UAE and India sign agreement to promote major investments

Agreement should see increase in the number of infrastructure and energy projects being set up.

DUBAI // An investment agreement has been signed between the UAE and India, with an eye on major developments in areas including infrastructure and energy.

The agreement was signed on Thursday after a meeting in India between Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and India’s external affairs minister, Salman Khurshid.

The signing was officiated by Obaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, and Namo Narain Meena, his Indian equal.

The deal is regarded as a landmark agreement that could change the future of the UAE’s investments in India, the state news agency Wam reported.

The two countries are reportedly each other’s largest trading partners, with total trade of more than Dh275 billion, although UAE investments in India are reported to be just over Dh12bn.

A high-level UAE-India investments taskforce was established this year to speed up opportunities.

But after a meeting in February, the group could not proceed because the UAE wanted to conclude the bilateral relations agreement first.

It is hoped the taskforce will meet again early next month to further explore investment opportunities.

Among the schemes being investigated is a Dh26 million electricity project by Abu Dhabi National Energy Company in Himachal Pradesh, in north India.

DP World also aims to expand its operations in Indian ports.

By signing the UAE-India bilateral agreement, the world’s largest democracy now has such agreements with all GCC countries, opening possibilities of a free trade agreement between India and Arabian Gulf states.

Published: December 13, 2013 04:00 AM