DUBAI (UAE): Finance minister Haseeb Drabu on Tuesday called for making Jammu & Kashmir a transit and trade corridor for arching out to Central Asia.
“Given its geographical location, Jammu and Kashmir could become a nucleus towards forging a new economic alliance in the region between the South and the Central Asia,” Drabu said while speaking at the concluding session of the India-UAE Partnership Summit (IUPS) here this afternoon.
He addressed the special session at the Summit on investment opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir titled “J&K: Investing in Peace, Prosperity and Development”.
He said India and Central Asia have shared a geo-cultural affinity and a long tradition of historical contacts that dates back to antiquity.
“There is convergence of views on varied issues and interests between the Central Asian Republics and India, including promoting economic, scientific and cultural cooperation in the region,” Drabu said adding that given its historic links with Central Asia, J&K can become a surface transport passage for reviving traditional economic linkages in the region.
Referring to foreign direct investment opportunities in J&K, Drabu said there is huge potential for investment in tourism, energy, education, healthcare, Information Technology and agriculture sectors including setting up of a Dry Port, Cold Chain, Education Zone for foreign universities and Special Economic Zones for handicrafts and Sports Goods including Cricket bats.
Drabu said it was heartening to note that one of the biggest business groups of UAE, Emaar Group and Dubai Ports have “expressed their willingness to explore the possibility” of investing in J&K.
The two-day India-UAE Partnership Summit (IUPS) was jointly organized by the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi, Consulate General of India, Dubai and UAE-based premium business body Business Leaders’ Forum (BLF) on 30/31 October.
Around 800 top businessmen, Ministers, officials, investors and academics from both India and UAE attended the summit with the objective of significantly enhancing investments from UAE to India, the statement said.
The summit focused on key areas of strategic partnership, investments-implementation and travel and tourism sector.