The infrastructure vertical in India- Arab Chamber of Commerce consists of five sub-sectors namely transportation, aviation, general infrastructure, urban planning, and housing.
In general, Infrastructure sector is the key driver of economic development. Intelligent transportation, a well-developed domestic and international aviation sector and urban planning all are critical to having sustainable urbanization and overall economic growth. The Middle East and North Africa region, that constitutes twenty Arab countries of Arab League plus two non-Arab countries, poses a great need for building an intra-regional infrastructure for better economic integration. Except for the Gulf Cooperation Countries, the middle-income countries and the low-income countries in the MENA region like Djibouti, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia etc. suffer from unsatisfactory quality of infrastructure services. A World Bank study suggests that the backlog of infrastructure investment and rapid urbanization in these countries are leading to problems like congestion, pollution, unsustainable use of water resources etc. Apart from these factors, events like Arab spring and Syria crisis have led to the demolition of many cities and a serious damage to the general infrastructure. This again poses an urgent need to introduce infrastructure project to create stake of business and political class in stabilizing the region. The previously destabilized countries like Iraq are now stabilizing making the entire MENA region a huge market for infrastructure projects.
However, due to huge investment and long gestation period infrastructure sector requires special attention from government to generate funds. Also, political stability that MENA region lacks, institutional quality and clear legal and regulatory frameworks are absolutely essential pre-conditions for making infrastructure projects commercially viable. This requires a constant feedback mechanism; a mediator between the government and private sector that effectively addresses these issues. IACCIA’s infrastructure wing plays this role; takes measures necessary to increase investors’ confidence in investing in Arab countries and facilitates channelization of funds from both India and Arab world to this critical sector of the economy.