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India Hosted the 6th India-Arab Partnership Conference

The 6th India-Arab Partnership Conference on “New Horizons in Investment, Trade, & Services” was held on July 11–12, 2023, in New Delhi under the auspices of the Arab-Indian Cooperation Forum. Participants included ministers, prominent government officials, and businesspeople from India and Arab countries. The Conference is both parties’ premier effort to create a formal setting for active interaction with the business community.

The conference’s first five iterations served as a blueprint for building a roadmap and enhancing economic cooperation between India and the League of Arab States (LAS) nations. The Conference was opened by Shri V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs (MOS), who also gave the keynote presentation. Amb. Dr. Ali Ibrahim Al Malki, Assistant Secretary General and Head of the Economic Affairs Sector of the League of Arab States headquarters, presided over the conference on behalf of the Arab side and provided the opening remarks. The conference’s opening session at the ministerial level was followed by Special Sessions where discussions on the investment climate and possibilities occurred.

The presenters went into detail about the current state of India-Arab cooperation in a number of areas, such as healthcare, food and energy security, and resilient supply chains, as well as ways to improve it, such as by exchanging knowledge and best practices. The importance of the private sector in expanding trade and investment partnerships was also emphasized at the meeting.

Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, the External Affairs Secretary (CPV & OIA), hosted a dinner for dignitaries, presenters, and participants from the Arab and Indian sides on the evening of the main day, with MOS as the Chief Guest. The Secretary (CPV & OIA) addressed the audience, especially during the closing session. Dr. Sayeed stated that West Asia is India’s largest trading partner, and the two countries have close ties. According to him, Saudi Arabia was the fourth-largest trading partner during the most recent financial year, with the UAE being the third.

Speaking about the Sixth India-Arab Partnership Conference, Dr. Sayeed stated that it had given the business community on both sides a beneficial forum to investigate new trade and investment opportunities. He emphasized the value of collaboration, particularly with regard to green hydrogen, in the realm of renewable energy.

The Syrian delegation consists of Dr. Fadi al-Khalil, head of the Planning and International Cooperation Authority; Dr. Bassam al-Khatib, Ambassador of Syria to India; and his deputy.

The Syrian delegation met with numerous Arab ambassadors, the Arab League’s ambassador to India, and leading Indian businesses looking to invest in Syria.

Dr. Al-Khalil urged representatives of Indian businesses to travel to Syria and take advantage of the economic opportunities there, particularly for friendly nations like India, which has maintained positive relations with Syria in all spheres.

In partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Federation of Arab Businessmen (FAB), the Union of Arab Chambers (UAC), the Ministry of External Affairs, the Government of India, and the LAS, the conference was jointly organized. The participants expressed gratitude to all parties involved for their great coordination in creating a worthwhile event.

They decided to hold the IAPC’s seventh edition in an Arab nation in 2025.