India, UAE to boost trade by 60 percent in five years

New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS) Following up on the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India and the UAE on Thursday agreed to boost bilateral trade by 60 percent over the next five years and also enhance UAE investments in India.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan held the 11th session of the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting for Technical and Economical Cooperation here.

The UAE minister called on Prime Minister Modi and later held meetings with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who is hosting a dinner in his honour.

Sheikh Abdullah, who arrived earlier in the day, was accompanied by his Minister of State Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimi and a high level delegation of businesspersons and officials numbering 95.

At the joint commission meeting, the two sides discussed subjects in areas like, trade and commerce; investments; finance and banking; energy, hydro-carbons, petrochemicals and fertilizers; defence and space; transport, civil aviation, ports and meteorology; health and agriculture, education, culture and tourism; security and combating crime; immigration, consular and Indian community related issues.

Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in these areas, said an official statement.

The recent visit of Prime Minister Modi to the UAE “has redefined India-UAE bilateral relationship and elevated it to a strategic partnership”, it said.

The two sides agreed to increase the bilateral trade by 60 percent over the next five years and also to encourage the investment institutions of the 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 $75 billion.

The two sides agreed to work for early establishment of the planned India-UAE Joint Fund for investments in the infrastructure sector in India, the statement said.

The two minister also inaugurated an India-UAE Joint Business Council and the two sides signed four MOUs – on cooperation in the areas of higher education and scientific research; tourism, in the field of specifications and measures, cooperation in telecom and between the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

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