has been appointed as the Chairman of UIBC-UC, said the council's focus will be to identify significant strategic projects that can be undertaken by both countries.

“This includes investments in large infrastructure projects in India, advancements in manufacturing and technology, and providing Indian manufacturers with the ability to use the UAE as a base for their global expansion,” he said.

Rizwan Soomar, CEO & MD (India Subcontinent) at DP World, will serve as the Co-Chairman of UIBC-UC.

Major General (Retd.) Sharafuddin Sharaf, who serves as the Chairman of the UIBC India Chapter, will also hold the position of Vice Chairman of UIBC-UC.

The founding members of the UIBC-UC from the UAE side are Mubadala – Sovereign Wealth Fund of the UAE, Wizz Financial, DP World, EMAAR, Emirates Airlines, and Emirates NBD Bank.

From the Indian side, large conglomerates such as TATA, Reliance, and Adani as well as tech innovators like OLA, Zerodha, Udaan, and EaseMyTrip along with prominent Indian entrepreneur led Corporations based in the UAE such as KEF Holdings, Buimerc Corporation, Apparel Group, EFS and Lulu Financial are represented. PTI Corr NSA