India invites Arab States to benefit from 'Make in India', invest in infrastructure

India has invited members of the 22-nation League of Arab States to invest in the country, notably in the infrastructure space.

fb_admin November 26, 2014 17:50:50 IST
India invites Arab States to benefit from 'Make in India', invest in infrastructure

New Delhi: India has invited members of the 22-nation League of Arab States to invest in the country, notably in the infrastructure space, while also calling upon them to benefit from the 'Make in India' programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"We invite both your public sector and private sector companies to invest in India," Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here Wednesday, inaugurating the 4th India-Arab Partnership Conference.

India invites Arab States to benefit from Make in India invest in infrastructure

PTI image.

"The Indian growth story will be incomplete without the participation of friends like the Arab League," the minister noted, while expressing happiness that the businesses of the two sides were actively exploring multiple avenues for partnerships.

"Our trade statistics indicate that our mutual economic dependency is growing," she said, and pointed out that India's bilateral trade with Arab countries reached $185 billion in 2013-14, a jump of nearly 25 percent over 2010-11.

Sitharaman also gave several concrete examples of India-Arab world partnerships.

With India being the largest importer of Jordanian phosphatic products, a $800 million project between Indian Farmers and Fertilizers Cooperation and Jordan Phosphate Mines Company was ready for formal inauguration, she said.

Similarly, the Oman-India Fertilizer Company project was a landmark to ensure supplies of urea to India - a joint venture promoted by two Indian fertiliser cooperatives and the Oman Oil Company.

The conference is being organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in association with the ministry of external affairs and the League of Arab States (LAS).

It comes against the backdrop of the first senior officials' meeting between India and the 22-member league here earlier this month which discussed expanding business relations, especially in energy and information technology.

Pointing to the Arab world's strategic ties with India based on being neighbours across the Arabian Sea, Saudi Arabia's Commerce Minister Tawfiq Fawzan Al Rabiah told the conference that "India is one of the biggest trading partners of Saudi Arabia. Relations between India and the Arab world have a long history".

"The Indian rupee was a currency in the Gulf till not very long ago. Geographical closeness has given a new dimension to our relations. Urdu and Indian culture are very popular in the Arab world," he added.

Saudi Arabia is India's largest supplier of crude oil and the fourth biggest trading partner. Bilateral trade amounted to $48.75 billion in 2013-14. India is the 5th largest market for Saudi products and is, in turn, the seventh largest source of imports to that country.

Some of the specific areas for discussions at the conclave include pharmaceuticals, food and energy security, notably from renewable sources, healthcare, tourism, banking, human resource development, education, research and technology development.

Member countries of the Arab League, home to over 7 million Indians and with a collective GDP of nearly $3 trillion, are a major destination for India's exports. Their investments to India have crossed $3.5 billion since April 2000.

Sitharaman also said the second meeting of the India-Egypt Joint Trade Committee was held earlier this month to discuss an action plan to increase trade between the two countries.

Giving Egypt's example as an indicator of India's constant efforts to increase its engagement with the Arab world, Sitharaman said: "I am also happy to convey that the 7th India-Oman joint commission meeting concluded successfully with both sides agreeing for enhanced cooperation in various fields."

IANS

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