The UAE and India are like-minded partners, the consul-general says Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE and India will work together to co-create innovation for the world and the next-generation unicorns, Consul General of India in Dubai, Dr Aman Puri, said at the first-ever UAE edition of the UK-headquartered India Global Forum (IGF) in Dubai on Monday.

Speaking at the opening of the event, Dr Puri said Dubai is truly the gateway between India and the MENA region and has been hosting the single largest Indian community anywhere in the world, with a 3.3 million strong vibrant Indian diaspora in the UAE.

Welcoming delegates to the IGF UAE 2021, Dr Puri said: “India is a land of opportunities and a global powerhouse of talent. In the UAE, we have a like-minded partner that has a clear vision for transforming the region. As powerhouses, India and the UAE have much to offer and can look forward to a new era of collaboration and partnership.”

“We’re absolutely certain that the UAE-India relationship is going to see a quantum jump from here. We were at $60 billion of trade in pre-COVID days, which we hope will reach $100 billion by 2025,” the diplomat said.

He said both the governments are committed to ensure a $75 million investment from the UAE to India, and the forum will be an opportunity to discuss that.

“India created 36 unicorns in the last 10 years. In (the financial year of) 2021, India will create 36 more to become the second largest creator of unicorns in the world after the US,” he said.

“I am sure next year onwards Dubai will see an annual IGF… because that is the spirit of Dubai, that energy of Dubai. We both continue to achieve together,” the Consul-General said.

The forum this time would be hearing from ministers of the governments of the UAE and India, policy makers, captains of industries and founders of unicorns, said Puri.

“What we see as a major opportunity in the partnership between the UAE and India is to co-create innovation for the world and the next-generation unicorns and that is something that we hope to achieve in the next two days,” Puri added.

Manoj Ladwa, chairman and CEO, India Inc Group and founder of IGF, said: “I am delighted and excited to welcome you to this very first edition of our Indian Global Forum in the Middle East. We have gathered some of the most illustrious speakers to deliberate, (and) to share unique insights on what our future could hold.”

He said the two-day hybrid conference, co-hosted by the Embassy of the UAE – New Delhi and Consulate General of India, Dubai, is expected to shine a light on the dynamic alliance between India and the UAE, centered around areas of world-beating skills and talent, technology, and business partnerships.

The conference focusses on several thrust areas of bilateral and global significance, including healthcare, technology and trade, includes keynote addresses and panel discussions from an array of high-profile ministers, government officials and business leaders from both countries.

The conference also provides a platform to unicorns from both India and the UAE as they unleash disruption through innovation in several fields including media, e-commerce, mobility, fintech and the internet, among others.

“The forum plays host to an exclusive series of conversations with some of the world’s most innovative and successful entrepreneurs whose cutting-edge ideas have disrupted the market and changed the way we do business,” said Ladwa.