To boost economic ties, the UAE on Monday agreed to increase investments in India to USD 75 billion (about Rs 5 lakh crore) including through a dedicated infrastructure fund, while the two nations will raise their bilateral trade to nearly USD 100 billion in five years.
The two countries also agreed for strategic partnership in the energy sector, including through United Arab Emirates’s (UAE) participation in petroleum sectors in India and tie-ups in the third countries.
While deciding to elevate India-UAE relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed AI Nahyan also agreed to facilitate participation of Indian companies in infrastructure development in the UAE.
As per a joint statement issued after meeting between the two leaders, they resolved to “further promote trade between the two countries, and use their respective locations and infrastructure for expanding trade in the region and beyond.”
The economic cooperation would be enhanced “with the target of increasing trade by 60 per cent in the next five years.”
India-UAE trade, valued at USD 180 million per annum in the 1970s, is today around USD 60 billion, making the UAE, India’s third-largest trading partner for the year 2014-15 after China and the US. A 60 per cent increase will take the two-way commerce to close to USD 100 billion (over Rs 6,50,000 crore).
Acknowledging that India is emerging as the new frontier of investment opportunities with the new initiatives by the government to facilitate trade and investment, the two countries decided to “encourage the investment institutions of UAE to raise their investments in India, including through the establishment of UAE-India Infrastructure Investment Fund, with the aim of reaching a target of USD 75 billion”.
This would “support investment in India’s plans for rapid expansion of next generation infrastructure, especially in railways, ports, roads, airports and industrial corridors and parks,” the joint statement said.
During April 2000 and May 2015, India has received USD 3.09 billion investments from the UAE, which is one per cent of the total FDI received by India during the period.
Earlier in the day, Modi addressed business leaders from the UAE and said India offers investment potential to the tune of USD 1 trillion and invited them to invest in the country.
Besides, the UAE will tap “India’s expertise in Small and Medium Enterprises to create a vibrant industrial base in UAE, which could also be of benefit to Indian enterprises.”