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Important for India to have structural reforms: UAE

Anwar Gargash

New Delhi: As India eyes investment from United Arab Emirates, the Gulf nation has sought more structural reforms and an attractive climate for absorbing foreign direct investment.

With the two countries targeting trade of over USD 100 billion by 2020, Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said it was essential to add “new revenue streams” and explore other fields to achieve that goal.

He said the ‘Security Dialogue’ between the two countries is “moving ahead” as both face a threat from extremism and terrorism.

“It is important to have structural reforms in India. If you look at the FDI in India, it is not very large in comparison to the size of the Indian economy and its potential.

“So, what we would like to see also is a more attractive climate in terms of absorbing the investment,” Gargash said here at an interaction with reporters along with Reem Al Hashimi, UAE’s Minister of State for International Development. The two are a part of the UAE delegation led by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Gargash said neither country was doing any “favour” to the other as India was looking for investments and the UAE for markets for its sovereign funds.

“A lot of foreign investment comes through World Bank, but we work more as sovereign funds and more on commercial basis.

This is one area where we are working with the Indian government. We are also waiting for the Indian party to find the right channel for us to make that commitment.

“As much India is seeking our funds, we are also seeking India’s market. It’s a win-win situation,” he said.

UAE invests around USD 10 billion in India of which around USD 3.3 billion is FDI while the remaining is portfolio investment.

Hashimi said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to UAE last year, an Investment Task Force was formed to expedite the issues and “there has been some progress” on it. The two countries will also sign an agreement on space cooperation, Hashimi added.

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