Paras Shahdadpuri, a veteran in the India - UAE business scenario has taken over as the President of Business Leaders Forum (BLF) - UAE w.e.f. March 1, in the presence of HE Shri Vipul Consul General of India & amidst top Indian and UAE Business Leaders who were present for the reception held in Dubai. The reins baton was handed over by Dr. Ram Buxani who led BLF for the year.
With practical wisdom and maturity gained through his diplomatic stint & his natural acumen for the business leaders’ community, Mr. Paras Shahdadpuri brings in wealth of expertise to hone the Forum in the forthcoming year of his Presidency. His term comes at a fitting time where BLF has made a significant contribution to the existing India UAE relationship since 2 years of inception.
“BLF was set up with at the initiative of India Trade & Exhibition Centre m.e. (ITEC) with the support of the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Indian Embassy & Consulate General of India in UAE with the core agenda to boost cross-border investment & engage the public and private sector for a shared vision and growth. "All the activities of BLF has been targeted to that effect, be it the official Investment summit namely the IUPS – India UAE Partnership Summit or the Investment delegations to various Indian States” said Sripriyaa Kumaria – Secretary General BLF.
Business Leaders Forum’s exploration of NRI investment in key Indian states was just a starting point as part of its build-up of its flagship event namely the India-UAE Partnership Summit, but this expedition led to the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) namely the Andhra Government to accelerate investment into various thrust sectors in Andhra Pradesh state in India. The MOU’s targeted projects worth upto Rs 100 billion in Andhra Pradesh are in partnership with the state government to spur growth & explore new investment opportunities in key economic sectors i.e. Tourism, Hotels and Resorts, Education, Food Processing, IT, Industry, Affordable Housing, Defense related production etc.
The signing of such MoU’s reflects our determination of the BLF to play a key role in bringing the private sector and the government entities of the two countries together and help implement the strategic cooperation between UAE and India. I am very happy to have initiated this investment pattern of engaging the NRI / Private Investors from UAE and the Indian state governments in partnering in the growth of the Indian states and setting a standard for executing commercially viable projects, which is a win - win situation for both the parties, said Dr. Buxani in his speech during his handing over ceremony.
The Consul General of India HE Vipul in his address said “BLF has been initiated to compliment & augment the engagement & Investments between private investors and the Governments of India and UAE & BLF has played a vital role in achieving this objective since inception” UAE-India relationship has entered a vibrant growth phase and the bilateral trade is skyward which is expected to exceed $100 billion by 2020 – he said. Various recent initiatives by both the governments like the bilateral currency swap agreement between India and UAE will reduce the dependency on hard currencies like US dollar and will further simplify the ease of doing business.
The Presidency of Mr. Shahdadpuri comes at a time where the relationship between India & UAE stands at its peak but also with the huge opportunity & untapped bilateral investment potential. “Organizations like BLF play an important role in strengthening the strategic relationship and partnership between the two countries and it is the Business community and people at large who stand to benefit in such growth” said Paras Shahdadpuri. In my term “I shall work to harness the collective strengths of the Business Leaders to translate the shared vision of both India and UAE Government into reality by mooting the active participation of the BLF members in various Investments projects in the Indian states”
He continued, “I will be happy to contribute my mite with the support of the BLF members in not only sustaining the high pitch of India-UAE comprehensive relationship but raise the bar to new heights which our two great nations proudly deserve.”
It should be noted that last year BLF signed an MOU & LOI for development of a real estate mega project between the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh through an SPV created for the purpose.
Mr. Shahdadpuri thanked the fruitful role played Dr. Buxani & said “ India – UAE relationship, besides its traditional, trade, political, economic relationship has now assumed a major shift to strategic relationship never seen in its earlier long historic relationship. This is really the Golden Era between our brotherly UAE and India.” There has been intense and close relationship not only on B to B level, but now on G to G level, with flurry of visits of the top leaders of the two countries and at Ministerial level.
At the initiation speech he sought the cooperation of the UAE authorities, UAE Businessmen, Indian authorities and most importantly the UAE and Indian Business Community in taking advantage of the growth story of India Inc. and participate in this unprecedented opportunity to the benefit of all stake holders.
As private sector representatives, we would like to share the growth story of both the great nations - India and the UAE by engaging the Indian & UAE Business Community and venturing into investment projects of various sizes. BLF works directly with the Indian Government bodies namely Invest India & the Indian States to facilitate & channel investments into Sector specific projects. said Mr. Sudesh Aggarwal – BLF Sector Chairman - Investments.