India, UAE sign five MoUs as Modi makes second visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Image credit: Livemint

–TMC Desk

Abu Dhabi, Feb 10: India and the UAE on Saturday signed five MoUs, including in the areas of energy and railways, following delegation-level talks headed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan here.

An MoU was signed between Indian Consortium comprising ONGC Videsh, Bharat PetroResources, Indian Oil and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) was signed for acquisition of 10 per cent participating interest in the offshore Lower Zakum Concession, according to the External Affairs Ministry.

The concession will be for 40 years (2018-2057). While 60 per cent of the participating interest will be retained by ADNOC, the remaining 30 per cent will be awarded to other international oil companies.

This is the first Indian investment in upstream oil sector of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), transforming the traditional buyer-seller relationship to a long-term investor relationship.

To cooperate in the field of manpower, the two sides signed an MoU that aims to institutionalise the collaborative administration of contractual employment of Indian workers in UAE.

Under this MoU, both sides will work to integrate their labour related e-platforms for ending the existing malpractices, combat trafficking and organise collaborative programmes for education and awareness of contractual workers.

An MoU for technical cooperation in the rail sector was also signed between Ministry of Railways of India and the Federal Transport Authority – Land and Maritime – of the UAE. This aims at cooperation in infrastructure sector, especially railways and will facilitate development of joint projects, knowledge sharing, joint research and technology transfer.

It envisages the formation of a joint working group for institutionalising the cooperation mechanism.

To deepen bilateral cooperation in the field of finance, an MoU between the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) was signed. It aims at enhancing cooperation between both the countries in financial services industry.

The MoU envisages information exchange, exchange of experts and training for mutual benefit of both the countries. It will facilitate investment in financial markets by investors from both the countries.

A separate MoU was also signed between the Jammu and Kashmir government and DP World to establish multi-modal logistics park and hub in Jammu comprising warehouses and specialised storage solutions.

During the delegation-level talks, the issues of security, investment and people-to-people ties figured, it is learnt.

While the UAE is one of the largest suppliers of crude oil to India, it is also the 10th largest investor in India in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) having invested an estimated $8 billion.

As of 2016-17, India-UAE trade stood at around $52 billion, making India the largest trading partner of the UAE, while the Gulf nation is the fourth largest trading partner of India.

On Sunday, Modi will meet members of the Indian community here during the course of which he will lay the foundation stone of the first Indian temple in Abu Dhabi via video linking.

Following Saturday’s agreement signing ceremony, members of the temple committee met both Modi and the Crown Prince and presented literature related to the religious project.

After laying the foundation stone on Sunday, Modi will travel to Dubai where he will deliver the keynote address at the Sixth World Government Summit, in which India is the guest of honour country this year.

Modi arrived here on Saturday evening on the second leg of his three-nation tour to West Asia and the Gulf.

He was personally received by the Crown Prince at the airport here and was accorded a ceremonial welcome.

This is Modi’s second visit to the UAE, home to over three million expatriate Indians, after his visit in 2015, which was the first by an Indian Prime Minister in 34 years.

Earlier on Saturday, he visited Palestine in what was the first ever prime ministerial visit from India there.

After completing his engagements in Dubai on Sunday, Modi will leave for Oman on the third and last leg of his tour.


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