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PM Modi lays foundation stone of 100,000sqm Bharat Mart in Dubai to boost exports

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DUBAI : The foundation stone of Bharat Mart, which will combine retail, warehousing and logistics facilities at Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone in Dubai, was laid during a virtual ceremony by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Vice President, Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Wednesday.

Bharat Mart is a joint initiative of DP World, a Dubai-based multinational that specialises in logistics, port terminal operations and maritime services, and India’s commerce ministry that is aimed at boosting exports by Indian small and medium-sized enterprises.

The facility, which has been compared to China’s Dragon Mart, will be built by DP World and is expected to be operational by 2025. The facility, set to cover more than 100,000 sq metres, will help cut the cost and time for shipping goods from India to Africa and Europe.

Modi and Mohamed bin Rashid, who is also the UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai, expressed confidence that Bharat Mart will further enhance India-UAE trade by leveraging Jebel Ali Port’s strategic location and strength in logistics, the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

Bharat Mart can potentially play a key role in promoting the exports of India’s micro, small and medium sectors by providing them with a platform to reach international buyers in the Gulf, West Asia, Africa and Eurasia, Modi said.

Modi also held a bilateral meeting with Mohamed bin Rashid and discussed bilateral cooperation in a range of areas, including trade, investment, technology, space, education and people-to-people ties.

They expressed satisfaction at the rapidly growing economic and commercial ties between India and the UAE.

In this context, they acknowledged the role of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement inked by the two countries in 2022 and welcomed the signing of the bilateral investment treaty on Tuesday.

Modi thanked Mohammed bin Rashid for his “graciousness towards the Indian community living in Dubai”. Both leaders acknowledged the contributions of the Indian diaspora to Dubai’s evolution into a global hub for trade, services and tourism.

Modi conveyed his deep appreciation to Mohammed bin Rashid for granting land in Dubai for an Indian community hospital that will offer affordable healthcare facilities for Indian blue-collar workers. He also invited the ruler of Dubai to visit India.

Modi also met Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina on the margins of the World Governments Summit in Dubai. This was the first meeting between the two leaders, who acknowledged the long-standing friendly relations and ancient geographical ties between the two countries.

The leaders discussed ways to advance bilateral ties and appreciated their close cooperation in multilateral forums, including the UN. Modi said India is committed to strengthening the India-Madagascar partnership and to SAGAR or Security and Growth for All in the Region, the policy for Indian Ocean states.

Modi said that as a fellow developing country in the Indian Ocean region, India will remain a “committed partner in the developmental journey of Madagascar”.

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