UAE and India to enhance investments, bilateral ties
Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will launch the inaugural Arab-India Economic Forum on November 16 in Dubai.
Dubai - Two nations pledge to remove hurdles to boost trade by 60%.
The UAE and India have agreed to collaborate closely to identify bottlenecks to trade and new areas of trade with the aim of increasing two way trade by 60 per cent in five years while significantly boosting investment.
The decision to press ahead with concrete efforts to promote bilateral investment and trade was taken at the third meeting of the UAE-India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments in the wake of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the UAE in August.
India is the UAE's second largest trade partner after China as trade between India and the UAE crossed $59 billion per year, with Indian exports worth $33.3 billion to the UAE and $26 billion worth of UAE's exports to India.
The new goal set by both sides is to boost trade by 60 per cent by 2020. During Indian leader's visit, both sides agreed to create a $75 billion fund to invest in Indian infrastructure. The fund will support the expansion of India's network of railways, ports, roads, airports and industrial corridors.
The Joint Task Force was established in April 2012 as a platform to address and resolve outstanding issues and difficulties associated with existing investments between the two countries and to promote and facilitate cross-border investments in key priority sectors of investments that include energy and natural resources, infrastructure, aviation, industry and the private sector.
Shaikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Co-Chair of the Joint Task Force and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court, said the latest round of talks helped further advance the important and wide-ranging steps taken in recent years toward promoting and enhancing bilateral investment relations between the UAE and India. "We look forward to continuing our constructive investment-related dialogue and deepening the already strong economic ties between our countries."
Nirmala Sitharaman, India's Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, led a delegation to the UAE capital for the joint task force meeting, said both countries needed to move beyond economic and trade relations and expand our cooperation in other areas of mutual interest to cover defense production, space exploration and launching of satellites, SMEs and energy including renewable energy. TP Seetharam, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, told Khaleej Times that the visit by the Indian minister to the UAE soon after the historic visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonstrates the commitment by New Delhi to take forward various agreements reached in August to the next level of implementation. During the Indian delegation's visit, sub-committees comprising experts from both sides discussed at length the roadmap to realize the goals set the leaderships of both countries, said the ambassador.
The previous meetings of the Joint Task Force, held in Abu Dhabi in February 2013 and India in March 2014, resulted in wide-ranging discussions on investment-related topics of interest to the two countries. This culminated in the signing of a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, or BIPPA, in December 2013, which acts as a platform for promotion and reciprocal legal protection of investments in both countries. Both countries pledged to make efforts to conclude discussions on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a strategic petroleum reserve in India.
Discussions also centred on addressing outstanding issues and difficulties experienced by UAE companies including Etisalat, Emaar, DP World and Taqa in India. The Indian side agreed to take steps to resolve such issues in a timely manner.Both sides agreed to explore ways to expand the participation of the UAE's investment institutions in infrastructure projects in India. It was agreed that discussions would be held to explore potential investment opportunities in various upstream and downstream oil projects in the UAE, India and other countries of mutual interest.