Says UT No Longer Sleeping Business Destination

Dubai- Jammu and Kashmir has moved from a “sleeping business destination” to a “land of opportunities” and received USD 2.5 billion in investments last year, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha told business leaders here, assuring them that his government will provide an investment-friendly environment to the global investors.

Jammu & Kashmir has inked six agreements with global investors at Dubai Expo 2020 to bring in investments in the Union Territory’s real estate, infrastructure, tourism, healthcare, and manpower employment sectors among others.

Sinha addressed the Investors Summit in Dubai on Thursday, which was attended by renowned business leaders and investors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Jammu & Kashmir has moved from a sleeping business destination to the land of opportunities and investment. The Union Territory received investments to the tune of USD 2.5 billion in 2021 and showcased the enormous opportunities and business potential in the region, he said.

Jammu and Kashmir has signed 5 MoUs with Al Maya Group, MATU Investments LLC, GL Employment Brokerage LLC, Century Financial and Noon E-commerce respectively; 1 LoI between Magna Waves Pvt. Ltd along with Emaar Group and Lulu International.

Talking about the upcoming opportunities with these investors, Sinha said the Jammu and Kashmir government is working relentlessly to provide an investment-friendly environment to the global investors.

From the business point of view, J&K has the capability to provide an opportunity to the industries to compete, correct and collaborate with readily available abundant resources. Archaic laws have been removed and more than 890 Central laws, which are the key drivers of socio-economic growth, have been made applicable in the last two years, he said.

Elaborating on the potential of collaboration between India and the UAE, UAE’s ambassador to India Ahmed Abdul Rahman AlBanna said India is the second-largest trading partner of the UAE and the Gulf nation is the third-largest trading partner of India after the US and China.

Our total Foreign Trade figures reached about USD 60 billion in 2019-2020. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the United Arab Emirates and India will be crucial in deepening the ties between India and UAE. We are hoping that CEPA will increase our bilateral trade from USD 60 billion to USD 100 billion in the coming 5 to 8 years, the ambassador said.

Ever since the Government of India announced the historic administrative changes in 2019, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has become the latest success story among Indian states as a model of economic and social development, said Sunjay Sudhir, India’s ambassador to the UAE said while addressing the Investors Summit on Thursday.

India and UAE are among each other’s largest trading partners. And soon, CEPA will be signed, which certainly has the potential to catapult our economic engagement to a very different trajectory altogether, he said.

Sinha also visited the India Pavilion during the ongoing Jammu & Kashmir Week (Jan 3-13) and toured the J&K Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai earlier in the day.

India’s participation at the Expo is a testament to the fact that the country values the UAE as an esteemed partner. Various States and Sectors in India have understood the importance of the Expo, and the global exposure provided by the event. Jammu & Kashmir is privileged to participate at this global event and strengthen its footprint in the UAE, he said.

The J&K Pavilion was inaugurated on January 3.

In addition to the Investor Summit and J&K Week at India Pavilion, Sinha also inaugurated a two-day Buyer-Seller Meet on Friday hosted by the Consulate General of India, Dubai in collaboration with Invest India.

The meet is being organised between sellers from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and buyers from the UAE under the ‘One District One Product’ initiative. The key focus sectors for the meeting are agri products & processed food and handicraft and textile.

Earlier, Sinha invited global businesses to invest in key sectors, including tourism, handloom and handicrafts, to boost the growth of industrial enterprises, cottage and village industries in the Union Territory.

As part of the Jammu and Kashmir Week, Sinha, along with other government officials from the Union Territory (UT), held various meetings and invited global investors to invest across key sectors like tourism, handloom & handicrafts, food processing among others, according to a press statement.

Sinha, who is on a three-day official visit to the UAE, also met the Chairman of Dubai ports giant DP World Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem here on Thursday to discuss the opportunities and potential areas of collaboration between the Jammu and Kashmir government and the company.

A Dubai-based company, DP World specialises in cargo logistics, port terminal operations, maritime services, and free trade zones.

Sinha also inaugurated Jammu and Kashmir promotion week at the local Lulu Hypermarket, where the world-famous GI-tagged saffron has been launched in a major step towards boosting trade ties between Jammu and Kashmir and Dubai.

Inaugurated J&K Promotion week at Lulu Hypermarket. The world-famous GI-tagged saffron has been launched at Lulu Hypermarket, which is a major step towards boosting Jammu Kashmir and Dubai trade ties, Sinha said in a tweet.

He termed it as a “historic agreement” and said the trade between Jammu & Kashmir and Dubai has remained steady and it reflects the resilience of the deep economic linkages.

“Relations between India and the UAE are long-standing and deep-rooted. People-to-people contact and trade have seen momentum in the recent years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.

The government also signed an MoU with the UAE-based retail major Lulu Group that will invest Rs 200 crore in Jammu and Kashmir to set up a food processing and logistic hub in Srinagar.

The agreement is aimed at further expanding Jammu-Kashmir-Dubai collaboration and Jammu and Kashmir-Lulu Group partnership.

Delivering a special speech on the Development after the Union Territory’, Sinha also spoke about the initiatives taken by the Jammu and Kashmir government in ensuring growth across different sectors.

Given the prominence of Jammu and Kashmir as a tourist destination, it will also participate in a joint session with the tourism ministry on January 12.

The vision of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir is to promote balanced growth of industry and commerce through sustainable utilisation of natural resources and development of human skills, the statement said.

With this vision, the Jammu and Kashmir government is working towards creating an enabling and entrepreneurial-friendly environment that will facilitate the sustainable growth and development of industrial enterprises, including cottage and village industries.

The UT aims to encourage new investment in industries and facilitate new entrepreneurs. With the focus on growth in these areas, the UT is also working towards encouraging and creating conditions that will enable the promotion of human resource skills, creation of new employment opportunities and development of new designs in the handloom and handicrafts sector, it said. (PTI)


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