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Narendra Modi's UAE visit to lift bilateral ties, says Indian Ambassador

Narendra Modis UAE visit to lift bilateral ties, says Indian Ambassador

Dubai - The prime minister is also likely to visit a labour camp in Abu Dhabi to learn first-hand the living conditions of the Indian workforce.



By Issac John

Published: Wed 12 Aug 2015, 7:43 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Aug 2015, 9:51 PM

The two-day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE, the host country of 2.65 million Indian migrants, is expected to result in transforming the relationship between the two countries to a higher level, said India's top diplomat in the emirates.

T.P. Seetharam, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, told Khaleej Times that several bilateral, regional and global issues would be covered in discussions at the highest levels between leaders of the two nations.

"We already have an excellent bilateral relationship which has been nurtured over time. Our Prime Minister's visit is expected to result in transforming the relationship to a higher level," he said.

"We have been preparing for this historic visit for quite some time. All of us at the Embassy and the Consulate are working very hard to make it a very successful visit," Seetharam said.

"We are getting excellent cooperation from the UAE authorities and the Indian community to make the visit a memorable one. I am delighted that this long-awaited visit is happening during my term here as Ambassador of India," the Indian envoy said.

When asked about the specific topics on the leaders' agenda, the Ambassador said: "You can expect more detailed briefings from New Delhi before the visit as well as briefings by senior officials accompanying the Prime Minister during the visit itself."

The Indian community across the country is upbeat in anticipation of Modi's visit, and online registration for participating in the public reception for Modi at the Dubai Cricket Stadium has crossed 45,000 (read more about preparations here).

Work on air conditioning the cricket stadium is also making headway. "We are sparing no efforts to make this historic event an unforgettable one for all Indians," said Dr B.R. Shetty, chairman of NMC Healthcare and spokesman of the organising committee.

It is also reliably learnt that the Indian leader would visit a labour camp in Abu Dhabi to learn first-hand the living conditions of the Indian workforce.

According to informed sources in New Delhi, Modi's visit would help kickstart several new joint initiatives to further boost the strong economic and political relations between the two powerful economies enjoying decades of thriving trade and investment ties.

The two-way trade has been thriving for several decades in a row and hit a peak of $75 billion in 2012-13 and dropped to $60 billion in 2013-14. India, at present, the third largest trading partner of the UAE after China and US, is the largest non-oil export destination of the Emirates at $28 billion in value.

For India, the UAE is the second largest export destination with trade value at $33 billion for the year 2014-15. According to projections, India will remain the UAE's top export destination until 2030, leaving Japan and China in second and third positions.

Currently, UAE investments in India are estimated to be $8 billion of which around $3.01 billion as of January 2015 is in the form of foreign direct investment.

Talks between leaders of two countries are expected to result in expediting the implementation of certain pacts that have already been inked. These include prisoner swap and bilateral investment protection agreement.

India's ongoing talks with the Gulf countries on finalising a free trade agreement are also expected to get a new kickstart with the Indian leader's visit.

It is widely expected that attracting more foreign direct investments to India will be a key focus of the Indian leader's discussions. Several key bilateral treaties are expected to be inked.

Talks are expected to focus on trade and security cooperation. A food security agreement is also on the agenda. It is leant that Modi's visit will pave the way for further expanding the Indian mission's services to the large Indian diaspora, said sources.

issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


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