Envoys praise ease of doing business in UAE
The UAE government plays a proactive role when it comes to engaging with other countries by offering business-friendly policies, top envoys from India, Australia and Mexico said during a panel discussion 'Art of Economic Diplomacy: Driving Nation's Progress' held as part of the 30th Annual International Seminar 2018 hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Abu Dhabi Chapter.
Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri said he has little role in bilateral business activity apart from meeting relevant local authorities with regards to any policy matters.
"As an ambassador I claim minimal responsibility or credit for the fact that the UAE is our third largest trading partner and second largest market for exports. A lot of that happens entirely in business domain. We step in where we find some unreasonable barriers. It can be pharmaceuticals, mangoes or poultry. We then take it up with relevant authorities and ensure the barriers are removed."
Suri noted that his role as an ambassador sees him assisting Indian businessman by guiding them about the ease of doing business. He also connects with UAE entities and updates them about the potential opportunities across India.
"Also, many Indian states are showing great interest in attracting investment into their areas."
Suri lauded Australia for combining Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Trade.
"This shows the seriousness with which Australia sees trade as part of mainstream diplomatic process."
Australian Ambassador to the UAE Arthur Spyrou hailed the UAE government's keenness to do business.
"In terms of economic diplomacy, different countries approach relationship building of business to business and country to country. In the UAE, one of the characteristics is that the government really wants to speak to the government. In the US, if both the countries were to speak, company to company will be primarily vehicle."
Spyrou noted that the UAE is a business-focused country with strong trade ties with Australia.
"We have the largest tally of trade and investments with the UAE than all rest of Middle East and North Africa countries combined. We also have more flights direct per capita between the UAE and Australia than any other country. We have over 250 direct flights per week with a population of less than 25 million. We do extremely well out of this relationship," Spyrou said.
Meanwhile, Mexican Ambassador to the UAE Francisca Elizabeth Mendez Escobar said it was difficult to separate political, cultural and economic diplomacy.
"In my case everything is interconnected. You can do a big event and unite all businessmen."
Francisca noted that Mexican and Emirati way of doing business was similar.
"The personal relation is the most beautiful one. And you transfer that personal relationship into an economic bilateral relationship, especially with this country is worth it. Mexican and Emiratis have same way of doing business. You have to be confident and develop personal relationship with businessman and then you can do business. The US model is opposite. Mexican and Emiratis, when they do business, it will start with the governments," she added.