Dr Anil Pillai, CEO, Airolink Image Credit: Supplied

How have Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visits strengthened bilateral relations between both nations?

Diplomatic relations between the two countries date back to 1972. As we all know, Modi’s efforts to boost bilateral relations between India and the UAE started off with his first visit in August 2015, wherein an Indian Prime Minister was visiting the UAE after 34 long years. His efforts have resulted in several trade agreements and MOUs between the nations in various sectors including oil, manpower exchange, rail and stock exchanges.

Further to Modi’s visit, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, visited India in 2016 and again in 2017 as the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations. Both sides signed MOUs on strengthening ties in cyberspace, defence, maritime, road transport, human trafficking, entry visa exemption for diplomats and special passport holders, media and energy, to name a few.

How are these visits helping promote Indian business and entrepreneurs in the UAE?

As strategic relations grow between both nations, doors to better opportunities open for the business community here. As trade ties gets stronger, expansion of business and investments to various sectors in both countries becomes easier for businessmen and young entrepreneurs especially.

The chamber of commerce here provides all the support and resources necessary for the the Indian business community to thrive and capitalise on myriad growth opportunities this country has to offer. The Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) does a remarkable job in nurturing bilateral ties as well, providing a platform for Indian business leaders to network and access business opportunities in India and the UAE.

Businessmen in India are also benefiting from the close ties. The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), India’s first sovereign wealth fund, signed the first investment agreement worth $1 billion (Dh3.6 billion) with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). After this agreement, ADIA became the first international institutional investor in NIIF’s Master Fund.

What is your personal message to the Indian Prime Minister during his UAE visit?

As an Indian, I feel immensely proud about the Indian Prime Minister being awarded the Order of Zayed. Modi’s visit is a tremendous boost, especially to young Indian entrepreneurs in the UAE looking at diversifying their business through institutional investments in India. His visionary leadership quality is what young business leaders like me admire and look up to. Following his leadership, Airolink looks to diversifying its business and invest Rs25 billion (about Dh1.27 billion) in India’s healthcare sector. We also plan to diversify in the UAE by investing about Rs10 billion in an aircraft recycling plant.