UAE-India partnership elevated as Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed wraps up successful visit

NEW DELHI // The UAE and India have issued a joint statement to end the three-day state visit of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, during which he held talks with India’s president, vice president, and prime minister and other senior officials. Below […]

NEW DELHI // The UAE and India have issued a joint statement to end the three-day state visit of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, during which he held talks with India’s president, vice president, and prime minister and other senior officials.

Below is the full text of the joint statement.

At the invitation of Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed paid his first state visit to India from 10th to 12th February, 2016. The visit follows Mr Modi’s official visit to the UAE in August 2015, during which the UAE and India agreed to elevate their friendly relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

India and the UAE enjoy strong bonds of friendship based on civilisational links, age-old maritime trade and vibrant people-to-people contacts.

In modern times, the dynamism of the two countries has translated into a rapidly expanding and mutually beneficial partnership, with the two nations now enjoying an extensive framework of agreements and partnerships.

Close geographical proximity, historical links, cultural affinity, natural synergies, shared aspirations and common challenges provide further impetus to this robust engagement.

During Mr Modi’s historic visit to UAE in August 2015, the UAE and India agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in several key areas, including trade and investment, security, counterterrorism, joint defence production, space cooperation, IT and electronics. During their meeting in New Delhi on February 11, the Crown Prince and Mr Modi expressed satisfaction at the progress made in advancing bilateral cooperation in these areas since last August, and underscored the two countries’ collective ambition to continue to develop the vast potential of the UAE-India relationship.

Mr Modi and Sheikh Mohammed held wide-ranging discussions in a sincere, cordial and friendly atmosphere. They exchanged views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest and reached a broad consensus. The discussions enabled better appreciation of each other’s concerns and perspectives and helped forge closer understanding at the highest political level.

Assessing that their ties have never been stronger and expressing satisfaction at the direction of bilateral engagement, the two leaders announced their decision to enshrine the new strategic direction of the UAE-India relationship in a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement setting out the principles on which the UAE-India partnership is based, and outlining a road map for deepening cooperation.

Recognising the need to further develop and strengthen the historical links that bind the UAE and India, the two leaders agreed to build a partnership for the 21st century anchored in values of respect, mutual understanding, and dynamic cooperation. They looked forward to the early signing of the comprehensive strategic partnership agreement, and resolved to build on the momentum by pursuing the following areas of collaboration: trade, investment and economic development. The two leaders appreciated the strong synergies between the UAE and India, which have been shaped by centuries of successful cooperation and interconnectedness. For a long time, Mumbai has served as the UAE’s gateway to India, and as a springboard to a world of learning and opportunity. Today, the UAE is a dynamic hub for global business, and the access point to India and the world for many nations.

Emphasising the importance of expanding growth and trade opportunities to drive the strategic partnership forward, the two leaders noted the constructive outcomes of the meeting of the UAE-India joint commission held in September 2015, and the meetings of the UAE-India high level task force on investment held in October 2015 and February 2016. They welcomed the launch of the UAE-India Business Council in September 2015 and agreed to build the council into a solid and useful platform for cooperation.

The two sides expressed satisfaction at the level of bilateral trade, which amounted to US$59 billion in 2014-15. Taking note of their excellent economic engagement, with the two countries being among the top trading partners for each other, the two leaders agreed upon the need to further strengthen these ties, particularly through diversifying non-oil trade. They also expressed satisfaction at the growing presence of Indian and UAE companies in each other’s market and agreed to further encourage trade promotion measures and participation in fairs and exhibitions.

Reaffirming their resolve to work together to substantially increase trade by 60 per cent over the next five years as agreed during Mr Modi’s visit to the UAE in August 2015, the two sides examined various tariff and non-tariff barriers, and agreed to enhance the trade of priority commodities and expand the access of goods and services in both markets. They expressed satisfaction in respect to trade promotion measures adopted under their bilateral action plans.

Sheikh Mohammed expressed confidence in India’s dynamic economy and appreciation for Mr Modi’s impressive vision for the future of the country. He commended prime minister Modi’s dynamic initiatives “Start Up India”, “Make in India”, “Smart City”, and “Clean India”, noting their strong potential to provide India’s US$2 trillion economy a positive impetus for growth, and to accelerate progress in bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The Indian side highlighted the major initiatives taken by the Indian government to improve the ease of doing business in the country. India’s key efforts to simplify and rationalise existing rules and relax foreign direct investment caps in key areas, including railways, defence, and insurance, were also noted. prime minister Modi invited the UAE to be a partner in India’s growth story, and to participate in projects creating mega-industrial manufacturing corridors, including the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor as well as the Digital India and Start up India programmes.

The two sides discussed their plans for infrastructure development. The Indian side highlighted the experience and expertise its companies had acquired in infrastructure development, including in power generation and transmission, civil construction, railways and metros, hospitals, airports, housing and roads. It conveyed the interest of Indian companies to be a partner in the infrastructure projects being undertaken by the UAE in preparation for the World Expo, which will be held in Dubai in 2020, as well as in the UAE’s development plans.

The UAE noted its interest in investing in infrastructure development in India, especially in priority areas such as railways, roads, ports, and shipping. The two leaders welcomed the opening of DP World’s new smart port Nhava Sheva in Mumbai on February 12 and the signing of a framework Memorandum of Understanding between the UAE and India which will serve to facilitate and expand the participation of Emirati investors in infrastructure projects in India. The two sides described these developments as important steps towards reaching the US$75 billion target for UAE investments in India’s infrastructure development plans.

The Indian side thanked the UAE side for its interest shown in the proposal for establishing a semiconductor fabrication facility in India. The two sides agreed to further business-to-business cooperation in IT, information technology enabled services, and electronics system design and manufacturing. The UAE side also expressed its willingness to assist in India’s goal of attracting capital and investment by pursuing opportunities in the health care industry, including in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sectors and resolved to urge its private sector to explore early participation in these sectors.

The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in space science and space technology and to explore a long-term plan to identify cooperation projects in areas of mutual interest. They expressed satisfaction at the active engagement between the UAE Space Agency and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which has led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding and the establishment of a joint working group for space cooperation.

The two sides further agreed to exchange information on various investment opportunities and related incentives and to exchange information on financial, legal, and administrative incentives along with required procedures to cooperate in establishing joint investment projects in the UAE and India, as well as joint investment projects in third countries. They also agreed to pool resources and expertise in the development of infrastructure in third countries.

In the area of civil aviation, the leaders recognised that the further expansion and development of air routes between the UAE and India is essential for the continued growth of broader economic relations. They also agreed to convene consultations between their respective civil aviation authorities in the first quarter of 2016, to discuss key areas of mutual interest.

Energy and Climate Change

Recognising that energy is a central pillar of the economic relationship, the two leaders expressed satisfaction at their growing bilateral trade in the energy sector, noting that the UAE is one of the largest suppliers of crude oil to India. They welcomed the intention of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd. (ISPRL) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a strategic petroleum reserve in India, and agreed to conclude negotiations in the near future.

The two sides looked forward to increased cooperation in the crude oil sector, including through training and human resources development. The Indian side conveyed the keen interest of Indian oil companies in forming joint ventures with and offering equity participation to UAE companies, as well as in seeking participation in prospective exploration rounds in the UAE and in opportunities for joint exploration in third countries.

The two leaders acknowledged the need to cooperate on climate change in line with the Paris Agreement, and noted that the development of sustainable sources of energy is a shared strategic priority. They agreed to expand their collaboration in renewable energy and in international negotiations on climate change, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and agreed to continue to extend strong support to the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

The two leaders also agreed to explore opportunities to foster partnerships between the government, the private sector, civil society and academia in the field of climate change. They welcomed the signing of a general framework arrangement for cooperation in renewable energy, which will lead to deeper exchanges in these areas.

Sheikh Mohammed commended Mr Modi on the launch of the new International Solar Alliance initiative in Paris on 30th November, 2015, and affirmed support for the initiative, in which the UAE is a founding member. The two leaders agreed to build on the outcomes of the second steering committee meeting of ISA, which was held in Abu Dhabi in January 2016, to advance new solar technologies worldwide. They acknowledged the importance of ensuring synergies between the ISA and Irena.

People and Culture

The UAE and India are pluralistic societies which value diversity and strive to show respect for all faiths and religions. The two leaders recognised the close links between the people of both countries, including the valuable role of the Indian community in the UAE, and its contribution to the prosperity and development of both India and the UAE.

Reflecting on the important legacy of Mahatma Gandhi both at home and internationally, the Crown Prince expressed admiration for the values of tolerance and non-violence espoused by the late leader, noting that these values strongly resonate with the people of the UAE.

Source: uae news

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