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India, UAE Sign Bilateral Investment Treaty

author The Wire Staff
Feb 14, 2024
India's fourth-largest foreign investor is the UAE and discussions regarding the investment treaty between the two countries have been ongoing since 2016.

New Delhi: During the Indian prime minister’s seventh visit to the Gulf kingdom, India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed eight pacts, including a bilateral investment treaty and a framework deal to foster regional connectivity.

On the first leg of his foreign tour, Modi arrived in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday (February 13), his seventh visit and the third time that he was in the UAE in the last one year. 

He was greeted by the UAE’s President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the airport, following which they held delegation-level talks. 

Later, Modi addressed an Indian community event.

According to a readout issued by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the two leaders witnessed the signing of eight agreements, with the first one being a bilateral investment treaty. 

“This agreement will be a key enabler for further promoting investments in both countries,” said the statement from the Indian side.

India’s fourth-largest foreign investor is the UAE and discussions regarding the investment treaty between the two countries have been ongoing since 2016. One of the final aspects to be settled was the arbitration clause.

According to this treaty, disputing parties will have a four-year window to resolve their issues before resorting to arbitration, as per sources.

In May 2022, India’s Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the UAE came into force. 

Currently, bilateral trade between the two countries stands at $85 million.

The two sides also signed an “Intergovernmental Framework Agreement between India and UAE on the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor”, which, according to the MEA, would foster cooperation furthering regional connectivity.

Besides, they also signed a memorandum of understanding on electrical interconnection and trade, which was to strengthen energy security, as per the MEA’s statement.

The readout noted that during their talks, the two leaders emphasised the importance of strengthening their energy partnership. 

While recognising the UAE’s contribution as one of the leading providers of crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas to India, the two leaders also highlighted India’s growing engagement in long-term agreements for liquefied natural gas, said the MEA’s press release.

Additionally, five agreements were inked, covering digital public infrastructure, financial payments, archives and heritage. 

Ahead of the visit, RITES Limited and the Gujarat Maritime Board signed agreements with the Abu Dhabi Ports Company related to port infrastructure and connectivity.

Speaking at an Indian community event termed ‘Ahlan Modi’ on Tuesday night, Modi said, “India and [the] UAE are partners in progress. Our relationship is of talent, innovation and culture”.

“Our partnership is getting stronger in all areas and reaching newer heights. It’s India’s wish that our partnership keeps getting strong every passing day,” he said.

Modi also thanked the UAE president for conferring the country’s highest civilian award, the Order of Zayed, upon him.

On Wednesday (February 14), he will be inaugurating the BAPS Hindu temple, which has apparently been constructed at a cost of $16 million.

At their meeting, Modi appreciated the UAE president for granting land for the construction of the temple.

“Both sides noted that the BAPS temple is a celebration of UAE-India friendship, deep-rooted cultural bonds and an embodiment of the UAE’s global commitment to harmony, tolerance and peaceful coexistence,” said the MEA’s statement.

While this is the first temple in Abu Dhabi, it is not the first one in the Emirates, as there have been earlier temples established in Dubai.

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