Officials at the inauguration ceremony in India Pavilion to mark Maharashtra's presence in Expo 2020 Dubai, on Friday. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Subhash Desai, the Minister of Industries from the Indian state of Maharashtra, on Friday said that the state’s plans to become a trillion-dollar economy will see it play a bigger role in India’s growth story after attracting strong investments even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to trade and commerce, showcasing Maharashtra’s culture and tourism potential will also be an important part of the state’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Inaugurating Maharashtra’s presence at the India Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai, the minister said: “Maharashtra is the growth engine of the Indian economy and we are ready to welcome the world from Expo 2020 Dubai. We look forward to signing many MoUs [memorandum of understanding] with big corporates and governments.”

Bilateral agreements

He added: “Maharashtra is banking big on the investor fraternity as part of its participation in Expo 2020 Dubai. The state is expected to sign some key investment initiatives as well as bilateral agreements of economic corporation with strategic investment and country partners and is offering a series of support services through its Industry Department, where all the clearances and approvals are available from one platform,” he added.

The India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Aditi Tatkare, Minister of State for Industries and Tourism, Amit V. Deshmukh, Minister for Medical Education and Cultural Affairs of Government of Maharashtra, Dr Anbalagan CEO, MIDC and Nodal Officer, Dubai Expo 2020, along with Dr Aman Puri, Consul-General of India in Dubai and Deputy Commissioner General for India at Expo 2020 Dubai, and other officials from Maharashtra were also present at the inauguration.

Significant share in exports

Maharashtra is the most attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in India and has attracted almost 30 per cent of total FDI flowing into India from 2000 to 2021. During the pandemic, Maharashtra has attracted investments of around $27.5 billion or Dh101.14 billion (from October 2019 to June 2021). The state’s contribution to India’s gross domestic product is around 15 per cent and it has a significant share in exports and employment generation for the country.

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“We are honoured, proud and privileged to be a part of Expo 2020 Dubai. It provides us with numerous opportunities to promote the state’s tourism from such a global platform. We will have strategic partnerships with Dubai and international tourism companies to further strengthen and collaborate to promote tourism in our state,” Tatkare said.