Government ministers, diplomats and several prominent members of the business community attended the inaugural edition of the India-UAE Partnership Summit….reports Asian Lite News
HE Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, HE Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Infrastructure Development, and Mohammed Sharaf Al Hashemi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Economic and Commercial Affairs, HE Ambassador Navdeep Suri along with more than 800 VIP delegates including senior government officials and business leaders attended the inaugural edition of the IUPS.
Lulu Group Chairman Yusuf Ali MA, UAE exchange Chief Dr BR Shetty, Aster Chairman Dr Azad Moopan were also present.
A report prepared by KPMG was released at the summit shows that cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) equity flow into India reached US$114.4 billion (AED420 billion) during the last two financial years. This is about 40 percent higher than the US$81.8 billion (AED300 billion) recorded in the preceding three years.
“The report highlights the economic and investment landscape of India and the opportunities lying in front of the investors,” Vipul, the Consul-General of India in Dubai, said.
“We would urge investors and businesses in the UAE to look at the huge opportunities and the talent pool in India and become part of one of the biggest economic growth stories and take advantage of the opportunities. The recent legal and financial sector reforms haves made the Indian economy more agile and transparent and our government is determined to create a more enabling environment where foreign investment creates a win-win situation for all, Indian economy, investors, local businesses and human resources, in terms of job and value creation,” he added.
Dr. Azad Moopen, President of the BLF, said: “We are passing through an exciting time in our history and our lives where we are witnessing a new era in the economic growth of India as well as the India-UAE relationship and investment landscape. The KPMG report sheds greater light on the India-UAE investment corridor and is an eye-opener for all of us. It shows the potential areas of greater collaboration and investment and how it will help the Indian economy to grow fast.”
The UAE is the 10th largest FDI source market for India with cumulative FDI reaching US$4.76 billion in the last 17 years from April 2000 till March 2017.
Invest India, the foreign investment promotion body of India, said it will attract $100 billion foreign investment in the country, of which $85 billion has already been committed by 600 large businesses that will create 700,000 jobs, according to recent reports. FDI inflows into the country grew 8 percent and touched a new high of $60.08 billion in 2016-17, according to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). Cumulative FDI inflow from April 2000 to March 2017 reached $484.35 billion.
The high-level and high-powered IUPS is split into a number of brainstorming business sessions and panel discussions, including Investment Implementation, Infrastructure and Tourism, while ministers of two Indian states, Uttar Pradesh and Telengana, will present investment opportunities in key projects within the states and seek investment from potential partners in the UAE.
Mr Sudesh Aggarwal, Board Member of the BLF, Chairman of the IUPS Organising Committee and Chairman of India Trade and Exhibition Centre (ITEC), said: “The report by our knowledge partner KPMG shows that bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to cross the $100 billion mark by the year 2020, from the current levels of $53 billion in FY17, there is an expectation that both the countries will realise a closer economic partnership.
“India has emerged as one of the leading investment destinations for UAE-based firms, as it received $1.2 billion FDI flows from the UAE in 2016, forming almost 90 percent of the total investments received from the countries of the GCC.”
The Business Leaders Forum was formally launched in March 2017 and was set up under the direct guidance of the UAE Ministry of Economy, the Embassy and Consulate-General of India in the UAE with India Trade and Exhibition Centre, ITEC, acting as the official Secretariat of the BLF.
The IUPS is sponsored by NRI-Emirati Investors Group, NMC, Mulk Holdings, Nikai Group, UAE Exchange, GRP Industries, Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), ITL Cosmos, and Zulekha Hospital, and is supported by UAE-India Business Council (UIBC), UAE International Investors’ Council (UIIC), Association of Indian Chambers (Assocham), and Invest India, as well as other stakeholders.
The India-UAE Partnership Forum is supported by KPMG, Gulf News, Forbes Middle East, Sony TV and Times Now television.
A total of 43000 Indian companies are operating in the UAE in addition to 200 trade agencies, the minister remarked, noting that India’s UAE-bound investments in 2016 surged to AED23.5 billion.
UAE investors announced US$2.5 billion worth of investments in to India in a single month, October 2017, including a US$1 billion (AED3.67 billion) investment by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), US$1 billion by NRI-Emirati Investor’s Group, and a further AED1.7 billion investment by Lulu Group in Andhra Pradesh.
Cumulative FDI into India reached $498.9 billion in 17 years between April 2000 and June 2017, according to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce, India.
“In the financial year 2016-17, the country received the highest-ever FDI flow worth US$43.5 billion (AED160 billion),” KPMG said in its report. “India also witnessed an increase in private equity/venture capital investments led by its growing start-up segment. Between January and September 2017, India received US$17.6 billion of private equity/venture capital spread across 402 deals.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has pegged India’s economic growth projections at 7.2 percent for the current financial year, 2017-18 and it is likely to increase to 7.7 percent in 2018-19. Higher infrastructure spending will play a vital role in achieving overall economic growth, the IMF said.
The report, released at the IUPS, organised by the Business Leaders Forum (BLF) and commissioned by KPMG headed by Vikas Papriwal, Partner and Head of Markets in the Lower Gulf and Middle East South Asia, comes as the backdrop of the latest announcement of US$1 billion by the newly formed NRI-Emirati Investors’ Group in addition to a further US$1 billion by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), one of the world’s top three sovereign wealth funds (SWFs).
“SWFs holdings crossed 10 percent share in the total Foreign Portfolio Investor (FPI) assets in India, as of May 2016. In the equity market, its holdings reached US$33.7 billion, while they accumulated US$5.1 billion across debt instruments,” Vikas Papriwal, Partner and Head of Markets, KPMG in the Lower Gulf and Middle East South Asia, said.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said the infrastructure sector in India requires US$5.2 trillion (AED19.1 trillion) worth of investments to sustain the economic growth and lend support to several government flagship programmes.
“The infrastructure sector is one of the key drivers of the Indian economy. India’s infrastructure market, currently the third-largest in Asia, is anticipated to reach $6.6 trillion by 2025, constituting 12.5 percent of the Asia-Pacific region. As of 2016, the sector contributes nearly 8 percent to India’s GDP,” said the report.
Roadways and highways are key to the development of the infrastructure sector as they offer the required base for intra- and inter-state connectivity. The government has been trying to provide the necessary impetus to boost the sector.
In the federal budget 2017–18, the government has allocated $9.8 billion for national highways (an increase of 11 percent from the previous year). The states are expected to provide an additional $1.2 billion for road development. In addition, the government has also announced the construction of 2,000km coastal connectivity roads.
The country is witnessing increased investments into the sector on the back of reforms and higher budgetary allocation by the government, greater funding support from international lending institutions and several MoUs being signed with several countries.
In the federal budget 2017–18, the total capital and development expenditure of railways has been estimated at $20 billion, which includes $8.4 billion provided by the government.