Jaitley leaves for two-day UAE visit on Sunday

New Delhi, Nov 13 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will leave for a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sunday to acquaint the investors there about the various investment opportunities in India.

“One of the main objectives of the visit is to meet and apprise the UAE-based investors about investment opportunities in various sectors in India, including infrastructure, manufacturing, services and National Investment & Infrastructure Fund (NIIF),” a finance ministry statement here said on Friday.

On the first day of his visit, Jaitley will be the chief guest at the UAE-India Economic Forum Meet in Dubai on November 16, it said.

“Thereafter, he will be calling on Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE minister of finance. He will also be attending an event organised by Ficci. Later in the evening, he will be interacting with Indian community in Dubai,” the statement added.

Jaitley will leave for Abu Dhabi on November 17 and meet Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the managing director of the Abu Dhabi Investing Authority, (ADIA) and senior representatives of various state-run organisations.

Jaitley will call on the Crown Price of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the statement said.

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE in August, India’s historic ties with the Gulf nation went up to a new level with the setting up of a joint business council (JBC) in September.

Modi’s trip to the Gulf country was the first by an Indian premier after Indira Gandhi’s in 1981.

Secretary in the external affairs ministry Anil Wadhwa said at the time that India is looking to attract investments from the UAE to the extent of $75 billion, through the mechanism of a UAE-India Investment Fund.

Pointing out that the bilateral trade of around $60 billion annually had the potential to double, UAE Minister of State Reem Ibrahim Al Hashimi said here that the fact that 1,000 flights per week connect both countries demonstrates the intensity of the relationship.

“The UAE leadership is committed to taking our bilateral relationship to a new level of strategic co-operation,” she said.

UAE has an important place in India’s energy security as the sixth largest import-source of crude oil in 2014-15.

Bilateral trade has grown significantly from a level of $180 million in the 1970s to around $60 billion per annum now, making the UAE India’s third-largest trading partner for 2014-15.

Modi’s visit also focussed on attracting investment by the UAE’s massive oil-financed sovereign wealth fund that for Abu Dhabi is reported to be worth over $800 billion.

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