Lubna Al Qasimi launches promotional tour for UAE trade & investment opportunities in Hyderabad
UAE Minister of Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi and Heavy Industries Minister in Hyderabad Kana Narayana recently launched a promotional tour for trade and investment opportunities in the UAE in Hyderabad, the third Indian city after New Delhi and Mumbai to be visited under a comprehensive four-city tour organized by the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
Held under the theme “Why UAE?,” the tour is being accompanied by several high-profile UAE officials, including Mohammed Sultan Al Owais, UAE Ambassador to India; Abdullah Ahmed Al Saleh, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Trade; Saeed Khammas, Vice President of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry; and Abdullah Sultan, Secretary General of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The UAE delegation also included 43 other individuals representing the UAE Central Bank; the Departments of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi and Dubai; the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority; the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company; the Free Zone Authorities of Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah; the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority; Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry; and the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. UAE-based private national companies, foreign banks and multinational firms as well as Indian businessmen, investors and company representatives also participated in the event.
In a speech delivered during the Hyderabad leg, Sheikha Lubna emphasized the mutual importance of strategic commercial partnerships between the UAE and India. She noted that commercial exchange between the two countries was estimated at more than USD 32 billion in 2008, representing around 15 per cent of the UAE’s total non-oil foreign trade for the year. She added that India is the UAE’s top commercial partner in terms of non-oil exports, posting USD 4.9 billion in related exchange in 2008 to surpass the 2007 figure by 49 per cent.
The UAE Minister said that India also came in first in terms of re-exports for the same period at USD 10 billion and 2nd in imports at around USD 17 billion. She also stated that the Emirates’ non-oil sectors accounted for more than 66 per cent of the national GDP last year compared to 63 per cent in 2008, affirming the success of the country’s economic diversification policies.
She highlighted the importance of Hyderabad in enhancing bilateral trade and investments, saying that “This promotional tour affirms our belief in the role of this city as a major contributor to expanded commercial and investment cooperation between our nations.”
Sheikha Lubna encouraged Hyderabad’s business community and economic bodies to avail of the UAE’s numerous business and investment incentives, such as its exceptional geographic location close to key European and Asian markets; its highly competitive free zones; 100 per cent transfer of capital and profits; low-cost energy sources; and zero- profit and personal income taxes, among others, which make the UAE’s business environment one of the most competitive in the world.
The other UAE delegates also delivered their own speeches and presentations identifying and explaining key business and investment opportunities as well as the policies and regulations in place to support them; strategies for enhancing UAE-Indian economic and commercial partnerships; India’s special place in the Emirates’ development agenda and foreign trade initiatives; and the various programs being implemented per emirate to enhance UAE-India relations. Government and private entities likewise presented their partnership plans and expressed their willingness to boost UAE-India trade and investments.
For his part, Narayana lauded the historic relationship between the UAE and Hyderabad and India in general. He commended the UAE’s status as a major Middle Eastern commercial hub, noting that the country ranks third only after Singapore and Hong Kong in terms of re-exports. He revealed that commercial exchange between the two countries rose 53 per cent to around USD 45 billion during the past two years.
The Indian official added that his country is the UAE’s 3rd largest investor while the Emirates is India’s 10th at USD 5 billion. His Excellency urged investors from both countries to communicate more closely and define investment opportunities from which strategic partnership of mutual benefit can be formed.
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