The India-UAE Startup Corridor to enhance the startup ecosystem between two nations

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Dubai, May 25 (IANS): FICCI LEAD, a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) technology and business incubator, and the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) recently signed a landmark MoU to launch the “ India-UAE Boot Corridor”. The objective of the initiative is to improve and expand the start-up ecosystem between India and the United Arab Emirates.

It will also reinforce the leadership vision of both countries under the recently signed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

A dozen innovative technology-focused start-ups from various sectors including financial services, education and logistics have been shortlisted for the inauguration of the India-UAE Startup Corridor in Dubai.

This initiative would create an ecosystem to encourage engagement between start-ups, investors, incubators, companies and entrepreneurs to grow their business and strengthen their position in the global market.

It will target a minimum of 50 validated start-ups based in India and the United Arab Emirates over a period of five years with the vision of transforming 10 of them into unicorns (start-ups valued at over $1 billion) by 2025.

The MoU between FICCI LEAD and DIFC follows the MoU that was signed between FICCI LEAD, Indian Angel Network (IAN), Turbostart, India and MCA Management Consultants, UAE on January 26, this year at the Expo 2020 Dubai, in which a $150 million venture capital fund was announced.

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said, “Since the establishment of DIFC in 2004, we have demonstrated our commitment to building and maintaining sustained and lasting partnerships with the Indian market. Indian banks, insurers, law firms and wealth managers have already chosen DIFC. as their preferred global financial center in the region and we are excited to work with FICCI LEAD to build a corridor that will attract more Indian start-ups to locate here.”

Ajai Chowdhry, President of FICCI Start-Up Corridor & FICCI Lead, said, “This landmark MOU is the start of an important partnership on enhancing opportunities in innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems between the “India and the UAE. FICCI remains committed to gradually developing this India-UAE Start-Up Corridor together with our partner, DIFC, and help convert at least 10 start-ups into unicorns.”

Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai, said: “I am confident that this MoU between FICCI LEAD and DIFC will foster deeper collaboration between the start-up ecosystems of India and the UAE. united and will provide opportunities to continue the momentum generated by the interactions during Expo 2020 Dubai. We are excited for the years to come which will soon see the emergence of new unicorns and unicorns in both countries and help find innovative solutions to global challenges.

S. Venkatesh, Managing Partner of MCA, said, “This MoU is an important step to enable Indian start-ups to have a launch pad in the UAE and expand their market to the GCC and the UAE. He added that MCA is proud to be a part of this great initiative to drive economic growth.”

Manoj Nayak, Founder of 6th Sense said, “The India-UAE Startup Corridor has been launched at the right time to bring more prosperity to countries and the global economy. Nayak added that 6th Sense is proud to be part of of this program.”

India launched Start-Up India, dreamed up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in January 2016 to boost the indigenous ecosystem and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. India now boasts of the third largest ecosystem in the world for start-ups. Moreover, in the last five years, India has jumped up in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking to 63rd position among 190 countries, up from 142nd position in 2014. In 2020 , India has also joined the group of top 50 countries in the Global Innovation Index. (GII) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The United Arab Emirates aims to create 20 unicorns by 2031 and is already the leader in the MENA region in terms of technological transformation, digital acceleration and adoption of innovative ideas.

Since 2007, FICCI has been an active player in the ecosystem and has supported over 1,000 start-ups/innovators with over Rs 125 crore.

FICCI-backed start-ups have been able to generate more than 140,000 jobs and leverage more than five times capital from external sources in the market. More than 100 companies have gained access to global markets across the United States, South Asia and Africa.

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