Yogi Adityanath
UP's effective Covid-19 management and vaccination of 170m population is an indicator of the preparedness of the administration, Yogi Adityanath said. Image Credit: ANI

India’s Uttar Pradesh (UP) might just be the state to watch out for as the region looks to transform itself into a major economic and logistics hub. UAE-based investors could be a part of this journey.

UP was showcasing business attractiveness and investment opportunities across key sectors like food processing, tourism, textiles, healthcare, and education at the India Pavilion in Expo 2020.

“Despite the highest population in India, the state’s effective Covid-19 management and vaccination of 170 million population is an indicator of the preparedness of the administration,” said Yogi Adityanath, UP’s chief minister, during a virtual speech.

A high-level delegation from UP met potential investors and global companies to explore trade and investment opportunities for the state. The delegates participated in incubator ‘meet and mock’ pitching sessions and panel sessions. They also did an industry visit to the Allanasons factory in Sharjah and DP World Jebel Ali Port, and also conducted business meetings with industry associations (Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi).

Members of the delegation said that UP’s pro-industry policies had resulted in investments of over $59 billion. This includes investment pledges worth about $1 billion from 10 countries, including Japan, US, UK, Canada, Germany and South Korea.

Sidharth Nath Singh, a UP government cabinet minister, noted that the UAE is the 3rd largest trading partner and 9th largest FDI (foreign direct investment) contributor to India, in infrastructure, power, tourism, metallurgical and services sectors. “The large Indian community based in the UAE is a key contributor in the economic development,” he added.

Key achievements

• The state launched ‘Nivesh Mitra’ - one of the largest single-window system and sectoral policies, which helped the state to achieve the 2nd rank in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in 2019-20.

• Around Rs3.5 trillion worth of private investment actualised on-ground, as part of investment outreach

• Highest number of MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) in the country

• Launched the ‘One District One Product (ODOP)’ scheme in 2018 to promote the indigenous craft of each district

• Four functional expressways - Yamuna Expressway, Agra-Lucknow Expressway, Purvanchal Expressway and Delhi-Meerut Expressway.

• 10 airports, of which three international airports connected with 74 destinations nationally and internationally, and upcoming 11 new airports

• Fully operational Metro service in four cities of Uttar Pradesh

• First inland waterways from Haldia to Varanasi

• Defence corridor in UP has led to the surge in defence manufacturing, with the Brahmos missile to be manufactured in Lucknow.

Relationship beyond investment

The relationship between UP and the UAE goes beyond investments. The state is a major supplier of manpower to most of the Gulf countries, including the UAE.

The NRI (non-resident Indian) department has taken steps like a dedicated recruitment agency - UPFC Overseas Manpower Recruitment Agency (OMRA) - to help source employees for potential employers abroad.

$1 trillion economy

UP aims to be a ‘$1 trillion economy’ by 2025 and the state is in the process of attracting investments and implementing major reforms.

“Uttar Pradesh is one of the biggest industrial markets. By following the principle of ‘Reform-Perform-Transform’, the state has taken numerous initiatives to transform its industrial landscape,” said Adityanath.

According to some estimates, UP’s gross state domestic product (GSDP) diminished by 5.9 per cent in 2020-2021 following the impact of COVID-19 on the state’s economy.