#India’s Minister of Finance Mr. Arun Jaitley is set to launch the inaugural Arab India Economic Forum (AIEF), scheduled to be held from November 16 -17, 2015 in Dubai, UAE, where he will address an elite gathering of senior dignitaries, government officials and business leaders from around the Arab region. AIEF will feature discussions on the extensive economic opportunities that can be leveraged between Arab nations and India for investment as exemplified by the activities of leading companies from the region like Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation, DP World, and Jumeirah Group.
The minister will take the opportunity to shed more light on the business and investment opportunities in India regarding Make in India and Digital India initiatives as well as energy (traditional and renewable), infrastructure, financial services and tourism, including medical and wellness tourism. The forum will also address the policy framework and guidelines required to draw the attention of Arab investors and industrialists while providing a strong platform for Indian businesses aiming to explore the Middle East market. The two-day event is expected to attract over 300 delegates, mainly political and business leaders from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Egypt and India.
Mr. Jaitley will be joined by a distinguished panel of speakers from Dubai Department of Economic Development and Mumbai Stock Exchange as well as invited speakers from Ministry of Tourism-India, Ministry of Economy-UAE, Ministry of Commerce and Industry-Saudi Arabia and Ministry of Economy and Commerce-Qatar.
Aimed at discussing strategies and solutions to meet investor challenges in India, the forum also builds on the new vigour which the Honourable Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit brought to Indo-UAE relations in August 2015. His visit was followed by the India-UAE Joint Commission meeting on Technical and Economic Cooperation, co-chaired by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, and Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs for India.
The Arab-India Economic Forum (AIEF) is being supported by Consulate General of India – Dubai with Bloomberg Businessweek Middle East as the media partner.
As per official reports, India is the UAE’s second largest trade partner after China as trade between India and the UAE crossed US$59bn per year, with Indian exports worth US$33.3bn to the UAE and US$26bn worth of UAE’s exports to India. The relationship is set to get stronger under the new government which is keen to implement investor friendly policies. The ‘Make in India’ initiative is expected to provide a much needed boost to the Indian manufacturing sector, much of which will be exported and re-exported via Dubai, UAE.
The relationship with the Arab region, especially the GCC states of UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, is incredibly valuable to India. To illustrate, in 2013-2014, Saudi Arabia was India’s fourth largest trade partner recording bilateral trade worth USD$48.75 billion with Saudi Arabia alone being responsible for 8.12% of India’s imports.