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The Trade Promotion Council of India held a webinar on “India-UAE: Trade and Investment Opportunities in Agri and Food Processing.”  The webinar aimed at briefing the Indian stakeholders on trade, investment and collaboration opportunities specifically in the food, beverages, food processing and packaging technology sectors in the UAE.

The webinar highlighted how India and the UAE can contribute to food security in both countries. Among the food items exported from India to the UAE are cereals, sugar, fruits, vegetables, tea, meat, and seafood.

The event was supported by the Consulate General of India in Dubai.

According to the Trade Promotion Council of India, several experts in agriculture and food trade spoke at the webinar. These included Vivek Agarwal, Managing Director of Capital Ventures and Chairman of the Council’s sectoral committee on food and beverages; R Senguttuvan, Managing Director of Wimco and Chairman of the Council’s sectoral committee on food processing and packaging technology; and Sanjay Grover, Vice President of Kirloskar Pneumatic Company and Vice Chairman of the Council’s sectoral committee on food processing and packaging technology.

Ashok Sethi, Director of the Trade Promotion Council of India, also spoke at the event which was moderated by Virat Bahri, Deputy Director for Corporate Communications at the Council.

The Trade Promotion Council of India is supported by India’s Department of Commerce to facilitate the growth of Indian industry.

Meanwhile the Dubai Customs has announced that the volume of external trade with India reached Dhs67 billion in the first half of 2021 alone, across gold, jewellery, diamonds, vehicles, telecoms, and petroleum oils, compared to Dhs89 billion in 2020.

“This reflects the weight and significance of Dubai as a global hub for trade and tourism relying on its advanced logistics and customs infrastructure,” said Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director-General of Dubai Customs, during his meeting with K Kalimutu, Indian Consul General for Trade and Economy to Dubai.

The role of Dubai Customs in ensuring the success of Expo 2020 Dubai and the advanced services and facilities that Dubai Customs delivers to clients were highlighted in the meeting. Developing trade during the pandemic while following all precautionary measures was also discussed.

The parties discussed means of cooperation benefiting from projects and initiatives launched by Dubai Customs to boost its relationships with the diplomatic missions and strategic trade partners. These initiatives included Ertebat, which aims to enhance ties and coordination with the diplomatic missions in order to augment the emirate’s external trade. During the meeting, the parties agreed to benchmark between Dubai Customs and the Customs of India to find the best practices applied and exchange expertise and knowledge.

Musabih added, “We work hard to deliver best services and facilities to all the participants in Expo 2020 Dubai to help in recovering global economy. We highlighted our initiatives in this regard to our Indian strategic partners. These include the exclusive Expo Smart Channel, and the Expo Customs Office, which Dubai Customs dedicated to participants in this global grand event.”

He also said that trade with India is gaining more weight and importance in the coming period due to the growing role India plays in the global trade stage, especially in this period in which the UAE is proceeding to achieve its bold initiatives, including the UAE Centennial Plan 2071.

For his part, Kalimutu expressed his happiness for the efforts Dubai Customs makes to drive mutual trade activity, and said Indian diplomatic missions are eager to enhance relations with Dubai and develop cooperation to drive trade exchange.

India-UAE trade, valued at $180 million per annum in the 1970s, is today $59 billion making UAE, India’s third largest trading partner for the year 2019-20 after China and US. For UAE, India is the second largest trading partner for the year 2019 with an amount of around $41.43 billion.

The UAE is an important partner in India’s growth, and a gateway to the Middle East and North Africa region for Indian goods and services. India and the UAE are committed to raise the level of pre-Covid bilateral trade of $60 billion (Dh220.3 billion), and facilitate investments of $75 billion in the next few years. During the last seven months, amid the Covid-19-related restrictions, we organised an interactive session comprising leading members of the Indian business community from various sectors in Dubai. This was organised during the visit of V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs of India, to Dubai in January. India participated at Gulfood 2021 earlier this year with the Indian Chamber of Commerce, and with support from the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). Around 40 Indian MSME companies from the agro food processing sector set up their stalls and exhibited their products and services at Gulfood.


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