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Dubai Chamber of Commerce hosts Indian president


Dubai : The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Thursday hosted a reception in honour of Indian President Pratibha Patil and her accompanying business delegation here at the Raffles Hotel.

Besides the Indian delegation, the business luncheon reception was attended by Maryam Khalfan Al Roumi, UAE minister of social affairs, officials and representatives of Dubai’s business community.

In her speech, Patil said that India has been a dynamic partner of the UAE in the trade and economic fields, emphasizing that trade and investment are the cornerstones of the UAE and India partnership.

She praised the policies of the rulers of Dubai in building excellent infrastructure which have transformed the city into a throbbing metropolis and a hub for international commerce and trade.

The Indian president also pointed out the measures that can boost considerably the current level of India-UAE trade, which include reactivating the institutional arrangements like the India-UAE Joint Business Council and the India-UAE Joint Commission for Economic, Technical and Scientific Co-operation, in addition to increasing their participation in specialized trade fairs and exhibitions.

Patil added that there are many investment opportunities in both countries and these opportunities lie in the energy and agricultural sectors in addition to infrastructure.

Patil praised Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its members for their contribution to promote and strengthen trade and economic links between India and Dubai.

In his welcome address, Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, chairman of Dubai Chamber, said the visit by the Indian president and her high profile business delegation will help further strengthen the age-old bilateral ties Dubai enjoys with India.

India has been occupying the No. 1 position in the list of Dubai’s top trading partners over the years. At the end of 2009, the Emirate’s non-oil trade with India stood at 112.2 billion dirhams, including exports worth 52 billion dirhams and imports worth 59.9 billion dirhams.

Al Ghurair stressed that Dubai is home to a large number of Indian companies both ownership and partnership, numbering 20,232 registered with Dubai Chamber and operating across various economic sectors of the Emirate.

He added that Dubai’s imports and exports with India are concentrated on precious/semi-precious stones and metals, agricultural products, textiles, base metals and products, machinery, electrical and electronic equipment, as well as footwear, ceramic products and glass and among others.

He also emphasized on the need to exploring investment opportunities which he said is a key step in enhancing bilateral trade between Dubai and India, as there are many potential business opportunities in areas like infrastructure, agriculture, food processing, and information technology services to trade, export and re-export.

“I would urge the Indian businessmen to make use of Dubai’s strategic location of an international trade and business hub and a gateway to the region,” he said adding, “Dubai is an East meets West destination, which facilitates the business community to carry out their global operations in reaching out to the over two billion consumers in the region.

“I would also call upon the Indians to take advantage of the unlimited support provided by the government of Dubai, especially by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE vice-president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, to the business community from over 180 countries.”

He lauded the role of the Indian Business Council, which is one of the oldest councils operating under the umbrella of Dubai Chamber and has been contributing effectively to the economic development of the Emirate.

He also stressed upon the role of the chamber in providing value added services to the business community, while enhancing their competitiveness in the global business arena.