New Delhi, May 18 -- India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have decided to set up a high level joint taskforce to explore further opportunities in bilateral investments. The UAE is eager to invest in downstream petro projects and renewable energy sector in India.
India and UAE has also decided to jointly fight maritime piracy off the coast of Somali by engaging African Union.
After having talks with the Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, the visiting UAE Foreign Affairs Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said : "We are interested in boosting our bilateral trade which is slated to touch $50 billion this year. We have decided to set up a high level joint taskforce to explore opportunities in bilateral investments. We are eager to invest in downstream petro projects and renewable energy sector in India."
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, will head the UAE side at the High Level Joint Taskforce on Bilateral Investment, while the India side will be led by the Indian Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma.
The visiting UAE Minister also emphasized the need for increasing the frequency of air flights between the two countries and diversify the export basket in the bilateral trade.
"We want to export more products to India," he said.
Regarding enlarging the scope of cooperation in combating maritime piracy, the UAE Minister said : "We cannot resolve the piracy issue unless we effectively tackle the situation in Somalia. India and UAE are working jointly to solve the problems of poverty, law and order, governance, joblessness and development in Somalia. We are also engaging the African Union in the process."
The Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna described UAE as a "dependable supplier of oil" to India.
"In 2010, we imported 12 million tonnes, and in 2011 we increased it to 14 million tonnes. So, this should be the indication of the rate at which our imports from the UAE are going up. It is basically our refineries which make decisions on import of oil, and they are based on technical, economical and commercial considerations. Given the United Arab Emirates' advantages on all these fronts, it is likely that this trend of the UAE continuing to meet our needs of energy security will be maintained. We also discussed the possibilities of cooperating not only on increase in oil imports but also investment opportunities in this sector. The Task Force on Investments, we will certainly look into this matter also," Krishna said.
The UAE is India's largest trading partner, significant contributor to energy security, and hosts about 1.75 million Indian expatriates.
Krishna also dicussed with the visiting UAE Minister about the forthcoming 3rd India-Arab Economic Conclave to be hosted in Abu Dhabi on May 21-22, 2012 and the proposed Road Show on investment in Abu Dhabi and Dubai that Indian officials intend to undertake in June so as to exchange information and clarify issues related to the investment climate in India. Published by HT Syndication with permission from The indian awaaz.
Copyright 2012 Theindianawaaz.com. All Rights Reserved.
(Originally published May 18, 2012, in The Indian Awaaz.)