A reformed J&K attracts major investments from Gulf

SRINAGAR: While the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit is taking place in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) top-drawer business delegation arrived in Srinagar on March 20 to further solidify the relationship with the Union Territory and gauge business opportunities in the region at the invitation of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.

The beginning of the year saw a trade momentum destined to result in a monumental business pact between the two nations.

The UT received $2.5 billion (approximately Rs 18, 568 crore) in investments, indicative of the region's potential in January 2022. The LG has indicated that the UT was expecting to attract Rs 70, 000 crore worth of investment in the following six months; this is a huge number versus the total of Rs 15, 000 crore investment in the last 75 years of Independence.

After LG visited Dubai this year, a 40-member delegation from the UAE representing 33 companies from UAE, Hong Kong, and Saudi Arabia is participating in a four-day (March 20-23) visit.

Century Financial's CEO, Bal Krishen is heading this delegation of Gulf businessmen along with Saudi CEOs. The delegation includes prominent businessmen in the real estate and commercial trading industries and it is for the first time, an investor from Saudi has taken interest in J&K.

Jammu and Kashmir is gaining pace, transitioning fast from a doormat commercial tourist destination to the land of investment and opportunity. J&K administration will be displaying investment opportunities to the delegation with a focus on Hospitality, Tourism, and Entrepreneurship sector. The delegation includes industrialists involved in the manufacture of cement, textile, pharmaceuticals, and fiber & cables. Hospitals, Hotels, Agro-industry, IT, and Horticulture growth are high on the delegation's list.

UAE delegation is meeting the Lieutenant Governor along with Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce, and J&K Administration's top officials to assist the UT with its recent evolution of the global business landscape and industry. After the reading down of Article 370, investors are feeling comfortable travelling to the UT and take business decisions. GCC's attitude, especially the Emirati investors' keen interest in capitalizing on the investment potential of J&K will increase confidence and open gateways for European, American, and Japanese investments.

UAE's intentions in J&K are evident through their genuine interest in UT's growth compared to Pakistan's terror ideology which operates in the undercurrents of all militant schemes in the Valley. This meeting will destabilize Pakistan's efforts in vilifying India at the OIC on the Kashmir Issue. Now Pakistan's acts against Kashmir will place them in the court against the UAE businesses, who are also Pakistan's allies.