DUBAI 6 September 2017: India is expected to bring a host of investment projects when its officials and businessmen meet with UAE counterparts at the end of next month.
Meanwhile, over the next few weeks, a couple of major UAE investments in India are expected to be announced, according to the top Indian official in the UAE.
“In about two weeks, we have some very promising announcements coming out of Abu Dhabi,” Navdeep Suri, Indian ambassador to the UAE, told reporters in Dubai.
He was announcing the India-UAE Partnership Summit that will be held in Dubai on October 30 and 31.
Investments from the UAE into India have steadily grown over the past few years and are estimated at US$10 billion, of which almost $5 billion is Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Of this, $1.2 billion is from Dubai-based DP World, which manages five major ports in India.
Sultan bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP, recently committed another $1 billion as investment into India – read EXCLUSIVE: DP World plans to invest $1 billion in India: Sulayem.
Consular officials said in India’s financial year 2014-15 [it runs from April to March], UAE FDI into India stood at $367 million.
It grew to $985 million in the following year and is so far this financial year at about $675 million.
Though UAE FDI into India has been growing, it is still comparatively small.
The UAE and India signed a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ and 13 other agreements at the beginning of this year. It envisaged a $75 billion UAE investment into India. It was signed during the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, as Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day in January.
“There have been legacy issues [which have obstructed the FDI flow]. These are being sorted out. Four of the six or seven issues, are sorted, one is with the courts and others are being dealt with by a task force.
“Some of the companies that had legitimate grievances earlier, are now looking at new projects in India,” the ambassador said.
He said the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi has opened ‘multiple tracks. India is opening its highways, railways, ports, renewable energy and hospitality and tourism and portfolio investment opportunities – among others – to foreign investors.
“India is too large a country to be ignored – and the UAE is uniquely placed to leverage it,” Suri pointed out.
Vipul, Consul General of India in Dubai said the India-UAE Partnership Summit is a signature event. It will be attended not only by businessmen from the two countries, but also ministers and key officials from both sides. Efforts are on to bring the chief ministers of at least two Indian states to highlight their investment opportunities.
Azad Moopen, President of Business Leaders Forum, which is organising the summit with support from Indian missions and UAE International Investor Council, forecast a huge change in India’s business investment climate in the next five years.
“This summit will have business leaders who can take decisions,” he added.
Sudesh Agarwal, BLF Board Member and Sector Chairman – Investments, said the summit is being organised by investors themselves. It is not a on-off event. It is a not-for-profit event which will also aim at ‘hand-holding’ smaller investors with a $15-50 million.
UAE is India’s third largest trading partner after USA and China with bilateral trade growing more than 6 per cent to $53 billion.
Indian investments in the UAE are estimated at more than $55 billion – but also include estimates capital of Indian-owned companies as well as Indian investments into UAE real estate. UAE investments of $10 billion in India do not include expatriate investments into Indian real estate or the $13.8 billion remittances sent to India annually by the 2.8 million Indian diaspora in the UAE.