The Indian Business and Professional Council, IBPC, in Dubai recently hosted a meeting in cooperation with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which commemorated the Year of Zayed, and highlighted the Council’s efforts to strengthen UAE-India economic ties in the near future. The joint meeting, held at Dubai Chamber’s premises under the theme, "Well-Founded and Future Ready," featured a presentation, focused on the great contributions made by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan towards enhancing relations between the UAE and India and reflected his forward-looking vision, values and legacy. The event connected the IBPC members and provided an ideal platform for Indian businessmen in Dubai to discuss various issues of mutual interest. During the meeting, Suresh Kumar, President of the IBPC, highlighted the IBPC’s achievements, as well as the important role the Council has played in strengthening UAE-India trade and investment ties. He explained how the Council has served as a catalyst for fuelling UAE-India trade and investment since its establishment in 2003, adding that it will plan to scale up its efforts in this area. Kumar noted that the IBPC will aim to strengthen its sector focus in the near future and expand its links with major business houses in the UAE, in addition to their counterparts in India, especially those with strong synergies. He added that the IBPC, with the cooperation and support of Dubai Chamber, would align its activities with the objectives of Dubai Plan 2021, and provide a blueprint for companies to become "future-ready," adding that these efforts would bring about several benefits to all stakeholders. During his welcome remarks, Hassan Al Hashemi, Vice President of International Relations at Dubai Chamber, described the IBPC as one of the most influential business councils formed under the umbrella of Dubai Chamber. He expressed his optimism about the future of UAE-India relations and said there is huge potential to build on existing ties given the increased economic cooperation between the two countries in recent years. Al Hashemi revealed the Chamber’s new representative office in Mumbai, set to be opened before the end of this year, will aim to build new bridges between the Indian and UAE business communities and take bilateral relations to the next level. Following the meeting, the IBPC’s new Governance Board was announced after Dubai Chamber authorised the Council accordingly.
The historic first cargo of crude oil from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), destined for the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) has been loaded and is en-route to India. The cargo is the first under an agreement between ADNOC and ISPRL, an Indian government-owned company mandated to store crude oil for strategic needs, to locate 5.86 million barrels of ADNOC crude oil at the Karnataka facility in the Indian city of Mangalore. The loading, of approximately 2 million barrels of ADNOC crude oil, was witnessed by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and ADNOC Group CEO, and Dharmendra Pradhan, Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi. Dr. Al Jaber said: "The strategic reserve project represents an important new energy partnership with India that leverages the UAE and ADNOC’s expertise and oil resources. With this partnership, new market opportunities will open up for ADNOC, as we not only help to ensure the energy security of the UAE’s largest trading partner, but also gain greater access to one of the fastest-growing markets for high-quality crude oil. Our increased presence in India, will also catalyse demand for our own refined and petrochemical products." The implementation of the strategic reserve agreement follows ADNOC’s announcement, in February, that an Indian consortium of three companies, comprising ONGC Videsh, Indian Oil Company and Bharat Petro Resources Ltd., had been awarded a 10 percent interest in Abu Dhabi’s new offshore Lower Zakum concession. Pradhan said: "The UAE is the first country to invest in India’s Strategic Reserves Programme. This important partnership will further strengthen the close energy cooperation that exists between India and the UAE and builds on the historic acquisition of a stake in the Lower Zakum offshore concession by Indian Companies. "The strategic reserve will provide a boost to India’s energy security and help us deal with supply side disruptions. While part of the stored oil will be used for commercial purposes by ADNOC, the major part will be purely for strategic purposes." Indian energy demand is forecast, by the International Energy Agency (IEA), to grow by more than any other country in the period to 2040, propelled by an economy that will grow to more than five-times its current size and by population growth that will make it the world’s most populous country. Indian energy consumption is expected to more than double by 2040, accounting for 25 percent of the rise in global energy, and the largest absolute growth in oil consumption. India is 82 percent dependent on imports to meet its crude oil needs, eight percent of which is supplied by the UAE. In addition to helping to ensure energy security, the oil storage facilities enable ADNOC to efficiently and competitively meet market demand across Asia. Today’s loading comes the day before ADNOC hosts a major Downstream Investment Forum in Abu Dhabi, where it will unveil more details of its expanded Downstream Strategy, including its new Ruwais industrial hub masterplan. Pradhan will attend the Forum, where he will participate in a panel session.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) has named India as the fastest growing economy in the world as the current economic growth of 7.4% will be increased to 7.8% in 2019. IMF has released their new report in the organization's Asia, Pacific regional economic outlook report. The report also states that India gradually overcoming the worst effects of demonetisation and GST that simultaneously pulled back the growth of Indian economy. The IMF also credited Asia as the most significant "engine" of the world economic system and the continent became the fastest growing region in the world. 60% of the global growth comes from Asia and among that India and China contributes a sizeable part. The report includes a new entrant as Bangladesh earned a reputation of having the fastest growing economic system behind India. Bangladesh will post a 7% growth in this year and in the next year as well.
The Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said since May 2014, we have doubled the coverage of CGD networks to 94 Geographical Areas spread across 130 districts. Natural Gas is the fuel for the future and the need is to increase share of Gas in India’s primary energy basket from current 6.5% to 15%. Elaborating on this the Minister made it clear that till 2014, India had City Gas networks in 47 Geographical Areas across 73 districts. Through the 9th Bidding round, we are rolling out City Gas networks in another 86 GAs (Geographical Areas) covering 174 districts. After this round, India shall have CGD coverage in nearly 50% of the total 640 districts in the country and about 50% (61 Crore) of the population of the country. Speaking at the ninth CGD Bid Round Pradhan said this is the largest ever round which covers 20 states and 2 UTs of the country. Bid process he said has been rationalized and investor-friendly parameters evolved to attract serious bidders, encourage competition and unreasonable parameters like amount of Bank Guarantee determining the winner have been removed. The Minister underlined that reforms in Natural Gas sector in India are important and PNGRB is performing an important role in refining the gas usage model and even becoming a facilitator from a regulator. A Mini Gas Grid in North East connecting all state capitals being developed by a JV of 5 companies will cover 1,500 kms is also being developed. He said partnership with State Governments is needed and they should co-operate and support the CGD entities and the Ministry in making states pollution free.
Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Minister, Suresh Prabhu, addressed secretaries and senior officers in the first inter-ministerial meeting on Sectoral Export Promotion Strategy. The meeting was attended by Secretaries to Government of India from Department of Commerce, DIPP, Electronics and IT, Animal Husbandry and Dairying and MSME, besides senior officers from about 14 other administrative Ministries/Departments including Agriculture, Textiles, Petroleum, Food Processing Industries, Pharma, Chemical and Petrochemical, Defence production and MEA which are concerned with various product groups which comprise a substantial part of India’s merchandise exports. Commerce Minister emphasised that exports are strategically important and sustained growth in exports is critical for India. It is therefore imperative to promote exports as a combined and joint mission which requires the effort of all ministries and departments of the Government. The Minister asked all officers to prepare an action plan on boosting exports of products being handled by their respective Ministries and send it to the Department of Commerce within the next fortnight. The action plan should also have short term targets which are achievable in the next two months.
Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), an agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), recently went on a tour of three Indian cities as part of attracting investors and businesses from strategic markets to base out of Dubai and achieve faster growth and expansion. The roadshow covered Mumbai, the financial hub of India, as well as Hyderabad and Kochi, leading commercial and information technology hubs in the south of the country. The Mumbai event was hosted with the support of Morison Menon and the south Indian events along with Musthafa & Almana, both firms Dubai FDI’s institutional partners. Capitalising on Dubai’s initiatives to reinforce its position as a competitive hub for investors and enterprises across the services and technology sectors, Dubai FDI reached out to solutions providers in diverse domains, including logistics, aviation, biotechnology, engineering, construction, financial services, industrial machinery, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, tourism and hospitality in the three Indian cities. Ibrahim Ahli, Director of Investment Promotion in Dubai FDI, presented the advantages of Dubai in enabling successful business startup and sustainable growth across a series of seminars and B2B meetings. "There hasn’t been a better time for bilateral engagement between Dubai and India. UAE-India relations are on a faster and stronger track, and leaders on both sides are determined to make their partnership a game-changer in global trade. In India we were able to connect with our audiences and engage them in identifying areas where Dubai can place them on the forefront of emerging industries and technologies," Ahli said. India has consistently been the among the top five bilateral trade partners of Dubai and a major source of FDI into Dubai. For the last three years India has been the second largest investor in Dubai and Indians are among the top five nationalities of property owners in the emirate. By 2020, UAE-India trade is estimated to hit US$100 billion and Dubai’s industrial, residential, tourism and entertainment sectors, along with existing airports as well as sea ports, will play a major role in achieving the milestone. Of the AED 37.8 billion FDI that the UAE attracted in 2017, AED 27.3 billion flowed into Dubai.
Mohammed Thani Murshid Al Rumaithi, Chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Navdeep Singh Suri, Ambassador of India to the UAE, have discussed promoting economic and investment cooperation among private sector institutions in the UAE and India. During the meeting, Al Rumaithi stated that India is a key trading partner of both the UAE and Abu Dhabi while calling for the adoption of legislation to identify procedures related to the trade exchange between both countries. He added that Abu Dhabi’s economic approach is based on a range of foundations, including private sector partnerships, developing economic zones, establishing new cities and centres, promoting tourism and facilitating trade through a competitive business environment while adding that these foundations have made Abu Dhabi a business destination that attracts investment. He also pointed out that Abu Dhabi is witnessing significant growth in various economic sectors while stressing that the emirate has an excellent reputation as a regional business centre and highlighting the solid ties between the UAE and India, which are a solid platform for developing economic partnerships and promoting cooperation in various sectors. Ambassador Suri called on Emirati companies and businessmen to promote their investments and increase their presence in Indian markets, especially in the infrastructure sector. He also pointed out that the coming period will witness numerous visits by Indian trade and economic delegations to the UAE, to discuss available opportunities and enlarge the scope of their cooperation with Emirati companies in new sectors, which will serve the economies of both countries. The meeting was also attended by Mohammed Hilal Al Muhairi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Chamber, and Dinesh Kumar, First Secretary at the Indian Embassy.
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance has said that he supports strongly a close and continuing relationship between India and the United Arab Emirates. He was speaking at the launch of India’s largest convention centre and third Grand Hyatt hotel in Kochi, Kerala, India, which was developed by the UAE-based retail conglomerate, Lulu Group International. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Sheikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa, Bahrain's Deputy Prime Minister, Yusuffali MA, chairman of Lulu group along with ambassadors of UAE, KSA, Bahrain & Georgia and other dignitaries. The Minister said: "My presence in this event is another sign of the growing strength of the friendship between the two countries." "Our international interaction here will reinforce notably historic actions of the past thirty-two months, that is, the two visits by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi to the UAE and the visit by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to India as Chief Guest at the Indian Republic Day celebration." Sheikh Nahyan went on to say that as the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance, "I take great pleasure in the state of Kerala’s impressive tolerance achievements."
The 9th India Japan Energy Dialogue was held in New Delhi. Minister of State(IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, R.K Singh, and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Mr. Hiroshige Seko signed a Joint Statement at the conclusion of the meeting. Both Japan and India, as the third and the seventh largest economies respectively, recognized that having access to reliable, clean and economical energy is critical for their economic growth and in achieving this, both Ministers agreed on further strengthening of bilateral energy cooperation for energy development of both countries, while also contributing to worldwide energy security, energy access and climate change issues. Both India and Japan with a view to implement Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the aegis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognized the importance of development and deployment of next generation technologies including hydrogen to realize de-carbonization. Both India and Japan appreciated the relevance of the grid stability given the high penetration of variable renewable energy. Both countries agreed to initiate the discussion towards development of Electric Vehicles (EVs) by collaborating with "Policy dialogue on next generation/Zero emission vehicles". Both India and Japan reiterated the continued importance of coal-based electricity generation in the energy mix in both the countries and also agreed to promote the cooperation on environmental measures for coal-fired power plants. Both India and Japan further confirmed their commitment to work together in promoting well-functioning energy markets and affirmed to promote transparent and diversified Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market through the relaxation of destination clause.
Yas Experiences, Yas Island’s recently launched trade arm, has signed an agreement with VFS Global, appointing them as the company’s representative in the Indian market. The appointment will see the new partner work closely with the Yas Experiences’ business development team in Abu Dhabi to promote the leisure and entertainment destination and provide package solutions for trade partners across India. As part of the agreement, VFS Global will set up three sales offices in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru to cater to travel partners in Central, North and South India, respectively. The sales representative office headquartered in Mumbai will support Yas Experience’ sales and marketing efforts to further promote Yas Island to Indian travellers. Marina Cipriano, General Manager of Yas Experiences, said, "Yas Island is no stranger to the Indian traveller. Guests over the past few years have been enjoying some of the Island’s top attractions, namely Yas Marina Circuit - home to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - and our theme parks Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld. Our partnership with VFS Global will allow us to further secure Yas Island’s positioning as a one-of-a-kind holiday destination in Abu Dhabi, and tailor packages with partners that allow travellers to experience more of what we have to offer, especially as we get ready to introduce new attractions in 2018 – such as the soon-to-open Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi." Around nine million Indians are expected to travel to the GCC by 2021, according to the latest figures from Colliers International. Reports also suggest that growth of the global travel industry is being led by Asian travelers; Indian tourist arrivals in the region expected to grow by CAGR of 7-8 percent. Cipriano added, "We’ve seen 14 percent growth in Indian visitation to our theme parks in the first quarter of 2018, and we are confident the popularity of Yas Island will continue to grow as we add more leisure and entertainment experiences in the mix." The two parties will work together to explore approaches to target Indian holidaymakers, and with a strong network presence across India, both are confident of the results this strategic partnership will reap. "We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the India representative for Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Yas Island is a vibrant and unique destination that is renowned for its assortment of experiences. We are confident that we will be able to further establish the island as a premier destination for discerning Indian travellers," said Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group COO, VFS Global.