Indian business group to promote economic ties.

Following a recent meeting with the UAE Ambassador to India, Dr. Ahmed Al Banna, the PHD Punjab and Haryana Chamber of Commerce has decided to create a "ginger group" of influential Indians from all walks of life to act as catalysts in deepening economic relations between India and the UAE.

K. V. Rajan, Convener of the newly formed Ambassadors' Club at the Chamber, told WAM that the idea was born out of his meeting with the Ambassador, in response to a recognition of the fact that bilateral agreements between India and other countries often take time to bear fruit. The new 'ginger group' now hopes to be able to work on promotion of India-UAE economic ties. Rajan also recently visited the UAE.

Dr. Al Banna briefed Rajan about the four major sectors of foreign direct investment from India to UAE, namely transportation and vehicles, food processing, information technology and energy, according to an Embassy statement. He also discussed the importance of attracting inward investment from India to the UAE.

The Embassy statement said that the Ambassador had promised the "fullest possible cooperation" and that he looked forward to a full meeting to discuss "concrete possibilities of collaboration to ensure speedy, positive outcomes on various opportunities for expanding and diversifying cooperation between two countries."

Praising the initiative, India's senior-most career diplomat, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, said he shared Rajan's desire to "expand economic relations by tapping foreign and Indian diplomats, creating a forum for interactions and strategising, facilitating business visits and contributing to national growth and modernisation."

Jaishankar also referred to the Indian government's 'Think West' initiative which is "visible in the more substantive economic cooperation with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, among others. While the focus in the past has been predominantly on energy and diaspora welfare, there is now a much more effective exploitation of opportunities in investment and connectivity," he said.

The letters PHD in the Chamber's name stand for Punjab and Haryana, two of India's most dynamic and richest states, near Delhi, which denotes the third initial in the name. The Chamber, founded 113 years ago, has offices in Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur, Bhopal, Shimla, Jammu, Srinagar, Patna and Ranchi.


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