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Business representatives of Lulu lnternational, Magna Pvt Ltd, Emaar, with Manoj Sinha, the Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Sunjay Sudhir, Indian Ambassador to UAE, Dr Aman Puri, Indian Consul-General in Dubai, and Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, at the signing ceremony in Emirates Towers, Dubai, on Thursday. Image Credit: Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary/Gulf News

Dubai: In a show of solidarity towards the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in India, several UAE-based business houses signed Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) and Letters of Intent (LOI) to establish robust bilateral trade ties. Five MOUs were signed at Emirates Towers here today in this connection.

The agreements were signed in the presence of Manoj Sinha, the Lt Governor of J&K, Ahmed Al Banna, the UAE Ambassador to India, Sunjay Sudhir, the Indian Ambassador to UAE, Ranjan Thakur, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Aviation, Government of J&K, Dr Aman Puri, the Indian Consul-General in UAE and representatives of the participating business organisations.

The MoUs were signed between the Government of J&K and Al Maya Group, Noon e-commerce, MATU Investments LLC and GL Employment Brokerage LLC. Magna Waves Ltd, Emaar Group and Lulu International signed LOIs.

Great investment potential

Addressing the business community at the signing event, Sinha said: “We are happy to have signed four MOUs ahead of the business summit and are warmed to see the optimism and engagement of the UAE business community. Jammu and Kashmir has the lowest pier tariff, great opportunities in horticulture, real estate, tourism and we are proving great investment incentives to business houses. This ceremony only demonstrates the strong Indo-UAE trade ties .”

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From left : (Back row) Sunjay Sudhir, Manoj Sinha, Ahmed Al Banna, Dr Aman Puri. (Front row, seated) Ranjan Thakur and Kamal Vachani at Emirates Towers in Dubai on Thursday. Image Credit: Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary/Gulf News

‘Strengthening bilateral ties’

Al Banna said he was very happy to have witnessed this signing ceremony that included Emirati companies that signed important trade agreements with J&K. “India stands second as the UAE’s trading partner, while the UAE is the third-largest trading partner of India. This signing event demonstrates the strategic relationship between the two countries and is significant in further strengthening our bilateral ties.”

First UAE-based retailer to import Kashmiri saffron

Kamal Vachani, Group Director for Al Maya Group, told Gulf News: “We were the first retailers in the UAE to import saffron from J&K. This MOU today is being signed to procure the famous Kashmiri apples and other dry fruit. We are really looking forward to these trade ties and feel privileged to be part of a successful journey that the Union Territory is currently undergoing. There will be new avenues of tourism, with hospitality and real estate also opening up and we are confident that J&K will enter a new era of trade and business.”

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Shopping mall by Emaar

One of the most important potential developments that is going to be a direct result of this signing event is the intent of real estate conglomerate Magna Waves Pvt ltd, part of the Emaar Group, to develop a shopping mall in J&K, where Lulu International will have a huge retail store.