Make JK trade corridor to Central Asia, Drabu tells Biz leaders 

DUBAI: Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu Tuesday called for making Jammu and 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,” Dr Drabu said while speaking at the concluding session of the India-UAE Partnership Summit (IUPS) here this afternoon.

Dr Drabu 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,” Dr 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, Dr 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.

Dr 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 summit focused on key areas of strategic partnership, investments-implementation and travel and tourism sector.

The other key speakers at the Summit included Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, Alphons Kannanthanam, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Tourism, Govt of India, Abdullah al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of State for Infrastructure Development, Navdeep Singh Suri, Ambassador of India to UAE, Dr Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, Abdulla Al Saleh, Undersecretary UAE Ministry of Economy, Sami Ahmad Dhaen Al Qamzi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development, Dubai, Dr Azad Moopen, President Business Leaders Forum Dubai, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited, Sultan bin Saeed al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Aisha Abdulla Miran, Assistant Secretary General, Strategy Management & Governance Sector, Executive Council of Dubai, Jamal Saif Al Jarwan,  UAEIIC Secretary General, Shaji ul Mulk, Partner & Head, Economics,

Regulatory & Policy Advisory, KPMG India, Payal Koul Mirakhur, Vice President, Invest India, Satpal Ji Maharaj, Minister of Tourism, Govt of Uttrakhand, Kamal Puri, Chairman, Skyline University, Sunil Sinha, Resident Director- Middle East & North, Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Gerald Lawless, CEO Jumeirah Group, Dr Layla Al Marzouqi, Director of Health Regulation, Medical Tourism Project Dubai, Sandeep Jajodia, President ASSOCHAM and KT Rama Rao, Minister for IT, Govt of Telangana.

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