H.E Mr. Anurag Bhushan, the Consul General of India, Dubai inaugurates the 4th IITF International Trade Conclave
The fourth International trade conclave hosted by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) was inaugurated and graced by the august presence of His Excellency Mr. Anurag Bhushan, the Consul General of India, Dubai, Mr. Ajay Mathur, CEO, ETA commodities &Head-Dubai Chapter, IIFT and Dr. Jaydeep Mukherjee, Faculty IIFT, New Delhi. The trade conclave witnessed the dignitaries deliberating over the topic –‘India-Gulf Strategic Partnership in Trade and Investment: Challenges and future Roadmap’. This conclave is sixth in a series of trade conclaves that are being organized by IIFT in an attempt to foster International Trade relations. The conclaves earlier held in Singapore earlier are being organized in Dubai for the past 4 years due to the emerging opportunities in the Gulf Area.
Dr. Jaydeep Mukherjee started the session by enlightening the audience on the current global scenario and the India Gulf trade relations. He went on to highlight the momentum that the Indian Prime Minister’s visit imparted to the bilateral relations and the roadmap ahead. Trade, he said, may be used as an engine to turn around the downward trend in economic growth through implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and bringing down the trade restrictive measures.
Mr. Anurag Bhushan spoke of how Dubai is a perfect example of ‘a miracle created out of a desert’. India, he said has immense opportunities and it needs to develop the proper knowledge reservoir, skill set and infrastructure to march ahead. He drew attention to the fact that behind the tall buildings and mesmerizing infrastructure of Dubai lies the efficient project management capabilities, strong institutions and modern IT practices. Mr. Bhusan spoke of how the trade between the two countries has been in the ‘auto-pilot’ mode and stressed on the need for more strategic engagements to bolster the ties.
Mr. Ajay Mathur focussed on the historical relations between UAE and India and noted that this relationship is stepping in the right direction with the external affairs minister of India terming the GCC region as the ‘extended neighbourhood of India’
The panel discussion that followed the inaugural session was attended by more than a hundred delegates from wide ranging fields like trading, shipping, banking and consulting. The panel comprised of the following esteemed speakers:
Mr. Hashim Al-Ghurair, Al Ghurair Resources
Mr. Sushant Upadhyay, Partner, Aon Hewitt Middle East Limited
Mr. Prabhat Sangwan, VP (North Africa), Olam International
Mr. Sudhir Bhasin, Director, Rockfort Trading
Mr. Thomas Pagonis, Shipping Manager, Al Ghurair Resources
Mr. B. P. Padhi, Chief Consultant, Fast Track Consulting
Mr. Dilip Hiremath, Director, GTS FZ
The Trade Conclave comes at an opportune time as both the countries have a lot to benefit from the partnership by bringing down trade barriers and encouraging free trade agreements. The royal family, the local community and the Indians residing in UAE form the pillars of a successful partnership between the two countries. The deliberations revolved around how trade can extend beyond oil, how ‘talent export’ from India can benefit UAE in this regard,collaboration in cyber space and cyber security and how exploring investment opportunities in emerging fields like space exploration, renewable energy and infrastructure development in India can help both the countries.