India’s Open Skies policy matter of concern: UAE minister

India’s latest Open Skies policy to countries that are 5,000km away is a matter of concern for the UAE, said Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy. “We feel that together, India and UAE should be united to create a fantastic hub. From our side, there are millions coming to India as tourists, and so there is a direct benefit to the Indian economy.”

Al Mansouri said the UAE is looking to invest in civil aviation, infrastructure and airlines.

“So this is quite an important subject for us in the next few months and so we would like the Indian government to look into this. We have talked to them about it and they understand and they will come back to us with answers.”

While in India, Al Mansouri held talks with the Indian ministers of trade, civil aviation and finance to streamline the bilateral process and open opportunities for investments.

One of the areas that “we are focusing on is innovation”, he said. “We have identified seven sectors that include education, healthcare, IT, renewable energy, water transportation and airspace.”

India, he said, should define at least three sectors that could be developed in collation with the UAE. “We have to be realistic … you cannot be in every sector. A lot of people from both sides – innovators and creators – are actually going outside to promote their products and also to find the right investors for their innovations.

“India is a magnificent country with a strong economy, with quite a substantial growth of nearly 6.7 per cent, and I think this is more than China. If you look at the population of India and you look at the size of the economy, which is $2.1 trillion, the potential of growth that I see in India is much more and bigger than that of China, but the GDP still needs to grow much more to match with the per head population that you have in India.”

Originally Published on Khaleej Times.