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India-UAE Food Dialogue stresses food security cooperation

October 20, 2020
finance & economy

NEW DELHI, 19th October, 2020 (WAM) -- The UAE’s growing partnership with India in food security and Dubai’s infrastructure facilities as a global entrepot for food and agricultural products was highlighted today at a bilateral dialogue attended by representatives of both governments and the private sector.

The three-hour 'India-UAE Food Dialogue' was part of an India International Food and Agri Week 2020 being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, CII, the leading representative organisation of India’s industry.

Omar Khan, Director of International Offices at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the UAE’s geographical proximity to India was a factor towards achieving the 'unrealised potential' of their bilateral trade. The Dubai Chamber partnered with CII in organising today’s dialogue.

Khan quoted Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem as saying that 'India is poised to take advantage of the supply chain shifts triggered by COVID-19' and will drive global trade post-COVID-19. The Group Chairman and CEO of DP World had written this in article he penned in Khaleej Times on 18th October.

Khan said the Dubai Chamber last month conducted the first-ever Dubai Tech Tour, a virtual trade mission partaken by Indian companies. The objective of this virtual trade mission was to familiarise participants with Dubai’s economy, business environment and competitive advantages.

Ahmad Al Falahi, Commercial Attache at the UAE Embassy here, comprehensively reviewed the state of business relations between the UAE and India for the participants in the Dialogue. He said the two countries look at each other as reliable partners in food security. Trade and investment were the cornerstones of their bilateral strategic partnership, he added.

On behalf of the Indian government, Rajeev Arora, Second Secretary at the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi, said there has been an increase of 43 per cent in food products trade between the UAE and India from April to September this year despite COVID-19 disruptions compared to the same period last year. This is expected to go up when an India-UAE food corridor becomes fully operational.

Sameer Nawani, Chief Representative of the Dubai Chamber’s International Office in Mumbai, said food and agriculture were especially important sectors in the trade relationship between the two sides.

Abdulla bin Dhamithan, Chief Commercial Officer of DP World, UAE Region, described India as the number one exporter to the UAE’s food basket. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the UAE facilitated exports of mangoes, fresh farm produce and rice from India.

He told the Indian audience that Dubai is home to the world’s largest port-based sugar refinery, exporting to 50 countries.

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