Trade, FDI will be cornerstone of India-UAE ties: Patil

Dubai, Nov.25 (ANI): Lauding the trading communities of India and the UAE for their role in making the two countries leading trade partners over the last four decades, visiting Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Thursday said that in the evolving global scenario, trade, commerce and foreign direct investment would be the cornerstone of India-UAE ties in the 21st century.

Addressing the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on the penultimate day of her six-day state visit to the UAE, Patil said both India and the UAE had successfully weathered the global financial crisis by introducing and applying prudent policies and stimulus measures, which were now contributing to the stability of the global economy.

She said the large presence of Indian business companies in the UAE could now act as a springboard to elevate the bilateral economic partnership to new levels.

"While trade has been the bedrock of our economic partnership, strengthening of the flow of foreign direct investment between the two countries, can be another significant pillar of our relationship," Patil said

"It is a matter of some satisfaction that, despite the world economic crisis, although it did affect us to some extent, India has come out as one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is poised to register a GDP growth rate of over nine percent in the coming years," Patil said.

"Our exports are recording impressive growth since November - December 2009, and we have seen a substantial rise in corporate earnings and profit margins. Capital flows and business sentiments have improved tremendously," she added.

She also lauded the visionary policies of the rulers of Dubai in building excellent infrastructure to transform the city into a throbbing metropolis and a great hub for international commerce and trade.

"There is potential for the current level of Indo-UAE trade to be boosted considerably in the coming years. For this we would need to take several measures. The institutional arrangements like the India-UAE Joint Business Council and the India-UAE Joint Commission for Economic, Technical and Scientific Co-operation (JCM) should be reactivated. Both countries should increase their participation in specialized trade fairs and exhibitions," the Indian president said.

"Immense potential also lies for a mutually beneficial partnership in the energy sector and also in the agriculture and food processing sectors. India is one of the leading producers of fruits. Despite this, only two percent our trade is in this area. Both countries must consider more cooperation between their respective oil-industry sectors for establishing a long-term relationship in the field of petrochemical industries, not only in India and the UAE, but in third countries also," she added.

Describing India as a large and growing market with healthy micro-economic fundamentals and robust banking and financial institutions, she said this made her country one of the most attractive FDI locations in the world.

"Our plans for expansion of our infrastructure, energy and industrial sectors, presents opportunities for investment. I call upon the investor community from the UAE to participate in the growth story of India. India extends to all of you a hand of partnership, and invites you to participate with us in the new phase of rapid development and prosperity on which we have embarked," she said.

"Indian companies, on their part, will be able to bring in their technology, manpower as well as capital to partner in the development program of the UAE," she added. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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