Union Trade Minister Piyush Goyal, who was in the United Arab Emirates to inaugurate the India pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020, said he was optimistic about the “phenomenal enthusiasm” shown by the potential investors. His statement was backed by prominent UAE businessmen, who told India Today about their plans to increase investment in India.
Before concluding his visit on Tuesday, Piyush Goyal said: “The visit went well beyond solving the problems.”
“During meetings with UAE government officials, business leaders and investors, we have seen phenomenal enthusiasm to invest in India. added.
Piyush Goyal said companies in the UAE that had “problems” in the past are ready to return to India. “In the joint India-UAE high-level working group, legacy issues specific to investments will be looked at. I am more concerned with what they must have been going through at that time. They feel that in a few cases they got it wrong with the promoters and in other cases the due diligence should have been there.That’s the cost of learning.
Read | Interim trade deal with UAE in next 2-3 months: Piyush Goyal on trade and investment at Dubai Expo 2020
What does UAE Inc think about investing in India?
India Today TV spoke to the executives of three UAE-based companies looking to re-integrate or expand their presence in India significantly.
“Interested in infrastructure divestment projects”
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chief executive officer (CEO) of DP World, said his talks with Piyush Goyal were encouraging. “We discussed our interests in privatization, new businesses, industrial parks, logistics parks,” he said.
DP World, which accounts for 10% of global trade, is interested in divestment projects in freight-related infrastructure in India, Bin Sulayem said.
“We are interested in expanding our ports and industrial parks. We know how important India is as a growth system,” Bin Sulayem said.
DP World has terminals in five ports in India. Bin Sulayem said the company is now interested in entering the supply chain.
“We have invested $ 2 billion over the past two years and are deeply interested in increasing our presence,” he said, adding that the investment could double in the years to come.
Bin Sulayem said that in the past, investors faced bureaucratic hurdles and delayed decisions in India. “The reform process that has been launched could have been a little faster but it is extremely encouraging. Being a democracy takes time,” he said.
“But the good thing is India is a country where once they decide it’s done. That’s what draws us to India,” he added.
“Looking to build large real estate in India”
Mohamed Ali Rashed Alabbar, founder and managing director of real estate company Emaar Properties, said he discussed the development of large-scale real estate in India during his talks with Piyush Goyal.
“This is something we did in Dubai. The Indian subcontinent is essential to our growth plan,” Alabbar said.
Alabbar said India will be one of the top five economies that will drive future growth in the world.
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“During the 2008-2009 crisis, we did not see a decline in the Indian market. On the contrary, it continued to grow although at a slower pace. In addition, India will bring real added value to regional growth, ”he said.
Asked about the problems faced by businesses in India, Alabbar said there was a need to establish an open dialogue with the right people in government to overcome obstacles.
Facilitating NRI Investment in India
Yusuffali MA, Chairman and CEO of Lulu Group, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making policy changes to facilitate Non-Resident Indian (NRI) investments in India.
“Prime Minister Modi changed everything by declaring that NRI investments will be treated as domestic investments,” said Yusuffali, from Kerala.
“Humko ab taqleef nahin hai. Pehle 100 question tha 100 answer tha. Bohut tha settlement (Now we have no more problems. Previously there were 100 questions and answers. There were too many regulations), ”he added.
Yusuffali said the Lulu Group is planning around Rs 20,000 crore over the next 3-5 years in India, which would generate jobs for 50,000 people.
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Lulu Group is currently building three shopping centers in India, including one in Lucknow, Yusuffali said. “We have built a shopping mall and a convention center in Kochi. We are now going to different cities in northern India,” he said.
“In each shopping center, 3,500 to 4,000 people will find a job. Three shopping centers are currently under construction, which will create 12,000 jobs,” said Yusuffali.
Yusuffali said job creation was not the government’s sole responsibility. “It is the responsibility of companies to provide jobs for the younger generation,” he said.