Sharjah (UAE), Nov 25 (ANI): To make businessmen reach out to the lucrative Gulf region, visiting Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Thursday inaugurated the India Trade and Exhibition Centre (ITEC), and asked the United Arab Emirates to join India's second Green revolution so that both countries could progress together.
The ITEC is a non-profit organization and its objective is to promote two-way trade, tourism and investment between India-UAE, India-GCC and India-MENA countries.
President Patil thanked the Ruler of Sharjah, Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, for his foresight and interest in developing this region.
"It is remarkable. It is a privilege for me to be the first President of India to make an official visit to the Emirate of Sharjah. I am happy to be here to inaugurate the India Trade and Exhibition Centre, which I hope will act as a catalyst for promotion of trade and economic links between India and the UAE," she said.
The ITEC will be holding industry and state specific exhibitions for an extended period of time, and provide office space to aspiring exporters from India, which will enable it to meet the needs of small and medium enterprises and other trade bodies.
President Patil also said that Sharjah, and the other Emirates in the UAE, with their excellent infrastructure and trade and investment friendly policies, provide ample opportunities for taking India-UAE economic relations to new heights.
"Agriculture is also a very important field in which you can have co-operation. Food processing is also very important. Think of these new areas. In India agriculture is the biggest private business. In India 40 percent of farming activity is dry land farming. We want to green our arid areas. The UAE also wants to go green, so let us work together," she said.
The UAE is a significant trading and energy security partner, and bilateral trade was valued at 43.4 billion dollar in 2009-10. In 2009-10, the UAE had emerged as India's top export destination, accounting for 13.41 per cent of the country's total exports. The country is also among the top five suppliers of crude oil to India.
The UAE's imports from India rose to a record 10.8 per cent of that country's total exports of nearly 153 billion dollar.
Indian and UAE companies are actively involved in pursuing investments and projects in both countries. These joint ventures involve some of the most important Indian companies such as Tata, Reliance, Wipro, Mahindra and Mahindra, NTPC, Larsen and Toubro, Dodsals and Punj Lloyd.
From the UAE side, the top companies active in India include Emaar Properties, Nakheel, DP World, ETA Star, Damas and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.
The UAE companies and others have invested more than five billion dollar in India through foreign direct and institutional investment, making the UAE one of the top investors there. By Praful Kumar Singh(ANI)