Friday, September 21, 2018 5:56 AM

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UAE-based Indian business group BLF seeks INR 100bn NRI investment in to India’s Andhra Pradesh


Business Leaders’ Forum (BLF), a joint initiative by the UAE Ministry of Economy, Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Indian Consulate in Dubai to boost cross-border investment, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) to accelerate investment in to various thrust sectors in Andhra Pradesh state in India.

India Trade and Exhibition Centre (ITEC.me), represented by Sripriyaa Kumaria, Director General, has signed another MoU with APEDB to provide employment to 1,000 skilled people from Andhra Pradesh in the UAE by engaging with the UAE’s employers and help boost two-way investment between Andhra Pradesh and the UAE.

The MoUs were signed last week in Hyderabad in the presence of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who has secured more than US$12.52 (Dh46 billion) investment.

The BLF recently led a 10-member investment delegation to the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh to explore new investment opportunities in partnership with the state government in key economic sectors, including health, education, manufacturing food services, information technology and infrastructure.

The delegation, mostly comprising Non-Resident Indian (NRI) investors and businessmen, met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and discussed ways to facilitate investment from the UAE to Andhra Pradesh.

The move is part of the annual mega business conference – India-UAE Partnership Summit – that was launched last year. Its second edition will be held from October 30-31, 2018.

“I am pleased to announce the signing of two important MoUs with Andhra Pradesh Government that will form the basis of our future cooperation and continuous engagement to boost investment,” Dr Ram Buxani, President of the BLF, said.

“The signing of the MoUs reflects our determination of the BLF to play a key role in bringing the private sectors of the two countries to the private sector and help implement the strategic cooperation between the UAE and India.

“We are looking at a sizeable project that could require investment up to Rs10,000 crores or Rs100 billion (US$1.54 billion) in which the state government would be a possible partner. We are looking at a possible food park, a medical city, large infrastructure project, among other avenues.”

The move comes a few weeks after the Andhra Pradesh Government signed a US$4.62 billion investment agreement with Emirates Airline to develop a large maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility. In October 2017, Chandrababu Naidu, the charismatic Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, witnessed the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with two UAE business groups who collectively committed to invest US$7.5 billion in to Andhra Pradesh.

UAE-based retail group Lulu Group is developing a hotel and a convention centre with total investment outlay of US$400 million in the state. The collective value of these four projects exceeds US$12.52 billion (Dh46 billion).

Sudesh Aggarwal, Board Member of the BLF, Chairman of the IUPS Organising Committee, Sector Chairman for Investment at BLF, and Chairman of India Trade and Exhibition Centre (ITEC), says, “The visit by the BLF delegation to Andhra Pradesh is one of many planned by our organisation whose main objective is to strengthen bilateral relationship between the UAE and India by exploring two-way investment into India and the UAE.

“We expect to bring other major states in India under a similar process and start building the relationship with the public sector in understanding the investment needs and the core investment areas while engage with the large investor groups to invest in these high-growth investment areas.

“This is part of the growing strategic relationship and partnership between the two countries. As private sector representatives, we want to translate the shared vision of the governments of India and the UAE into reality and it can only happen with large-scale participation by investors from both the countries.

“Our current visit, one of many more to follow to different states where government is putting up investment projects and proposals for the UAE investors to participate and help raise capital, is also in line with the next edition of the two-day India-UAE Partnership Summit (IUPS) to be held in October this year.”

The India-UAE Partnership Summit (IUPS) will showcase important investment projects in India and seek investment from and partnership with local business houses of UAE. It will also review the trade and investment relations between the two countries in light of the Joint Statement adopted by the two sides during the visit of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in January 2017.

This is the only business conference of its kind to be pro-actively supported by the Government of India through the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi and Consulate General of India, Dubai as well as the UAE Ministry of Economy. IUPS is also the only such bilateral summit where Ministers of Government of India as well as UAE will be participating.

Business Leaders Forum (BLF) was formally launched in March 2017 and has been set up under the direct guidance of the UAE Ministry of Economy, Embassy of India and Consulate General of India with India Trade & Exhibition Centre (ITEC) acting as the official Secretariat of BLF.