Sharma to Underline Strength of India-UAE Trading Relationship at Annual Investment Meeting 2012 Opening Session

March 26th, 2012.

AIM 2012 PRESS RELEASE – Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, a leading speaker at the AIM Conference taking place in Dubai on May 1, will stress the growing trade and economic ties between his country and the UAE that saw the GCC’s bellwether economy become India’s top trading partner in 2009.

The minister will appear as a panelist in the first session of the AIM Conference to tackle the issue of FDI as a strategic economic cooperation enabler between developed and emerging economies.

As trade minister, Mr. Sharma has masterminded a shift in India’s business ties to Asia and the Far East, protecting his country from the fall-out from the recessions in Europe and the United States, and improving links with China and ASEAN nations.

Mr. Sharma has had a marked impact on India’s international trade since taking office in 2009, re-energising stalled Doha round talks by convening a Ministerial meeting in Delhi and brokering India-ASEAN ties, the India-Korea Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, and the India-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in his near three years in office.

Assuming additional control of the Textiles Ministry in 2011, Mr. Sharma, 59, has in recent weeks been grappling with the restructuring of Indian exports, through controls on cotton exports, due to the shortage of raw product for the domestic industry.

Trade has become central to India’s prosperity since economic liberalisation in the 1990s and GDP growth of 8% is expected to persist for in next decade. Trade with external partners, led by software and tourism, has jumped to 53% of GDP today compared to 37% in the 2004-05 financial year.

Dubai-based non-resident Indians have helped plough the benefits of bilateral trading back into the property market at home, which has seen an increase of 20-25% in transaction values in the past 12 months. Indians are thought to be the largest component in Dubai’s massive expatriate community.

Mr. Sharma was Chief Spokesman of the Indian National Congress for six years and was promoted to the Union Council of Ministers with responsibility for Foreign Affairs in 2006 and became Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in 2008.

He was conferred “The Order of the Companion of Volta”, a leading Ghanaian civilian award, by President J.A. Koufour in 2008 in recognition of his commitment to South-South Cooperation.

His involvement in Indian student politics helped him rise to the position of President of the Indian Youth Congress in 1985, which soon led to a close relationship with late Indian Prime Minister Mr Rajiv Gandhi, while he was one of India’s youngest ever politicians, after being first elected to Parliament in 1984 at the age of 31.


About the Annual Investment Meeting

Launched in 2011, the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Foreign Trade Annual Investment Meeting aims to promote bilateral trade relations between the UAE and emerging markets, and forge agreements for project and trade development and finance among groups such as the BRICS, ASEAN countries and sub-Saharan Africa. The 2nd Annual Conference and Exhibition takes place on May 1-3.

Journalists wishing to meet Mr. Sharma in Dubai should contact  by April 3rd to arrange an interview.