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Swaraj seeks increased UAE investments during visit

PTI 11 Nov 2014, 21:00:22 PM IST

Dubai: Seeking to allay fears of potential investors from UAE, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today highlighted the new Indian government's economic performance in the past five months as she invited businesses here to join hands as partners in India's growth story.  

“I understand the apprehensions in the minds of some of you regarding your past experiences of investments in India.  But let me assure you that our government is committed to honour the commitments made and opening up of sectors for foreign investment,” Swaraj said during an interaction with top business leaders in Abu Dhabi.

“Bilateral Trade and Investment Protection Agreement (BTIPA) between India and UAE have entered into force with effect from September 23, 2014 and would facilitate safety of your investments,” she said.

She said UAE is also one of the countries with which India has a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) having certain preferential features conducive for increased investment in India.

BTIPA and DTAA, thus, provide the necessary framework under which investments from UAE into India would not only be safe but would also provide good returns, she said.  Swaraj said, “I feel that there is no better time than now for the UAE business community to join our hands as partners in India's growth story.

There are immense possibilities to enhance trade and investment cooperation”.  “Indian investors are already one of the largest groups in the UAE. In turn, UAE can also become a substantial source for meeting our investment requirements. Moreover, the UAE and, especially Dubai, can become our gateway to larger MENA region and, indeed, to Africa as a whole,” she said.  

“Our infrastructure financing needs are estimated to be USD 1 trillion in the next five years. Our ties with UAE have grown on all fronts. UAE has been one of our largest trading partners for the past several years. Our bilateral economic and commercial engagement is broad-based encompassing a wide range of products and services.

“However, given the size of our economies and the wide convergence of interests in many areas, the present level of trade and investments can be enhanced even further,” she said.  Later, Swaraj also met Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs.  

Nahyan expressed hope that the visit would contribute to strengthening relations between the two countries.  During the meeting, both sides reviewed the existing bilateral relations and took stock of progress and development in joint cooperation in many areas and looked into the ways of enhancing them for common interests.