3rd Arab-India Partnership Conference issues Abu Dhabi Declaration 1st add
WAM Full text of the Abu Dhabi Declaration : As part of the Memorandum of Cooperation signed in New Delhi on the 2nd of December 2008 between the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Republic of India for purposes of establishing the Arab-Indian Cooperation Forum; Out of the willingness of the two sides to give impetus to and streamline economic, trade and investment relations to higher levels and more capacious horizons; And within the framework of the thought and directives of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan as regards supporting and encouraging dialogue between Arab countries and the international community, and at this instance India and the United Arab Emirates hosted the investment-related 3rd Arab-India Partnership Conference, which was held in Abu Dhabi on the 22nd-23rd of May 2012 under the title "Development through Trade and Investment". The event was attended by ministers and senior officials from Arab States and India, along with 700 participants, including businessmen and experts from both sides.
The Conference was held under the kind patronage of HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the UAE; and the inaugural session was chaired - on behalf of the conference's patron - by Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi, the UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, in the presence of E. Ahmed, Minister of State for External Affairs and Human Resources Development, India; the UAE Minister of Economy, the Deputy Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, together with the Ministers of Economy and Trade from the following Arab countries: Djibouti, Sudan, Lebanon, Egypt and Mauritania, in addition to a deputy minister from Yemen, Qatari Undersecretary of Trade besides a number of high-ranking officials, businessmen and experts in Arab States and India, and Ambassadors accredited to the UAE.
The event was jointly organized by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce '&' Industry, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, the League of Arab States, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Federation of Arab Businessmen (FAB).
The two sides reviewed the positive results made by the first and second rounds of the Arab-India Partnership Conference held in New Delhi in 2008 and 2010 and joined by businessmen from both sides in addition to experts and top officials. Furthermore, emphasis has been placed on the importance of building upon what had been achieved at these two conferences with a view to giving a fillip to the Arab-India cooperation and further widening its ambit.
A ministerial session was also held and chaired by Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, the UAE Minister of Economy, and attended by Their Excellencies the Ministers participating in the Conference. In the course of the session, Arab-India relations were reviewed and ways of boosting cooperation between Arab countries and India in various fields were explored. Stress was laid as well upon the importance of making use of the Indian experience in the realms of economic development, infrastructure, and information technology (IT), capacity building and skills development, agriculture and food security, food industries, oil, new and renewable energy, industry, mining, tourism, healthcare, environment, education and scientific research. The role of private sector was stressed in terms of giving leverage to trade relations and bilateral investments so as to expand the volume of the two-way trade between Arab countries and India, which stands at approximately US$144bns in 2011. Mention was also made of the level reached by UAE-India cooperation as the UAE comes at the fore among India's Arab partners. By the same token, trade relations between the two countries are witnessing accelerated and fast-paced growth, reaching 300% over the last five years. Both sides agreed to the necessity of setting up Arab-Indian financing institutions in order to facilitate banking transactions and to encourage investments between both parties.
The Ministerial Session also discussed the political-cultural and civilization-specific dimension of Arab-Indian ties, accentuating the importance of coordinating and unifying the stance of both sides at international gatherings. Appreciation was also voiced for India's unshakable stance supportive of both the just cause of the Palestinian people and other Arab issues.
Throughout the business sessions held at the conference, the two sides affirmed the importance of advancing the Arab-India economic relations and of enhancing cooperation between Arab States and India within the context of the Arab-Indian Cooperation Forum. Both sides conducted an in-depth discussion on investment opportunities in Arab countries and India in all spheres, including those of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), infrastructure (roads, railways, ports, bridges, etc.), trade, manufacturing, mining, tourism and transport, science and technology, telecommunications and information technology, agriculture and food security, and the growing success stories from both sides.
Arab and Indian businessmen and investors held B2B sessions and discussions which covered investment ventures in prioritized economic sectors of interest to Arab and Indian companies, in addition to concluding contracts for cooperation and partnership for the sake of both increasing the volume of trade and enhancing investment links in various sectors between the two sides.
Being viewed as a key mechanism of the Arab-Indian Cooperation Forum, participants stressed the importance of regularity and continuity of the investment-related Arab-India Partnership Conference on a periodic basis and on rotation between Arab countries and India. Emphasis was placed as well on the necessity of upgrading the forum and widening its modalities. The two sides expressed the importance of promising and encouraging new vistas of co-operation for the Arab-Indian relations and developing a roadmap for streamlining such relations bilaterally and multilaterally.
Delegates extended their utmost thanks and deepest appreciation to the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and to the UAE people for the generous hospitality.
They also expressed their thanks to HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and patron of the conference, as well as to the Abu Dhabi Chamber for the commendable efforts in collaboration with the League of Arab States, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Federation of Arab Businessmen (FAB) to make this edition a success.
Participants welcomed the announcement of the 4th round of the investment-related 2014 Arab-India Partnership Conference in India.