Sharjah, India work to strengthen bilateral trade ties

Sharjah and India are working to strengthen bilateral trade ties and stimulate mutual investment opportunities, besides building partnerships in key growth sectors.

India has presented a series of proposals aimed at further boosting the already firm business and cultural relations between Sharjah and India, a statement released here said.

Following a meeting of Sharjah's Emirati and Indian business community with the Indian Embassy officials in February this year, Consul General of India in Dubai Anurag Bhushan and Deputy Consul General P K Ashok Babu met with Saif Mohammed Al-Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah on Sunday.

"Sharjah has much to offer to Indian businesses. The Emirate's strategic location, strong Indian business community and expat population, vast consumer base, availability of cheap feedstock, favourable tax laws, and low cost of operations make it a perfect base for Indian businesses to foray into the Middle East and Africa region," Midfa said.

India was keen to launch a trade show that will provide a reliable platform for manufacturers, traders, exporters and importers from India to promote their products and services to the Arab, South Asian and other nationalities working, living and doing business in the region, apart from exploring opportunities in the promising African markets, he said.

The proposal also sought to boost Indian participation in trade fairs organised by Expo Centre Sharjah, especially Halal Middle East Exhibition & Congress.

"With the UAE aiming to become the halal hub of the world, India has much to gain from taking part in Halal Middle East. Some of our shows already have good Indian participation and we too are keen to have a bigger Indian presence for our B2B and B2C shows," Midfa said.

The UAE and India are also working to finalise a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement, which aims to enhance investments between the two countries.

According to the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, 17,350 Indian companies are registered with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2012, trade between India and Sharjah stood at $5.76 billion (21.162 billion dirhams).

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