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Thursday, October 28, 2021

India one of the most open nations; offers growth: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this “historic expo” is the first one to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, where India is participating with one of the largest pavilions.

Written by Sunny Verma | Dubai |
October 2, 2021 3:01:34 am
The India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on Friday. (Photo: Sunny Verma)

Speaking at the inauguration of the India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai via a video link, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the Indian economy offers tremendous opportunities to global investors wherein growth is powered by a combination of legacy industries and start-ups. He said this “historic expo” is the first one to be held in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, where India is participating with one of the largest pavilions.

“The theme of India’s pavilion is: openness, opportunity and growth. Today’s India is one of the most open countries in the world. Open to learning, open to perspectives, open to innovation, open to investment. That is why I invite you to come and invest in our nation … India also offers you maximum growth. Growth in scale, growth in ambition, growth in results,” he said.

Around 190 countries are participating in the Expo 2020, which will go on for six months till March-end 2022 and is expected to attract almost 2.5 crore visitors. Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal on Friday inaugurated the India Pavilion, which showcased the country’s successes in the fields of space technology, robotics, electric mobility, edu-tech, e-commerce, fin-tech, energy, cybersecurity and healthcare. It features an innovative kinetic façade made up of 600 individual colourful blocks. It is developed as a mosaic of rotating panels that depict different themes as they rotate on their axis. Goyal said India has got a very strategic location and one of the largest plots to construct a permanent four-floor pavilion at the Expo. The pavilion has been constructed by state-owned NBCC and managed jointly by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

“The UAE and India have very shared interests and we are not in competition, we complement each other, in that sense, the UAE investors and their leaders are very positive about doing business and expanding trade with India,” Goyal said. “I see a huge potential in this (FTA) between the two countries. The UAE is a gateway to all of Africa and many other parts of the world. UAE also has a huge Indian diaspora, has a huge market for products like textiles, gems and jewellery, leather, footwear, and food products, which are labour oriented and provide economic opportunities,” Goyal told reporters in a separate interaction.

Apart from leaders of industry chambers FICCI, CII and FIEO, industry executives from companies including Hindustan Unilever, Vedanta Resources, Sun Group, Tata Steel, UPL, ITC and ArcelorMittal participated.

The United Arab Emirates’ global fair, tiled EXPO 2020 Dubai, opened on Friday after nearly eight years of planning and investments. The Expo 2020 showcases various country pavilions, achievements of start-ups, art, history and scientific achievements across the world. For entry to the the expo site, visitors will have to show a negative RT-PCR report or certificate of Covid-19 vaccination.

Speaking at the event, FICCI president Uday Shankar said: “The way the Indian economy has bounced back and made a turnaround, that it’s expected to grow in double digits this year.” Timely reforms have helped this, representation of which can be seen at the India Pavilion today, he added.

Coinciding with India’s celebrations of 75 years of independence, India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai displays the country’s cultural diversity, ancient treasures, business achievements, and leading opportunities with cutting-edge technologies. While India-UAE trade has been impacted by the pandemic, it was valued close to $60 billion in 2019-20, with the UAE being India’s third-largest trading partner and second-largest export destination after the US.

The writer is in Dubai at the invitation of FICCI

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