SHARJAH, 21st September, 2016 (WAM) – A panel discussion to explore the strategic relationship between the UAE and India will be the highlight of this year’s Sharjah Foreign Direct Investment Forum (Sharjah FDI Forum 2016), on 28th and 29th September, at the Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa.

Themed ‘Growing Trade Links between India and the UAE,’ the activity will form a central plank of the forum, which is being organised by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Financial Times.

The event will be attended by Paras Shahdadpuri, Chairman of Nikai Group of companies; C.S. Raghavan, Chief Representative, Bahrain, Confederation of Indian Industry; Sudesh K Aggarwal, Chairman of the Indian Business and Professional Council in Sharjah, and Florence Eid-Oakden, Chief Economist at the Arabia Monitor.

The industry-led discussion panel, moderated by Jacopo Dettoni, Deputy Editor at the fDi Magazine, Financial Times, will have panelists examining the outlook for growth and the ways to further bilateral relations in the light of the productive economic ties that the UAE and India enjoy.

During their discussions, the panelists will review India’s FDI policy and the reasons for the growth of Indian investment in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE. The speakers will highlight the key sectors for investment, the goals of Indian entrepreneurs in the Middle East and the outlook for the future.

“The UAE has deep-rooted historical ties with India. India is the UAE’s second largest trade partner, while the UAE is India’s third largest trade partner after China and the US. The annual trade between the UAE and India touches $60 billion (AED220 billion) at present,” said Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq.

“The diversity in investment and business opportunities available in both countries is supported by mutual expertise, modern technology, capital and skilled human resources. All these important elements have helped achieve the setting up of successful joint ventures and economic growth. They have contributed to creating strong and effective partnerships in various sectors, specifically in Sharjah, which is characterised by a diverse economic system, with no single sector contributing more than 20 percent of the GDP,” he added.

The forum will explore the reasons behind the volume of Emirati investments in India, which reached $1.82 billion between 2000 and 2010, with the UAE’s accumulated investments in India exceeding $6 billion, spanning the energy, service, metal industries, and property and construction sectors. The number of Indian companies registered with the UAE Ministry of Economy in 2014 stood at 4,365, 177 trade agencies and 5,579 trademarks.

The Sharjah FDI Forum 2016 is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.