Narendra Modi meets UAE President in Abu Dhabi
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Abu Dhabi on Saturday for an official visit, marking his fifth trip to the UAE since his election. Mr. Modi's visit commenced with a warm reception at the Presidential Palace.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Official Visit to Abu Dhabi
where he was received by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and senior delegates. President Sheikh Mohamed expressed his pleasure in welcoming Mr. Modi and highlighted the fruitful discussions they held regarding the progress of bilateral ties, shared interests in sustainable global growth, and opportunities to enhance collaboration between the two nations and their people.
Wide-ranging Talks on Bilateral Cooperation between India and UAE
During his visit, Prime Minister Modi engaged in wide-ranging talks with President Sheikh Mohamed, focusing on matters of mutual interest. The discussions encompassed global issues such as COP28 and India's G20 presidency, emphasizing the countries' shared commitment to sustainable development. Prime Minister Modi also had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, President-delegate of COP28, to explore avenues for increased cooperation between the UAE and India in achieving ambitious and inclusive outcomes at the climate change conference.
Strengthening Bilateral Relations: Trade, Energy, and Defense
The visit underscored the commitment of the UAE and India to strengthening their bilateral cooperation in key areas. Notably, the two nations signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) trade deal in May 2022, resulting in a reduction or waiver of tariffs on a significant portion of UAE goods imported to India. The establishment of a joint committee further facilitated market access and laid the foundation for achieving a target of $100 billion in non-oil trade by 2030. Discussions during the visit also focused on reinforcing collaboration in crucial sectors such as energy, defense, and food security, reflecting the growing significance of the UAE as India's third-largest trading partner and second-largest export destination.
Historic Visit and Strengthening of India-UAE Relations
Indian ambassador to the UAE, Sanjay Sudhir, hailed Prime Minister Modi's visit as historic, underscoring the transformative nature of India-UAE relations in recent years. The strong bilateral ties between the two nations are characterized by substantial trade volume, with bilateral trade currently standing at $85 billion, making the UAE India's third-largest trading partner. Furthermore, the UAE is the fourth-largest overall investor in India, with significant foreign direct investment flowing from the UAE. Areas of cooperation have expanded beyond traditional sectors, encompassing renewables, health, food security, education, fintech, and defense and security, highlighting the broad spectrum of collaboration between India and the UAE.
New Agreements to Enhance Financial Cooperation
As a testament to the growing economic partnership, new agreements were signed between India and the UAE during Prime Minister Modi's visit. These agreements aimed to establish a framework for the use of local currencies in cross-border transactions and facilitate cooperation in interlinking payment and messaging systems. The establishment of a local currency settlement system (LCSS) between the Indian rupee and the UAE dirham is expected to promote bilateral trade and strengthen financial ties. This step further solidifies the commitment of both nations to expand and diversify their economic cooperation.