17 UAE companies confirm investment in India's infrastructure in last 12 months: Indian official

17 UAE companies confirm investment in India's infrastructure in last 12 months: Indian official

By Binsal Abdulkader

DUBAI, 23rd September, 2019 (WAM) -- Seventeen UAE companies have confirmed their investment in India's infrastructure sector in the last 12 months, an Indian minister has said.

Piyush Goyal, Indian Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry told the Emirates News Agency, WAM, that since the 6th meeting of the UAE–India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments that was held in Mumbai in October 2018, the Indian Government has been assisting over 200 UAE-based businesses to obtain licenses and approvals.

This was made possible thanks to the fast-track mechanism and procedures put in place by the government, he said.

"The UAE has committed US$75 billion investments in India's infrastructure sector. Now it is up to all of us to make that commitment a reality," the minister emphasised.

The minister noted that while some UAE companies might be dealing with some "concerns and pending issues," "all efforts are being made to resolve remaining issues by the specialised Joint Working Groups formed for this purpose."

Goyal was on an official visit to the UAE to attend the 7th meeting of the UAE–India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments, which he co-chaired with H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

He led a delegation of senior representatives from the Indian Government to discuss investment opportunities for the UAE in several important sectors, including oil and gas, civil aviation, construction, food processing, renewable energy, infrastructure and shipping.

The Joint Task Force has been an effective platform for promoting, facilitating and expanding investments between India and the UAE over the years, the Indian minister said.

About the UAE's request to allow its carriers to expand their operations in India, the minister said, "The interests and concerns of both sides have been taken up and it is our expectation that discussions would be held shortly."

Regarding the cooperation in the railway sector, he said India was keen to bring its 166 years experience in railways to the UAE. "We have recently bid a large contract for Etihad Rail. We have been shortlisted and now waiting for the final outcome."

"Even otherwise, we are keen to work with the UAE. I hope both Indian Railways and Etihad Rail can partner together to offer the best services in the UAE," the minister explained.

There are also ongoing discussions in capacity building and joint research and development efforts in the railway sector, he added.

About India’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, the minister said the Indian pavilion will also host events on special occasions, further strengthening people-to-people ties.

"Diwali [Indian festival of lights on 14th November, 2020] and Indian Republic Day [on 26th January, 2021] will be celebrated across the entire Expo site with the support of UAE authorities," he said.

"Our pavilion at Expo will be the second largest, carrying the tagline 'Future is in India.'"

"Twenty-seven focus sectors have been identified to showcase India’s advances in space, pharmaceuticals, information technology, renewable energy and telecom sectors, as well as India’s strength in innovation and start-ups," Goyal explained.

About India's plan to organise four mega shopping festivals across India, inspired by Dubai Shopping Festival, he said, "We would be learning from the Dubai experience. It will be a large format ... very similar to Dubai Shopping Festival. Our idea is to showcase India's products and strength to the rest of the world... to attract them to come and buy from India and invest in it," the minister concluded.