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Strategic ties between the UAE and India got a boost on Thursday following the signing of a number of bilateral deals.


India and the UAE signed seven agreements across several sectors on second day of the three-day visit to India of a high-powered UAE delegation.


The agreements are in the field of cybersecurity, infrastructure investment, renewable energy and space co-operation, Vikas Swarup, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman said in a tweet.


Three more agreements have already been exchanged in the fields of insurance, culture and skill development, he added.


Another agreement between Dubai Economic Council and India’s Exim Bank will be in signed in Mumbai on Friday. Also, a joint statement is expected to released Thursday.


“The leaders witness the exchange of four agreements across various sectors,” Swarup said after the agreements were signed by officials from both sides in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House, a palace where banquets and meetings for visiting foreign dignitaries are held.




The UAE, meanwhile, said it expects India to make investments in India further streamlined by removing existing bottlenecks.


“The UAE’s foreign direct investment in India is not very large in comparison to the size of the Indian economy. What we would like to see is a more attractive climate in terms of absorbing new investments from the UAE, and we are talking with each other to facilitate that,” Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said in New Delhi.


Earlier in the day,  India rolled out the red carpet flanked by a crisply-garbed Guard of Honour to welcome Shaikh Mohammad. The high protocol ceremony on the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential palace was fitting for the formal reception for the visit.


Shaikh Mohammad was received by Modi at the forecourt of the palace. National anthems of both the UAE and India were played, followed by an inspection of the Guard of Honour by Shaikh Mohammad.


Later, Shaikh Mohammad visited the Raj Ghat, memorial site of the Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi.


He observed a minute of silence and laid a wreath of flowers on the shrine.


Shaikh Mohammad met Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at the presidential palace for lunch.


Shaikh Mohammad was accompanied by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Lt. General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, and Shaikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court.


Source: Gulf News

India rolled out the red carpet to the world to set shop in India as Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Make in India Week’ in Mumbai on Saturday. From slick graphics and thumping music to an excellently assembled and coordinated culture show, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) impressively showcased the country replete with its rich history, natural resources and acumen to the rest of the world.


While launching the Make in India Week, which is touted to be the biggest multi-sectoral event ever held in the country, PM Modi said that the Indian government was working aggressively to make India a global manufacturing hub. “Make in India has become the biggest brand India ever created. It has captured the imagination of people, business, institutions, political leaders and media,” said Modi at the National Sports Club of India (NSCI). “India is a land of immense opportunities. Fifty of our cities are ready for setting up Metro Rail Systems. We have to build fifty million houses. The requirement of road, rail and waterways is enormous.  There is no time for incremental changes. We want a quantum jump,” said PM Modi.


While hailing the 48 percent increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow, PM Modi reiterated that there would be no retrospective tax while promising an effective intellectual property rights and patents policy, and bankruptcy law. “India has become the fastest growing large economy in the world.  We will end this fiscal year with well over seven per cent growth in GDP.  IMF, World Bank, OECD, ADB and other institutions have projected even better growth in the coming days,” said PM Modi. “In 2014-15, India contributed 12.5 per cent of global growth.  Its contribution to global growth is 68 percent higher than its share of the world economy.”


The Prime Minister emphasized India’s interest in ramping up investments in infrastructure — roads, ports, railways, airports, telecom, digital networks and clean energy. “Do not wait. Do not relax. You should take advantage of the immense opportunities in India,” said PM Modi. Minister of State (MoS) for Commerce and Industry, Nirmala Sitharaman said at the event that over 65 countries are participating in the Make in India Week. “The idea of the Make in India plan was to make the environment in the country from the regulated to a facilitator,” said Sitharaman.


The Make in India Week will continue till February 18 and will have over 5,000 delegates in attendance, rivaling the well-known Hannover Messe trade fair held annually in Germany.


Source: Forbes India

Investments worth over $23 billion were announced by Indian industrialists, companies and the government on the first day of a three-day summit in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. The summit — Invest Karnataka 2016 — seeks to attract funds for the aerospace, biotech and information technology industries, as well as for the development of the state’s infrastructure.


“Karnataka is a $120 billion economy. Let us make it a $700 billion economy by 2035. If India aspires to grow at 9 percent, let us aspire for Karnataka to grow at 10 percent,” state chief minister Siddaramaiah said Wednesday in the state capital and tech hub of Bangalore. “We rank as the state with the second highest foreign direct investment in India. … Since we assumed office, we have received foreign direct investment worth $5.2 billion.”


In addition to the $14.7 billion investment promised by the country’s central government, which would reportedly be used for “road development in Karnataka” over the next two years, Indian companies such as the Adani Group, the Aditya Birla Group and the JSW Group also pledged significant investments.


Sajjan Jindal, chairman and managing director of JSW Group, said that the infrastructure company was looking to invest over $5 billion in the state over the next three to four years.


Gautam Adani, chairman and founder of the Adani Group — a company with substantial interests in coal mining, civil construction, logistics and the energy sector — announced an investment of over $3 billion in the state’s energy sector, including $1 billion to develop a 1,000 megawatt solar power plant, while Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said he would invest $300 million in the “near future.”


Additionally, German engineering and electronics company Bosch — which already has several manufacturing units and research centers in Bangalore — announced that it would invest another $147 million in Karnataka later this year.


“Karnataka remains a major investment destination for Bosch,” Peter Tyroller, a member of the board of management at Bosch, reportedly said.


Source: IB Times

At least 16 pacts in a wide range of sectors like nuclear energy, oil, IT, aerospace and railways, facilitating billions of dollars of investment by UAE in India, are likely to be inked during Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayad Al Nahayan’s visit to New Delhi beginning Wednesday.


Ways to contain radicalism, stepping up counter-terrorism cooperation and dealing with the ISIS will figure prominently in talks Al Nahayan will have with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, UAE Ambassador Ahmed Al Banna said.


A major focus of the three-day visit by the influential UAE leader, which comes around six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to UAE, will be on stepping up economic ties.


Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, has a sovereign wealth fund of about $800 billion. India has been eying the fund, parked with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, for its infrastructure sector and the envoy said there may be some announcements to this effect during Al Nahayan’s visit.


“We have on hand around 16 agreements for cooperation between different ministries and authorities. Out of 16, almost 12 have been finalised and ready for signature. Hopefully all the 16 will be signed,” said Al Banna.


The envoy said the agreements will lead to “huge investment portfolio” in diverse areas including renewable energy, oil and gas and some other major sectors.


The pact on nuclear cooperation will provide for peaceful use of atomic energy as research and development in the area.


UAE has similar pact with France and some other countries. India is UAE’s number one trading partner and the annual trade currently stands at around $60 billion. UAE, a major player in the Gulf region, is a strategically important country for India. The country is home to around 2.6 million Indians who constitute nearly 30% of its population. It was the sixth largest supplier of crude oil to India in 2014-15.


Al Banna said Modi’s visit to his country, after a gap of 34 years by an Indian Prime Minister, has opened a new path in strengthening ties and Al Nahayan’s trip will further build on it.


“It (the visit) will reinforce the ongoing relationship and will take us to the next (level) that both sides are looking at which is strategic cooperation, strategic coordination and strategic relationship,” the envoy said.


Identifying terrorism as a major threat facing the world, the envoy said both India and UAE are increasing security and counter-terrorism cooperation to deal with the menace.


On the issue of checking radicalism, he said India and UAE will work “hand in hand to fight them. Yes there will be some cooperation on this”.


The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee.


On containing ISIS, the envoy said both the countries will have cooperation while identifying the social media as a major platform being used by “fanatics” to radicalise people.


Al Banna said his government has already set up specialised centres to educate people about those who use the social media the “wrong way”. He said UAE’s cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism with India and many other countries has increased in the last one year and will expand further.


On investment in India by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, he said things are moving fast and that many other private investors from UAE are also looking at investing in India in a significant way. He said the business delegation will go straight to Mumbai where they will have in-depth talks with their Indian counterparts.


Asked about the proposed free trade agreement between India and Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Al Banna hoped it will be finalised soon. “We want it to be signed as soon as possible.” On Modi’s possible visit to Israel, he said it was India’s prerogative. Asked whether the situation in Syria will figure in talks, the envoy said a number of pressing global and regional issues including situation in the strife-torn country may be discussed.


Source: The Dollar Business

The UAE-India economic co-operation is set to reach record figures in trade exchanges due to the huge potential in both countries.


Economic circles stress the need for the UAE to step up its trade and economic ties with India, which is a huge market with a population of over one billion. Given a number of factors, notably political stability, India has become a hub for foreign investment.


India's trade relations with the UAE date back thousands of years, beginning with the barter of pearls for cotton and dry fruits for grains. The business ties have grown stronger out of centuries of exchange of culture, commodities and ideas.


The Ministry of Economy said in a report on the volume of foreign trade between the UAE and India from 2012 to 2014, that the trade balance tilted towards India as the UAE's contribution to foreign trade was 38.9 per cent, while India contributed 61.1 per cent. Imports were 12.4 per cent, while the total volume of exports were 31.9 per cent between 2013 and 2014.


It added that India could absorb all national products of the GCC in general and the UAE products in particular, which compete in quality with foreign commodities.


The ministry said that economic co-operation opportunities and the setting up of joint ventures between the UAE and India are possible in various fields. Each economic sector can provide an opportunity given the availability of expertise, modern technology, funds and energy. These are all important factors for both partners.


The report said the number of Indian companies, agencies and trademarks registered at the ministry at the end of 2014 stood at 4,365 companies, 177 trade agencies and 5,579 trademarks.


It referred to the Framework Agreement on Economic Cooperation between India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) signed in August to explore the possibility of setting up a free trade zone. It was a qualitative trade exchange shift between the two parties. The GCC states are important trade partners of India. Their exports to India constitute more than 11 percent of the total imports. This deal is key for comprehensive co-operation between the two parties in all fields.


The ministry called for co-ordination between the two parties regarding issues presented to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), especially issues of mutual concern.


The report urged both parties to continue co-operation in the areas of SMEs, calling for the setting up of joint projects in the areas of IT, computers and subsidiary industries to meet the needs of local and regional markets, and making use of advanced Indian technology in these fields.


It stressed the need for organising trade fairs to showcase national products, citing the success of the UAE Trade Exhibition, which was held at Nehru Centre in Mumbai in December 2015.


The report said the co-operation between the Department of Tourism and Trade Marketing and the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority has attracted a number of Indian businesspersons and investors from different economic sectors.


India is the UAE's largest trade partner. The UAE's economic, political, and cultural links with India date back to more than a century ago when bilateral trade began. The Indian community is the largest expatriate community in the UAE. The UAE's other major trade partners are China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Iran, Oman, and Jordan. As such, trade is predominately concentrated in Asian markets.


The total trade volume between the UAE and India in the fiscal year 2010-2011 stood at $62.4 billion compared to $43.5 billion in 2009-2010, up 43.6 per cent. The UAE ranked the 10th largest investor in India. UAE investments in India from 2000 to 2010 stood at $1.82 billion. The UAE's cumulative investments in India exceed $6 billion.


The report said that India is preparing a new investment programme that allows 100 percent foreign direct investment in the renewable energy sector. This will open new horizons for co-operation between the two countries.


The two countries are looking forward to increasing the trade exchange by 60 per cent to $100 billion (Dh368 billion) by 2020. The two parties also seek to increase flights to over 950 weekly, as the Indian community in the UAE has reached over 2.5 million, the largest community in the UAE.


The UAE also eyes investments in important sectors such as construction, energy, metal industries and modern technology, as well as education, medicine, tourism, cement industry sectors and others.


The ministry stressed the need for benefitting from the agreements signed by the two countries to facilitate participation of Indian companies in the infrastructure development projects in the UAE and support the strategic partnership in the energy sector through the UAE's participation in developing the strategic oil reserves, exploration, production and marketing of oil in India.


The joint UAE-India projects could benefit in marketing products of these projects in Arab countries with a population of 300 million within the Arab Free Trade Zone Agreement, which allows the flow of goods with Arab sources to other Arab countries without fees or customs restrictions.


The Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement in 1992 and Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement were signed with India as part of the GCC in 2005. Nine meetings have been held, of which the last one was in June 2007 in New Delhi.


The two countries also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the workforce, with the aim of recruiting Indian workers to work in the UAE in accordance with all legal, just and transparent procedures.


On April 21, 2013, Federal Decree No. 17 for the year 2013 was issued for ratification of the second protocol to amend the agreement between the UAE and India on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion.


On November 13, 2013, the UAE and India also signed the Agreement on Protection and Encouragement of Investments. They also inked on January 10, 2014, the Air Transport Agreement, which allows certain national carriers in both countries to conduct regular flights as agreed by the two parties.


A number of Memoranda of Understanding were signed in various fields, including food sector, standardisation and metrology, telecommunications, higher education, human resources, tourism and trade.


The GCC and India held two rounds of talks with India, of which the last was in September 2008, in Riyadh. It focused on the issues covered by the free trade agreement.


The UAE and India agreed to benefit from small and medium enterprises to establish an important trade sector. India was ranked seventh with regard to cumulative direct foreign investments in the UAE. These investments include financial, wholesale trade, construction and industrial sectors, in accordance with the National Statistic Centre of the UAE.


Mutual trade and economic co-operation between the two countries has received a boost through mutual visits of senior officials.


The report referred to the role of UAE telecommunications companies in India, saying that Etisalat entered the Indian market in 2008 through a trade partnership with the Indian local company, Swan Telecom India, with a stake of 45 per cent worth $900 million, in September 2008. The joint venture was named DP Telecom in Mumbai. The Indian company accessed licensing services from 15 departments in 22 states to serve over 900 million people in India.


The UAE is expected to spend heavily on transport and logistics infrastructure in preparation for Expo 2020. This represents an opportunity for more Indian companies. The UAE is also quickly becoming a global transit point and gateway to India, Africa and Asia.


India is expected to become the UAE's biggest export destination by 2030, when, according to the forecast, it will account for an estimated 14 per cent of goods. Increased inward investments from the UAE could help India create the conditions for growth in the long term.


Over the next 20 years, South-South relationships based on increased economic and strategic co-operation are expected to become more important to the world economy. The relationship between India and the UAE could be a leading example.


Source: Emirates 247 Business