With Jammu and Kashmir all set to host a delegation from the Gulf countries, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Ranjan Prakash Thakur said the Union Territory (UT) needs “deep investment” for the transformation of the region while several big developmental projects are in the pipeline. Jammu and Kashmir will be hosting a delegation from the Gulf countries amid the UT seeking to strengthen ties, besides investment opportunities. As part of the four-day program, Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor of J&K along with the Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, and other government officials, will be showcasing investment opportunities with a focus on entrepreneurship, tourism, and hospitality. “For the last few months, we have continuously engaged with member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). We held a big global investors summit in Dubai which was attended by 400 people who showed interest in investing in the UT. Notably, most of these people had never visited J-K. I had requested them to pay a visit so that they can witness how the region has transformed and is still transforming. This latest visit is part of that process,” Thakur told ANI. “We are hoping that our relationship will deepen through this visit. They will recognize what all has transpired after 2019 and what all incentives are we providing to attract investors,” he added. He said several projects are being executed to boost the service sector in UT. “For instance, there is a dearth of affordable hotels in the region. We have to open several hotels to attract tourists…Indian students who travel abroad for studies should get a good education here in Srinagar. The amount of money they spent in foreign countries, they should get the same education here in India,” he said. “In Jammu, we need production-based investment and in Kashmir, we need investment in service sectors like hotels and hospitals and agro-processing units,” Thakur added. The Principal Secretary said the Gulf delegation is interested in hotels, hospitals, the horticulture industry and information and technology. A high-level business delegation from Gulf countries landed in Srinagar on Sunday evening to explore business opportunities. A 36-member strong delegation reached the Kashmir valley for a three-day (March 20-23) visit, months after Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s Dubai visit. The delegation will meet the Lieutenant Governor and top officials of the Jammu and Kashmir government. The visit signifies the successful socio-economic transformation of the Valley under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Emirati investors are keen to capitalise on the enormous investment potential of Jammu and Kashmir and the visit will further boost the confidence of the global investor community.In January, the Jammu and Kashmir government signed several important MoUs with UAE-based Al Maya Group, MATU Investments LLC, GL Employment Brokerage LLC and Noon, with the aim to boost investment in the union territory.