UAE-India Economic Summit in Abu Dhabi sets stage for stronger trade & economic relations


The UAE-India Economic Summit has not only strengthened trade ties but has also paved the way for increased investments, promoting growth and prosperity for both nations.


The UAE-India Economic Summit, themed “Fostering Synergies–Uniting the Falcon and Tiger Economies,” took place on July 3, 2023, at the ADGM Auditorium in Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi. The event, jointly hosted by SBI Capital Markets Limited (SBICAPS) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), brought together industry leaders from India and the UAE, and marked the official opening of SBICAPS ADGM Branch Office.


The summit featured engaging panel discussions on topics such as startups, sustainability, green energy, capital markets, and stressed asset resolution. Prominent figures in attendance included Dinesh Khara, Chairman of State Bank of India, Sunjay Sudhir, Indian Ambassador to UAE, Hamad Sayah Al Mazrouei, CEO of ADGM Registration Authority, along with senior representatives from ADGM and SBICAPS.


During the summit, Chairman of SBI Group, Deepak Kalra, emphasized India’s commitment to enhancing its national economy and overcoming structural challenges through the ambitious Amrit Kal vision. This strategic approach aims to leverage emerging sectors, including renewable energy, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and digital innovation, to create significant opportunities for growth and development.


The Amrit Kal vision aligns with the objective of improving the lives of Indian citizens by bridging the rural-urban development gap and reducing government intervention in their lives. Key priorities identified under this vision include inclusive development, reaching the last mile, infrastructure development, and investment, with a focus on harnessing the potential of green growth, power, and the financial sector.


During the summit, Indian Ambassador to UAE Sunjay Sudhir highlighted the successful implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the UAE and India. This landmark agreement, the first-ever CEPA for the UAE and India’s first with any Middle Eastern country, has reinforced trade relations between the two nations.


The UAE has consistently remained India’s second-largest export destination, third-largest trading partner, third-largest source of crude oil, and second-largest source of LPG and LNG, said the top diplomat. Notably, in the first year of CEPA implementation, bilateral trade between India and the UAE grew at an impressive rate of around 20%, surpassing India’s overall export growth rate of 5.3%.


The hydrocarbon sector, including the import of crude oil from the UAE and the export of refined products and lubricants to the UAE, witnessed significant gains. Additionally, sectors such as electrical machinery, jewelry, agriculture, and automobiles have also benefited from the agreement.


The positive effects of CEPA extend beyond trade, as evidenced by the UAE’s emergence as the fourth-largest foreign direct investor in India during the financial year 2022-23, with an investment of approximately $3.5 billion. This showcases the agreement’s ability to attract foreign investment and foster economic growth, he added.


The conference featured a series of panel discussions addressing key topics in the new economy. The panel on startups explored the investment landscape, early-stage funding, challenges faced by creative startups, and the role of technology in supporting their growth.


The sustainability and green energy panel delved into discussions on financing options for sustainable projects, climate-conscious investments, regulatory aspects of sustainable finance, and the impact of carbon trading.


The capital markets panel examined various facets of capital markets and investment opportunities, including debt capital markets, the real estate sector’s relationship with capital markets, and alternative investment options. The final panel focused on stressed asset resolution, highlighting strategies and best practices for addressing such assets in the current economic landscape.


The UAE-India Economic Summit has not only strengthened trade ties but has also paved the way for increased investments, promoting growth and prosperity for both nations. The event served as a platform to explore further avenues of collaboration and leverage the immense potential of bilateral cooperation between the UAE and India.


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