Dubai, Feb 18: Marking the first anniversary of India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), the top business houses of India and UAE came together to open the UAE India Business Council – UAE Chapter (UIBC-UC), to bolster economic ties and facilitate shared goal of enhancing bilateral trade and investment.
The UIBC-UC was launched by UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, in the presence of Ambassador of India to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir, Consul General of India in Dubai Aman Puri and founding members of the UBIC-UC.
The founding members of the UIBC-UC from the Indian side, large conglomerates such as TATA, Reliance, and Adani are represented, as well as tech innovators like Ola, Zerodha, Udaan, and EaseMyTrip, along with prominent Indian entrepreneur-led corporations based in the UAE such as KEF Holdings, Buimerc Corporation, Apparel Group, EFS and Lulu Financial. From the UAE side are: Mubadala – Sovereign Wealth Fund of the UAE, Wizz Financial, DP World, EMAAR, Emirates Airlines, Emirates NBD Bank.
The two nations aim to increase bilateral trade to $100 billion and attract $75 billion in investment from the UAE to India. The UIBC-UC is poised to play a crucial role in supporting both governments in achieving these objectives and maximising the potential of the UAE-India relationship. By leveraging the strong bond between the two nations, the council brings together key partners and stakeholders from both nations and will serve as a valuable source of policy guidance, fostering innovative collaboration between Emirati and Indian businesses.
Speaking on the occasion, Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi highlighted that the establishment of the UAE Chapter of the UAE India Business Council marks a significant moment in the deepening of the relationship between the United Arab Emirates and India. He also mentioned that the Council will play a critical role in supporting the two governments in their joint mission to boost bilateral trade and investment.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Sunjay Sudhir, said, “The launch today marks a significant milestone in the strengthening of the relationship between the United Arab Emirates and India. I extend my sincere congratulations to all the founding members of the UAE India Business Council and look forward to seeing the Council’s initiatives drive greater prosperity for both nations.”
The UIBC-UC will serve as the counterpart organisation to the UIBC India Chapter, which was established in New Delhi on September 3, 2015, by UAE Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and then Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, during the 11th Session of the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting.
Chairman KEF Holdings, Faizal Kottikollon, who has been appointed as the Chairman of UIBC-UC, said that “The council’s focus will be to identify significant strategic projects that can be undertaken by both countries. This includes investments in large infrastructure projects in India, advancements in manufacturing and technology, and providing Indian manufacturers with the ability to use the UAE as a base for their global expansion.”
CEO & MD (India Subcontinent) at DP World, Rizwan Soomar, will serve as the Co-Chairman of UIBC-UC.
Major General (Retd) Sharafuddin Sharaf, who serves as the Chairman of the UIBC India Chapter, will also hold the position of Vice Chairman of UIBC-UC.
On the occasion, Consul General of India in Dubai, Aman Puri, expressed his gratitude to the Founding Members of the UAE India Business Council (UIBC-UC) for their support in establishing the organisation. He highlighted the platform’s significance in providing a space for UAE and Indian businesses to collaborate, identify new opportunities, and overcome existing challenges.
Vikas Anand, who brings 25 years of experience in banking and was recently the group head of operations for First Abu Dhabi Bank, has been named as the Chief Operating Officer for UIBC-UC and will be responsible for advancing the Council’s mission to strengthen bilateral trade and commerce between the two nations.
The launch of the UAE Chapter on Saturday coincides with the first anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries on February 18, 2022, underscoring the deep commitment of both nations to strengthening their economic and business relations.