The UAE’s growing partnership with India in food security and Dubai’s infrastructure facilities as a global entrepot for food and agricultural products was highlighted at a bilateral dialogue attended by representatives of both governments and the private sector.
The three-hour 'India-UAE Food Dialogue' was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, CII, the leading representative organisation of India's industry, as part of India’s International Food and Agri Week 2020.
Omar Khan, Director of International Offices at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the UAE’s geographical proximity to India was a factor towards achieving the "unrealised potential" of their bilateral trade.
Khan quoted Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem as saying that "India is poised to take advantage of the supply chain shifts triggered by COVID-19" and will drive global trade post-COVID-19. The Group Chairman and CEO of DP World had written this in article he penned in Khaleej Times.
Khan said the Dubai Chamber last month conducted the first-ever Dubai Tech Tour, a virtual trade mission partaken by Indian companies. The objective of this virtual trade mission was to familiarise participants with Dubai’s economy, business environment and competitive advantages.
For the participants in the dialogue, Ahmad Al Falahi, Commercial Attache at the UAE Embassy here, comprehensively discussed the state of business ties between the UAE and India. He said the two countries see each other as credible food security partners. Trade and investment were the cornerstones of their bilateral strategic partnership, he added.
On behalf of the Indian government, Rajeev Arora, Second Secretary at the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi, said there has been an increase of 43 per cent in food products trade between the UAE and India from April to September this year despite COVID-19 disruptions compared to the same period last year. This is expected to increase when the food corridor between India and the UAE becomes fully operational.
Sameer Nawani, Chief Representative of the International Office of the Dubai Chamber in Mumbai, said that in the trade ties between the two sides, food and agriculture were particularly important sectors.
India was identified by Abdulla bin Dhamithan, Chief Commercial Officer of DP World, UAE Zone, as the number one exporter in the UAE food basket. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the UAE facilitated exports of mangoes, fresh farm produce and rice from India.
He told the Indian audience that Dubai is home to the largest port-based sugar refinery in the world and exports to 50 nations.