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US$ 10 bn opportunity in UAE’s DP World to expand industry footprint

New Delhi, Dec 18: Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), one of the world’s leading free trade zones, is offering a potential USD 10 billion opportunity for Indian industry to expand their global footprint by leveraging the business platforms and infrastructure offered by the United Arab Emirates as India and UAE firm up their economic cooperation ahead of the expected signing of the free trade agreement.

Setting the goal of making India the top trading partner of the UAE, Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Textiles Piyush Goyal told leaders of Indian industry and export promotion councils in Mumbai on Saturday to use the advantage that UAE offers as a gateway to the Gulf Cooperation Council and Africa as well the commitment of USD 100 billion by UAE for investment and infrastructure creation in India to expand their international presence.

The Minister also welcomed solutions such as provision of low-cost finance for Indian businesses offered by Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of DP World which is a leading smart logistics provider owned fully by the Government of UAE.

The firm is setting up India Mart Traders Market, a dedicated market for Indian businesses which would enable traders and manufacturers to trade with the UAE local market and regional market. “The time is right for India to seize the opportunity in the world market,” said the DP World Chairman, addressing the exporters and industry on the potential offered by the India Mart Traders Market and Jebel Ali Free Zone which has hundreds of warehouses suitable for any trader who would like to see and feel the market. There is a huge shortage everywhere, which India can fill with the UAE keen to support made in India products for exports to the world.

Goyal expects favourable outcomes from the India-UAE FTA, now in an advanced stage of negotiation and finalisation. “The UAE-India FTA will be India’s fastest negotiated FTA and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two nations, giving maximum opportunity to India,” said Goyal in his interaction with exporters on creating a roadmap for expanding shipments to UAE and using its base to expand to GCC and other markets in Africa and elsewhere.

Export promotion bodies have welcomed the decision to open the India Mart Traders Market as timely and important. According to Naresh Bhasin, Regional Chairman, Council of Leather Exports, capital cost is cheaper in the UAE and setting up the traders market in Dubai will be very attractive for the leather industry. As MSMEs and start-ups drive up business, there is need to provide them access to India Mart, pointed out Amit Sarda, Member, Retailers Association of India (RAI) who also felt the Mart should have a packaging facility.

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