The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) has embarked on a landmark trade mission to India, marking a significant step in strengthening economic ties between the two nations. The trade mission’s first leg commenced with the highly successful UAE-India Business Forum held in Mumbai, India’s bustling commercial capital.
The UAE-India Business Forum, organised by the SCCI, brought together key business leaders, government officials, and industry experts from both Sharjah and Mumbai. The event aimed to showcase the investment advantages of Sharjah and Mumbai while highlighting the vast array of promising opportunities available across various economic sectors.
Sharjah and Mumbai, recognised as leading industrial and commercial centers in their respective regions, were praised for their significant contributions to the economic growth of the UAE and India. The forum emphasized the vital role they play in fostering the growing relations between the two nations at various levels.
Led by Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), the mission, organised by the Sharjah Export Development Centre, aimed to build on the successes being achieved by the UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which came into force in May 2022. The agreement represents a new era of economic cooperation,based on mutual interests between the two friendly nations.
Several dignitaries attended the forum, including Al Owais himself, Waleed Abdul Rahman Bukhatir, second vice chairman of the board of directors, SCCI, Ahmed Mohamed Obaid Al Naboodah, board member, SCCI, Abdullah Husein Salman Mohamed Al Marzouqi, Consul General of the UAE in Mumbai, and Pravin Rane, director at Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Also present were Abdulaziz Mohammed Shattaf, assistant director-general of the communication and business sector at the Sharjah Chamber; Jamal Saeed Buzangal, director of the media department at the Sharjah Chamber; and Ali Abdullah Al Jari, director of the Sharjah Export Development Centre. Several leading manufacturers and traders from Sharjah and Mumbai also attended.
The forum discussed coordinating efforts with chambers of commerce, industry, and investment authorities in Mumbai to attract more Indian businessmen to invest in Sharjah and open new markets for SCCI members to enable them to expand their businesses, increase foreign investments, and boost the export of national products.
The forum featured bilateral meetings between SCCI businessmen and their counterparts in Mumbai. The discussions revolved around investment opportunities and advantages available in both countries to foster partnerships that serve the private sector, increase trade exchange, and establish projects in various sectors.
Al Owais underscored that the UAE and India maintain deeply entrenched and historical bilateral relations that reflect positively on the close cultural, humanitarian, and civilisational bonds, along with the burgeoning economic interests that are continuously developing between the two business communities. “This enduring relationship, nurtured and fostered by the benevolent patronage of the leadership from both nations, remains an unshakable testament to the friendship shared by these two countries, and it promises to continue to strengthen in the years to come.” Al Owais said.
“The Emirate of Sharjah has adopted flexible trade policies that leverage its qualitative capabilities and exceptional privileges. Sharjah’s strategic geographical location, overlooking the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, coupled with our policy of international openness, has enabled us to strengthen our ties with all countries of the world. These key factors have significantly contributed to building strong foreign partnerships and enhancing our trade exchanges with continents worldwide. Our economic relationships span from the shores of Africa to the Indian subcontinent, marking a connection that is both special and deeply rooted in our history, as old and interconnected as the Arabian Gulf itself,” Al Owais added.
He went on to say: “Sharjah has steadfastly enhanced its relations with India over the years, experiencing significant progress in trade exchanges, exports, re-exports, and imports. The volume of trade exchange between Sharjah and India in 2021 surpassed Dh2 billion.”
He highlighted the significant positive impact of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the UAE and India on trade and investment flows between the two nations. The partnership has witnessed a considerable increase of 24.7 per cent in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous quarter; meanwhile, the UAE’s non-oil exports to India have increased by 33 per cent.
“Our mission today aims to boost this partnership’s objectives,” Al Owais continued. “We aim to identify and explore areas of quality investments that enhance this burgeoning scene. We are committed to working collaboratively to propel it forward, leveraging all our capabilities to support the directions of our governments and implement the visions of our leadership. Our goal is to sketch a new roadmap for a promising future, deepening the friendship and partnership between the UAE and India,” Al Owais further added.
Lauding the SCCI trade mission to India, Pravin Rane emphasised his country’s commitment to strengthening cooperation with Sharjah and promoting trade activity and mutual investment, given the considerable interest from Indian businessmen in using the UAE and particularly Sharjah as a launchpad for their business growth and expansion.
Rane further outlined the attractive investment landscape in Mumbai, highlighting its appeal across diverse sectors such as trade, agriculture, and the food industry. He stressed the need for collaborative efforts with the Sharjah Chamber to uncover a plethora of opportunities for business expansion, thereby offering the finest choices for investors seeking to establish a presence in both India and Sharjah.
During the SCCI visit to India, scheduled to last until June 2, the delegation will proceed to New Delhi for its second stop. There, it will oversee the formation of a business forum, aiming to unite mission members with officials and prominent figures from the local chambers of commerce and industry. Additionally, various events and meetings will be organized between the UAE and Indian business communities to uncover potential investment opportunities and foster joint economic partnerships.