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Modi visit builds momentum for India-UAE ties, economy minister says

Indian Prime Minister presents $1 trillion investment opportunities

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a visit to the zero-carbon Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi: The visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE has built a new momentum that will push both the countries to cooperate more closely on economy and investment, UAE Economy Minister Sultan Saeed Al Mansoori told Gulf News on Monday.

“The visit has helped in addressing some of the challenges we had over the past and helped in creating a new vision for the relationship between India and the UAE. This has set an example of what the cooperation between countries should be,” said Al Mansoori after meeting Narendra Modi at an investors meeting in Masdar City.

He said the UAE is keen to invest in infrastructure development, real estate projects, railways and tourism sectors in India.

“The Prime Minister wanted to hear more about how UAE succeeded in creating such an infrastructure in tourism. India has a huge potential but did not really capture this whole potential to attract more tourists.”

Addressing the investors meet, Modi said India has an immediate investment opportunity of $1 trillion and the government will take urgent steps to address concerns of the businessmen from this country and erase "deficit of 34 years".

"I have got some problems in legacy. I cannot take only the good points and leave aside the problems. Some things were stalled due to the indecisiveness and lethargy of the governments (in the last). It is my priority to kickstart those things.”

He said India is growing fast and the world is looking at Asia.

“But is Asia complete without UAE? I can clearly see that the UAE should be at the centre of mainstream of things in Asia. UAE's power and India's potential can make it Asia's century.

Al Mansoori said the UAE investors can play a role in India’s plan of building 50 million housing projects by year 2022.

“UAE companies have the knowhow and capability to provide something like that. We believe that this is an area we will be interested in investing.”

Tourism is another sector where the UAE is eyeing opportunities to invest. Mansoori said the laws and regulations of India should offer them more.

“He (Modi) is adamant addressing all the challenging of the part. This is in a huge area of great interest for the UAE. We can build hotels, theme parks, shopping malls etc.”

On the possibility of India importing more oil from the UAE, he said the UAE is open to meet demand for any oil from India.

“The issue of energy is quite a challenge for India. It is a growing nation and the economy is growing 6 to 7 per cent and the demand for oil is there. This issue will be discussed further between representatives from both sides.”

He said Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia) is already an investor in India and further invests depend on what the Indian side will provide.

“Modi promised he would send India’s minister of commerce to the UAE shortly to shed light on investments India wants.

The investors meet was attended CEOs of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), DP World, Emaar Properties, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (Adia), Emirates Airlines and Etisalat among others.

From the Indian side, M.A Yousuf Ali of Lulu Group, Dr B.R Shetty of NMC Group, Kulwant Singh, President of Indian Professional and Business Council in Dubai, Dr J.R. Gangaramani of Al Faraa Group, Dr Azad Moopen among others attended.

With inputs from PTI

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