Commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath has called upon the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Gulf countries to invest in India's infrastructure sector. India, he said, also wants the UAE to invest in the $92 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).
India is seeking investments from the UAE to modernise its infrastructure which would give good returns, as also to expand trade ties, the visiting minister told a press conference in Dubai.
He said, India was looking for investment in the form of joint ventures, foreign direct investments and through FIIs.
Several funding models were under scrutiny for the development of the DMIC, he said, adding that massive commercial investments were required for the construction of roads, power generation and other utilities in India.
Kamal Nath said the basic framework to promote investments between India and the UAE was already in place. The India-UAE Investment Council, set up during the visit to India by UAE's vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is expected to convene within the next six months.
While the UAE ministry of economy sought stronger India-UAE bilateral ties, Kamal Nath pointed out that the signing of the India-Gulf Cooperation Council Free Trade Area agreement had been delayed because of administrative reasons.
''The same set of people are involved in FTA talks with several countries, including the European Union (EU) and Korea,'' Kamal Nath said, adding, progress on the finalisation of FTA with the GCC was expected within six months.
The GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait and Oman.
On India's rice exports to the UAE, the minister said the decision on restricting exports to the Gulf would be reviewed in the light of the quantum yielded by the upcoming rice crop in Andhra Pradesh.
He also expressed the confidence that inflation will be brought under control shortly, keeping in view the record crop this year.
Kamal Nath also called on UAE to partner India in a joint effort to transform Africa. Addressing a gathering of business leaders at an event last evening in Dubai he said, Indian expertise and trained manpower and UAE's capital together will be able to transform Africa as both nation understand the continent better than others.
He said managing the growth is a great challenge as much as achieving the growth for India as country moves on engaging global economy.
Trade between India and the UAE had reached $20 billion in 2006-07, the minister pointed out.