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UAE shows interest to invest in agriculture sector of India

Ravi S. Jha
Filed on June 7, 2007

NEW DELHI The UAE is keen to focus on providing financial assistance to India in core areas of economy, particularly the agriculture sector, to take forward its ever flourishing ties with New Delhi.

The UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was on a two-day visit here to attend the joint commission meeting, discussed the UAE investment into India.

With UAE representing 75 per cent of India's export to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, both the sides are keen that an equal trading partnership be forged to give boost to the current spate of bilateral relations, top officials told Khaleej Times.

UAE is India's top trading partner in the entire West Asia North Africa (WANA) region, as it alone represents 75 per cent of India's export to GCC nations. Indian exports to the UAE account for 6 per cent of India's global exports, officials said.

It is said the main purpose of UAE Foreign Minister's visit here was to build up the momentum that was created with the visit of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in March this year. Through the joint commission meeting UAE indicated that it is there to make enduring business ties with India, officials said.

Shaikh Abdullah met key ministers Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee and Minister for Trade and Commerce Kamal Nath to discuss the new level of bilateral ties.

Shaikh Abdullah said the UAE would be keen to make investments in agriculture sector of India. He said: "This joint commission meeting will lay down some clear guidelines for the future development of our already-excellent ties; permitting both of our governments to work together in pursuit of the interests of our people. We also look forward to an increased involvement by India in issues affecting the Gulf and neighbouring countries."

Shaikh Abdullah said the relations between India and UAE have developed and deepened over the last 30-40 years, as UAE has embarked on its process of rapid growth.

He said both countries discussed a wide range of political, economic, cultural issues, and that could prop up relations further.

Meanwhile, Minister for Trade and Commerce Kamal Nath said greater trade in agro products with UAE and the entire Gulf region is important to India.

"Our top priority for exports to UAE is vegetables, fruits, processed foods, poultry etc. We are delighted that UAE has expressed their interest to make investments in agriculture sector," he added.

Moreover, it is expected that a delegation from Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA) will visit UAE to discuss the possibilities in food and agriculture sector with the importers in UAE.

"The possibility of setting up laboratories in India for testing the quality of food exports to meet the standards set by UAE authorities was also discussed," Nath said.

The trade between India and UAE was $12.9 billion in 2005-06. Exports from India were $8.59 billion, while imports were $4.31 billion. Main items for import from UAE includes pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, gold, electronic goods etc., and the main export items from India includes gems and jewellery, non-ferrous metals, plastics, manmade yarn etc.




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