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UAE businesses pledge USD 3.68 billion at Times Now’s UP Investment Summit

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MUMBAI: Times Now’s UP Investment Summit held recently in Dubai drew overwhelming response from UAE businesses. 

The move comes close as UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav government launched an ambitious programme to boost all-round development of the state by attracting NRI investments across the globe, especially from the Middle East. Five leading Indian-owned businesses have committed more than Rs25,090 crore (USD 3.68 billion) towards infrastructure and industrial development initiatives launched by Uttar Pradesh. 

UAE-based companies have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the high-level delegation of UP state officials visiting the UAE on Thursday, pledging to invest in the state’s upcoming manufacturing, utilities and healthcare initiatives. The names of the investors will be announced by the UP government in the coming weeks.

The high-powered delegation of UP officials was led by Alok Ranjan, Chief Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh government, Manoj Singh, Managing Director of the Uttar Pradesh State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd, Kanchan Verma, IAS Special Secretary (Infrastructure and Industries). The forum was supported by Indian Business and Professionals Council (IBPC) and attended by high-profile business leaders from the UAE.

The forum focused on promoting trade, investment and economic cooperation between UP and the Middle East with the state offering investment opportunities in major sectors, including manufacturing (especially food processing), infrastructure, energy, power and healthcare.

Speaking on this occasion, Uttar Pradesh government chief secretary Alok Ranjan said, “The state offers enormous possibilities of enterprise and success to Middle East entrepreneurs. It is the biggest emerging market in India and the government is determined to continuously improve industry-conducive climate. By simplifying procedures and sprucing up the investment mechanisms across the states, the government is ensuring that investors are provided the best services and facilities from the project beginning to its implementation”.

TIMES NOW head of International business Naveen Chandra said “The diaspora is highly potent, India today receives more foreign exchange from remittances than from FDI. The central government’s 'Make in India' initiative has to effectively drill down to 'Make in Indian States' in reality for any impact and for achieving the broader objective, given our federal structure. It is TIMES NOW's constant endeavour to connect the opportunity in Indian states to the diaspora and to create high impact engagement platforms in various markets around the world. We are happy to partner and connect UP with potential investors in this forum."

Over the past few months, Uttar Pradesh has taken a slew of measures in improving overall infrastructure & logistical facilities, including launching mega road projects, such as the 1047-km long, 8-lane Ganga Expressway along the course of the river Ganga, joining far east with national capital, Yamuna Expressway, likely to be completed soon to provide fast access to Agra and other major industrial cities such as Ghaziabad, Meerut, Hathras and a network of expressways are in the offing. 

Numerous developmental projects in power, metro-rails, transport, education, health and urban rejuvenation are at different stages of implementation and there are many more in pipeline, reconfirming the state’s commitment to commercial opportunities for stability and growth.

Uttar Pradesh is being recognized across the globe as an important investment destination, thanks to concerted efforts between the Yadav government and private sector players. Earlier this year, the Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group announced that it would be investing Rs1000 crore (AED550 million) to set up a shopping mall, convention centre and five-star hotel in the state. Lulu’s initiative is expected to create more than 3,000 jobs once the project is completed.

IBPC president Kulwant Singh said, “Smart partnerships are all about finding the right timing and momentum. Today is India’s time and our chance to invest. I believe that along with the opportunities in the region, there is also a perfect opportunity to invest back home in India, the first stop in the UAE’s ‘Look East’ policy. The UAE is keen to innovate and build a knowledge economy. Indian expertise could transform the next phase of development here, while India could gain from UAE investments for its Make in India campaign.”

The session was moderated by Sunanda Jayaseelan, Senior Producer Features from a leading business news channel, and the show will be broadcast in over 80 countries, including the Middle East. 

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